Everyone needs an email account, and many people need several, however what is the best free email account to choose? What features do the different free email account providers offer, and is there really a big difference between the likes of Yahoo and Hotmail and alike.

For many people the choice of email account is little more than the best domain name, or one which is easy to remember such as Mail.com and Inbox.com. If you just want quick and easy access to email, and rarely send large files then you can just choose your domain name of choice, sign up for an account, and away you go. However it is worthwhile looking into the 20 or so main free email accounts, as there are a host of features and benefits which could be at your disposal.

It is worth bearing in mind however that your email usage patterns will change over time, and if you choose a free email account with insufficient storage space, you may find that you have to either maintain your inbox religiously, or run the risk of having emails returned when over your storage quota. Changing an email address once established should be easy, but it is invariably a pain. It is far better to do a little research initially to ensure you get the full range of services that you will need.

Storage space is one of the most important issues when choosing the best free email provider, however most providers now provide 5GB or even 10GB of storage space, which is more than most people will ever need. If you think you need more than 5GB of storage, you would be better thinking about how you use your email, as should anything go wrong, that is a lot of data to lose!

With such an emphasis now placed on internet security, and with phishing scams, online identity theft and fraud rife, one of the major considerations when choosing a provider is one of security. If you email sensitive data, use your email for business, or want the utmost in security, you need not have to pay for a secure email account. Bigstring.com offers a great free service, allowing you to password protect your emails, and whilst only giving 2GB of storage, if you are that hot on security, you won't be storing all of your sensitive data online anyway!

Those new to email are likely to get a rapid introduction to spam email, and knowledge of breast implants and penis extensions rapidly improves when you get signed up. If you like buying cheap online pharmaceuticals and watches, then you'll be in your element, however if you prefer not to be bombarded with special offers, hot deals, hot stocks and all manner of personal requests, then check for the spam filtering software which comes with the package. Hotmail used to be a nightmare for spam, however they have greatly improved the service over the past 12 months, and very few spam emails get through their net. Gmail too is first rate, with GMX also offering good spam ad virus filtering as well.

The final point worth considering is how you want to access your emails, and how you want to do it. If you are fine with using a browser and emailing online then all of the services will be fine, but if you want to work locally and download your emails through an application such as Microsoft Outlook, not all Free email accounts providers offer the facility. Both Yahoo and Hotmail will only allows POP access in the premium paid accounts, with many of the free email accounts lacking this option. Check that they offer POP or IMAP access and you'll be fine.

Bear these points in mind and you can make a great choice for your new email address, which will not come back to haunt you at a later date and you can choose the best free email account for your own requirements.