Mail.com E-mail review: Mail.com E-mail

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CNET Editors' Rating

2 stars Mediocre
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Offers 10MB of storage space; lets you choose nifty domains, such as mad.scientist.com.

The Bad Inundated with ads; charges for premium services; lacks antivirus or antispam defenses.

The Bottom Line Mail.com's many ads and lack of spam blockers make it a weak alternative to Yahoo or Hotmail. Sign up with Yahoo Mail instead.

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Mail.com still lives in the Web-mailer cellar. Sure, it offers a ton of storage space, but its features are pathetic, and it serves up the most intrusive ads we've seen in a free e-mail account. Even though Mail.com does not charge, Yahoo Mail is a far better--and smarter--choice, despite its cadre of fee-based features. Mail.com still lives in the Web-mailer cellar. Sure, it offers a ton of storage space, but its features are pathetic, and it serves up the most intrusive ads we've seen in a free e-mail account. Even though Mail.com does not charge, Yahoo Mail is a far better--and smarter--choice, despite its cadre of fee-based features.

Invasion of the privacy snatchers
For starters, Mail.com digs deeper into your personal life than other free Web e-mailers. When you register, it asks for your name, current e-mail address, and mailing address. On the upside, though, Mail.com lets you choose an e-mail alias with all kinds of phrases for your domain, the part of an address that comes after the @ sign, ranging from the boring mail.com or lawyer.com to the exotic seductive.com or mad.scientist.com.

If you find Yahoo's interface busy-looking, you'll go cross-eyed with Mail.com. So many ads squeeze into the main e-mail window, they squish Mail.com's navigational tools into a small frame at the left of the browser window. Your account's primary interface is only a bit cleaner: ads appear at the left, at the top, and even in the middle of the page. Ugh! However, if you're willing to part with $10, you can buy a year's worth of the ad-free version.

Missing in action
Once you finally reach your in-box, you can compose messages; attach as many as three files per message, totaling no more than 2MB; create folders to organize messages; move messages between folders; and sort mail by column headings, such as subject and date. Mail.com lets you grab mail from up to five POP 3 accounts, but it doesn't integrate with desktop e-mailers, as does Hotmail. By the way, Mail.com keeps your account active for 60 days between log-ins--twice as long as Hotmail does--but it bounces back incoming mail and deletes received messages and contacts in your address book if you don't use the service frequently.

Unfortunately, Mail.com is missing features offered by first-rate Web services such as Yahoo. Need the security of a virus sniffer to make you feel safe downloading attachments? Mail.com doesn't offer one. Like to proof your outgoing mail for typing goofs? Not going to happen here. Mail.com is missing a spelling checker, too. Want to import addresses from desktop clients, such as Eudora? No can do. Yearn to search for a specific message? Don't bother; there's no search tool at Mail.com.

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