Email is almost a requirement in today’s busy, technological world. Job applications, credit cards, banks, clubs and organizations, all request email. It’s the most convenient way to communicate in writing, and you can send music, pictures, letters, files, and many other applications with it. But perhaps you don’t have internet access at home, or your Internet Service Provider has no email account associated with it, or the email they offer is inadequate. What can you do? There are many, many ways to enjoy all the benefits of email without ever paying one cent for it. Here’s how to do it.
Things You’ll Need:
- INTERNET ACCESS, whether at home or at the library or at a friend’s house, or at a college or other institution
- A UNIQUE NAME for your email address (the email provider will help you with this)
- At least once-a-month ACCESS TO A COMPUTER with internet access
- PAPER AND PENCIL for jotting down passwords, etc.
FROM YOUR HOME:
If you are accessing the internet from your home, go to a search engine that you like to use and type in, “free email.” Look at each offering that interests you and click on one or two.
Read the “terms and conditions” and privacy statement on the email provider’s website. If there is anything you don’t agree to, don’t sign up for it and look at a different provider. Keep doing this until you find an internet provider that suits your needs.
Follow the instructions to register for free email. Some free emails make it look like you have to pay, but if you scroll down and look at everything on the page, there will be something to read or to click on that will show you how to get the email at no cost to you.
FROM OUTSIDE YOUR HOME :
If you must access the internet from a place outside your home, such as a library or school, find out whether you need to be a card-holder or student to use the computers. This varies from school to school and library to library. If necessary, get a library card. It’s useful and good to have anyway, and if you don’t know how to get a library card, follow the link at the end of the article to find out.
Read what the rules and computer time limit are at the place where you plan to access the internet and read your email. Make a note of this information.
When you are able to access the computer at your chosen venue, open the internet browser. Go to Google.com and search for “free email.” You will find an enormous number of choices. Google itself has one of the best email programs around, with nearly infinite storage space, and it is web-based, so nothing is stored on the computer you are using, and you can access it, easily, anywhere.
Click on any of the “free email” providers the search found for you, and read the “terms and conditions” and privacy notices on the website. Make sure that you agree to everything, and join up. If you don’t agree, or it turns out not to be free after all, go back to your Google search and choose another email provider. Sometimes, as above, an email account will appear to require payment, but scrolling down and reading everything there is to read will show that there is a free alternative.
Register for the free email of your choice, and make sure to note your email address, password, and how to access your account. Sometimes, for a modest fee, you can print this information to a hard copy that you can take home with you. It rarely costs more than a dime for a single printed sheet, and often less.
Practice opening your email and learning how it works. You can set up filters in any email program that will help regulate how much unwanted advertising email you will receive. (Unwanted advertising email is commonly called, “Spam,” for no discernable reason.)
A Few Further Suggestions:
- Start collecting the email addresses of people you care about before you sign up for email, and let them know as soon as possible what your new email address will be, so they can add your address to their email address book. Otherwise, any email you send may end up in the trash or the Spam folder.
- If you use your email for business, it’s a good idea to have a different email address for personal interactions. There is no rule that you only need ONE email address.
- If you are accessing the internet away from your home, always close the browser when you are finished . Leaving it open allows the next user to click on the back button or look at the history and read your personal business.
- Remember to write down your new email address, your username, if any, your password, and the URL where you go to access your email. It’s easy to think that you’ll remember it, but why take the chance? Write it down.