How to start learning about email

Electronic mail, or "Email", is a standard feature on most computers today. Although the term has become generally familiar to most people lately, the concept was actually implemented over 40 years ago. Early computer application designers realized that an electronic method to send small text memos to people would be useful. The evolution of email since those early days has transformed worldwide communications in ways the early designers could never have imagined.

Today's email systems allow near instant communication between computer users regardless of where they are on the planet. In addition to simple pieces of text, people can send virtually any electronic item such as a photograph, document or even a computer application. There are billions of email messages in transit between people every day. The growth in this sector has been nothing short of phenomenal.

Many people use email on a daily basis. They know how to express their feelings, send information updates and receive useful facts. Many have been using email for 5, 10, 15 or more years. These people use email for both business and personal reasons. They use email because it works well for them. Since they have been using it for some years, they have been able to accomodate new changes as they have been implemented. If you are a beginner to the world of computer technology, then there is a lot for you to learn.

Don't worry if you know nothing about email. The concept is very simple - it's just like postal letter mail but without the paper. You want to send some information. Rather than printing it on paper, you type it into the computer. Just like letter mail, you need to put your information in the right place. You compose a new message using your email application. You have an email address. This is your return address. Your recipient has an email address to which you send. When you send the message, your computer routes it to an Internet host which delivers your message. This is just like the established postal service. So the basic concepts of email are likely quite familiar to you.

First email steps:

Host or Local Email
When you first set up email, you have to decide whether you want your email to stay on a host or if you want it on your own computer. The host is a computer server which handles thousands or millions of email accounts for people. Local email is a computer application, like Outlook or Eudora, that is installed on your machine. Beginners should choose to use host based email. This allows them to use their email where ever they are in the world. It also greatly reduces security vulnerabilities. This is because the actual information never actually comes in contact with your computer. Instead, you are viewing the message over your Internet browser. The actual computer that handles the message may be many hundreds or thousands of miles away. The email server is protected by rigid security protocols which are updated constantly. It is also monitored by well trained staff. In short, the host based email provides you with a high level of service and security for free. It is a perfect way to start using email.

Choose an email host
There are many hosts that you can choose from for your email account. Google offers Gmail. Microsoft offers Hotmail. Yahoo has their own service. There are very similar features to each of them, especially for a beginner. Gmail offers more storage space but all three will give ample room for thousands of messages.