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Www.hotmail.com, one of the most widely used free email account providers ever to grace the World Wide Web. Hotmail (a sub division of Microsoft’s .net passport division) has become one of the most popular websites around and now offers billions of happy customers simple efficient email accounts. The opening page of Hotmail is very simple and offers easy navigation…. Very useful to first time Internet users.
The first Page… As I have just said, this page offers easy and simple navigation, from this page you can sign up for a free Hotmail account, Sign in to your Hotmail account, Retrieve forgotten Passwords, Look at the FAQ’s section, Change the language settings or contact the Hotmail Staff.
The member’s home… This page, like the first is very easy to understand, and is very easy to use with regards to the Navigation of the site. Many Free Email sites can be very clogged and congested with adverts etc. (e.g. msn.com – another sub division of Microsoft’s .net passport), due to the fact that Hotmail is completely Dedicated to providing an email service this “clogging” is not a factor. A brilliant and yet simple feature that has recently been placed on this page is the “storage bar”. This Bar enables you to see how much space you have left in your inbox out of the 2mb allowance. Below that is a list of all of your Folders for email storage and the amount of emails inside them. This makes viewing your emails very simple. Advertisements whilst a big part of hotmail are kept to a minimum and do not pop up in separate window. Also included on this page are the “worth a click” and the “MSN exclusives” sections.
-Worth a click This section has a view top links as searched for by hotmail (basically another form of advertisement) never the less some very interesting things can be found here, I suggest you have a look.
Exclusives Deals made with different companies such as sky enable MSN to offer unique things. These features are exclusive to MSN. For example - exclusive football news etc. This section can be very boring but occasionally there are things that can be well worth a gander.
Just below the top of this page are the “Tabs” these are your email options… HOME – The member home page. INBOX – This is where the bulk of your emails are stored. The emails received here depend on your storage and filter settings. COMPOSE – Here you can write emails and send them out trouble free. Pictures etc can be added at the click of a button. Attachments can be added and fonts/styles and colours can all be changed according to your personal preference. ADDRESS BOOK – Pretty self-explanatory really, here you can store friends email address for quick reference when sending emails. OPTIONS – One of the largest Sections in Hotmail, described in more detail further on. HELP – Brings up the Hotmail Trouble Shooting Guide.
Options – an in detail look… Split into Three separate categories again an example of easy navigation. So the first category - “your Information”.
Personal Profile… Here you can create a public profile or edit a new one. The public Profile is somewhere that other Internet users can view information about you.
Member Directory… Here you can decide whether or not to be included in the Hotmail Directory.
Password… Change your password.
Secret Question… Change your secret Question. A secret question is a security feature becoming very popular with email sites. This is a question that only you know the answer to. So that if you forget your password Hotmail will ask you this question, because only you can answer it your password will be reset if you get the correct answer.
Language… Here you can change the language that you view Hotmail in.
Free News Letters… Choose news from over 100 sources worldwide and receive it right in your Hotmail Inbox.
MSN Featured Offers… Free Samples etc can be sent to you depending on your chosen interests.
The second category – “Mail Handling”.
Junk Mail Filter… Here you can choose your desired Junk Mail Filter setting. There are four options to choose from – OFF, LOW, HIGH and EXCLUSEVE. Off means that all your emails will go to your selected folder.
LOW means that Most of your incoming e-mail messages will be delivered to your Inbox. The most easily identified 'junk mail' will be sorted to your Junk Mail Folder.
HIGH means that Incoming e-mail will be delivered to your Inbox, but many messages likely to be Junk Mail will be sorted to your Junk Mail Folder.
EXCLUSIVE means that E-mail from addresses appearing in your Address Book or your Safe List will be delivered to your Inbox. All other mail will be delivered to your Junk Mail Folder.
Junk Mail Deletion… Choose when your Junk Mail Folder is emptied.
Safe List… Here you can list emails that must go to your inbox regardless of the filter.
Mailing Lists… Here you can make sure that your mailing lists are not filtered as Junk.
Block Sender… Block Specific email addresses. Very useful when it comes to Hotmail’s huge Spam Problem. Incidently, You can only place 250 addresses on your block sender list, and unfortunately at the rate hotmail sell you out, it dousent last very long.
Custom Filters… Here you can direct email messages to specific folders.
The Third Category – “Additional Options”.
POP Mail Retrieval Settings… Retrieve emails from up to four other email accounts.
Signature… Create a virtual signature to append to your outgoing email messages.
Mail Display Settings… Set the display of your emails – e.g. width, font size, etc
Reply Related Settings… Choose to include the original text of the messages you reply to.
Session Expiration… A security setting enabling you to make your account time out after a certain amount of time.
The Main Tool Bar located at the very top of the Page… Home – Go back to the Hotmail Home Page.
My MSN – Go to the MSN website using your .net Passport.
Web Search – The MSN search engine. (This isn’t bad but I suggest you use Google.com if you want an accurate search – see my review of Google.com.
Shopping – A section of MSN. Very similar to other Shopping Sites, Pay by credit Card.
Money – Information about Money For example advice on investing your money. Stocks and shares.
People & Chat – Create an MSN community. View other peoples MSN communities. Go to Chat Rooms. A brilliant section for Teenagers.
Spam… This is Hotmail’s main fault, At least 10 Spam emails are fixed per day. Spam is sent via software used by companies and for all you people with common email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org, I’m afraid it is more than likely that it has been sold on by hotmail to companies trying to get in touch with you.
Space… Hotmail offers 2megabites of space in the free email accounts. However if you choose to upgrade for a fee you can get rid of adverts and have a huge capacity of space. My advice is get a Yahoo account if you need more space Yahoo.com offers 6megabites of space. Bill Gates is Rich Enough.
D/C's Final Thought… Not bad for a free email account. Various improvements have been made on hotmail especially on the huge SPAM problem it had. Whilst SPAM is still a big factor of Hotmail it can be stopped by the Filter settings. It is unlikely that you will ever get your desired email@example.com but sticking a number on the end usually rectifies the problem. I suggest if you want a simple hassel free account with a guarenteed user name of your choice, a generous FREE 6mb inbox then you should vist hotdice.net
Thanx for reading and I hope to hear from you soon. Regards, Desolate Cash P.S. Comments are gratefully received.