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Webmail Providers (Web-based email services)

There's an ongoing battle raging between the top three webmail providers: Hotmail (by Microsoft and the Windows Live team), Yahoo Mail, and Gmail (by Google). But the line blurs now that social networking sites offer both online mail (Facebook Messaging and LinkedIn's InMail), and other communication tools like IM and chat. This page contains the webmail providers covered in Free Email Tutorials. All you need is a web browser and an internet connection; coupled with mobile-optimized interfaces, this is the advantage of online email vs. desktop email programs like Microsoft Outlook or Mac Mail. With most providers allowing for POP3 and/or IMAP access to your messages, you get the best of both worlds by being able to choose how to access your account depending on your location and the computer / device currently at your disposal!

Note: what is the difference between webmail provider and webmail client? A webmail provider supplies the email address, mail server (where messages are stored), and an "interface" (screen of an online app) that lets you send and receive emails from any internet-connected computer. A webmail client is just the interface: it only provides you with the tool to connect to different online email accounts.

Facebook Messaging and Chat

Facebook In this series, we will explain the basics of the world's most popular social networking site, Facebook; after focusing on the very-beginner's level, we'll quickly move on to focusing on "Facebook Messaging", the platform that allows you to communicate with others on Facebook - mostly revolving around messages sent to and from the social networking site, but also touching on the online and offline Facebook Chat client. For a broader view, also check out our sister site: Free Facebook Tutorials.

Quick Links: Facebook TutorialCreate a Facebook account
Facebook Sign inChange Facebook password

Gmail ("Google Mail")

Gmail Although Google was the latest comer of the big free webmail providers (the other two being Hotmail and Yahoo Mail), it has in just a few years carved itself a loyal following, using a somewhat "risky" approach: unlike the other two, it does not offer true "email folders" - instead, it uses "filters", or "labels", which make searching and finding content much easier (what else did you expect from the Search King?). Also unlike the other two, which attempt to mimic the desktop email experience as closely as possible, Gmail . Note: "Google Mail" is the same webmail service as "Gmail" - in some countries like Germany, for copyright or trademark reasons, Google was not able to use the word "Gmail".

Quick Links: Gmail TutorialCreate a Gmail account
Gmail Sign inChange Gmail password


Hotmail Hotmail ("Windows Live Hotmail") is one of the most popular webmail services in the world, along with Yahoo! Mail and Gmail. Our Hotmail tutorial shows you how to use Hotmail as email client, how to customize your Hotmail account settings, and even how to create a Hotmail account. We also spend a few tutorials explaining how you can make the most of Hotmail's contacts management features and customization. Unlike most of our other tutorials' topic, our Hotmail tutorial actually talks about a webmail service, as opposed to a full-fledged desktop email application like Outlook or Thunderbird.

Quick Links: Hotmail TutorialCreate a Hotmail account
Hotmail Sign inChange Hotmail password


Outlook.com Microsoft released their next generation of webmail offering in the summer of 2012, migrating existing Hotmail accounts to the new interface. In addition to @hotmail.com, @live.com, and @msn.com, everyone is now able to sign up (free) for an @outlook.com email address. The completely redesigned experience mirrors the clean austerity of the Windows 8 operating system's new "Metro" style interfaces of tiles and text. Optimized to be fast and consistent across platforms and devices, Outlook.com reveals Microsoft's stronger-than-ever commitment to delivering the best online email product to the world.

Quick Links: Outlook.com TutorialCreate an Outlook.com account
Outlook.com Sign inChange Outlook.com password

Yahoo Mail

Yahoo Mail The second most popular webmail provider in the world is Yahoo Mail: more than the other two big players in this arena (Windows Live Hotmail and Gmail), Yahoo Mail is constantly tweaked and upgraded: at the time of this writing, there are no less of three different "versions" of Yahoo Mail you can use (update: everyone is now automatically using the latest version of the service). But you may receive the option to use Yahoo Mail Classic if you are using a small screen resolution or an older web browser, for example.

Quick Links: Yahoo Mail TutorialCreate a Yahoo Mail account
Yahoo Mail Sign inChange Yahoo Mail password
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Tutorial last updated on August 1, 2012
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