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The email service that Excite.co.uk provides can be described in just about one word - Average. There is nothing special to it, quite the oposite in fact. Now, I'm not saying that it is bad, in fact its actually pretty good. Simply, I'm just saying it doesn't do anything original.
Except for one. When you sign up, or after you've signed up, you can apply for a Voicemail and Fax number. "But I haven't got a fax machine" I hear you cry. "I'm not paying money to listen to voicemail messages, I already do that on my mobile" the rest of you are saying. Well, you don't need to do or have either, because Excite Voice & Fax works in quite a unique way. Well, actually there are a few other services that do the same, so its not that original but nevermind. What happens is when you are sent a fax, you get an email, with a picture of the fax that you have recevied attached to the email. You can open the attachment (I believe they are Jpegs) in whatever graphics program you have to hand, and read the fax you have received.
The same goes for the Voicemail. When someone leaves you a message, you get sent an e-mail with a sound clip attached, that you can listen to in any sound player. You get to choose the format of the sound, and most people from what I know choose the wave format (.wav) option, as do I.
So, it works rather nicely. Also, the added bonus to this is that the number you get given can be used for both services, fax and voicemail, so you only have to hand out one number, plus it an 0845 number, so when people call or fax you, they are only paying the cost of a local call.
Right then. The rest of the Excite e-mail facility is pretty standard. You get one e-mail address, that ends with the @excite.co.uk domain. You can choose an icon that goes against any new mail messages, ranging from stars to smiley faces (my chosen option).
You can also set it up to read from POP3 mail boxes, so you can read the e-mail you get from your ISP (such as Freeserve, IC24 or TheFreeInternet) wherever you are. This works well, if a little slowly, though does tend to leave your e-mail on the ISP's server, so when you get home you have a whole load of e-mails to download to your mail client. There is an option that makes Excite delete the e-mails on the ISP server, though in my experience this is a little tempremental to say the least.
Other than that, you also get to send up to three SMS text messages per day (though you don't need an e-mail account to do that strictly). Apart from that, you just get the standard features such as the address book, folders, and filtering.
Like I said, the Excite e-mail service is nothing special. It doesn't provide any particularly original features, but lets face it, what else do you want from a web mail provider. OK, Another.com allow you up to 20 different e-mail addresses, with various domain names, but having more than one or two just gets confusing. The fact is that Excite provides a very good service. What it does, it does very well. The site is well organised, and in general, runs at a very decent rate. Only once have I ever experienced a problem with their service, which was when their server went down for a few hours.
Other than that, they cannot be faulted on what is a very good service. Nothing original, but who cares so long as it all works well.