1. Gmail - Free Email Service
Gmail is the Google approach to email and chat. Practically unlimited free online storage allows you to collect all your messages, and Gmail's simple but very smart interface lets you find them precisely and see them in context without effort. POP and powerful IMAP access bring Gmail to any email program or device.
Gmail puts contextual advertising next to the emails you read.
2. AIM Mail - Free Email Service
AIM Mail, AOL's free web-based email service, shines with unlimited online storage, very good spam protection and a rich, easy to use interface.
Unfortunately, AIM Mail lacks a bit in productivity (no labels, smart folders and message threading), but makes up for some of that with very functional IMAP (as well as POP) access.
3. GMX Mail - Free Email Service
GMX Mail is a reliable email service filtered well of spam and viruses whose 5 GB of online storage you can use not only through a rich web interface but also via POP or IMAP from a desktop email program.
More and smarter ways to organize mail could be nice.
4. Yahoo! Mail - Free Email Service
Yahoo! Mail is your ubiquitous email program on the web with unlimited storage and RSS news feeds, SMS texting and instant messaging to boot.
While Yahoo! Mail is generally a joy to use, free-form labelling and smart folders would be nice, and the spam filter could catch junk even more effectively.
5. Zenbe - Free Email Service
Zenbe organizes your emails and attachments (from Zenbe and existing POP accounts) with labels and search — and integrates calendar, to-do list, twitter and Facebook updates, too.
With a focus on elegant simplicity, Zenbe provides many sweet shortcuts but also shows quirks and omissions in others. The spam filter is good, but it would be great if IMAP access was possible for all folders (not just the inbox).
6. Inbox.com - Free Email Service
Inbox.com not only gives you 5 GB to store your mail online but also a highly polished, fast and functional way to access it via either the web (including speedy search, free-form labels and reading mail by conversation) or through POP in your email program.
Unfortunately, IMAP access is not supported by Inbox.com, and its tools for organizing mail could be improved with smart or self-teaching folders.
7. Gawab.com - Free Email Service
Gawab.com is a speedy, stable and very usable free email service with 2 GB online space, POP access and many a web-based goodie.
It's a pity Gawab.com lacks IMAP access and full message search.
8. FastMail Guest Account - Free Email Service
FastMail is a great free email service with IMAP access, useful features, one of the best web-based email interfaces and few ads.
9. Yahoo! Mail Classic - Free Email Service
Yahoo! Mail Classic is a comfortable, reliable and secure email service with unlimited storage. A pretty good spam filter keeps the junk out, and you can send rich emails using Yahoo! Mail's HTML editor.
10. Windows Live Hotmail - Free Email Service
Windows Live Hotmail is a free email service that gives you a 5 GB of online storage, fast search, solid security and an interface easy as a desktop email program.
When it comes to organizing mail, Windows Live Hotmail does not go beyond folders (to saved searches and tags, for example), its spam filter could be more effective, and POP or IMAP access are missing.
11. BigString.com - Free Email Service
BigString.com is a free 2 GB email service that includes rich secure and certified mail services and lets you password-protect, expire or edit sent messages, for example.
Unfortunately, BigString.com is not equally well equipped for handling incoming mail and lacks organizing tools.
12. Lavabit - Free Email Service
Lavabit nets you a solid, secure and privacy-conscious email account which you can access in your email program using POP or IMAP and in your browser using a rudimentary web interface.
It's a pity Lavabit restricts statistical spam filtering to paid accounts and lacks a fully fledged web interface.
13. Zapak Mail - Free Email Service
Zapak Mail is a bare-bones free email service with unlimited storage and POP access to boot. With the exception of some background images, Zapak Mail offers no frills and does not help much with handling mail efficiently.
14. HotPOP - Free Email Service
HotPOP offers free, reliable email accounts you can use with any email program using POP3 and SMTP. In addition, HotPOP lets you forward incoming messages to multiple other addresses.
Unfortunately, HotPOP lacks IMAP access and a web-based email interface and is a bit short on storage space.
15. My Way Mail - Free Email Service
My Way Mail is a clean, fast and fun (though not particularly advanced) free email service.
It lacks secure messaging and other advanced, non-essential features, though.
16. Care2 E-mail - Free Email Service
Care2 E-mail provides solid free email with an environmental conscience. The spam filters and editing gimmicks in Care2 E-mail are nice, but so would be message search, IMAP access and smart folders.
17. Mail.com - Free Email Service
Mail.com is great for its domain names (use them with forwarding!), but it is missing some of the security and convenience of other web-based email services.