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Types of Online Communication

There are two main ways that people access their e-mail; via an Internet e-mail application on their computer, or through a Web-based e-mail interface on the World Wide Web.

Getting an e-mail account

Most of the time, when you subscribe to Internet access with an Internet Service Provider (ISP), you will also get an e-mail account. This gives you an e-mail "address", to which people can send you e-mail, as well as an e-mail "mailbox" on the ISP servers, where your mail is stored until you download it to your computer.

Web-based e-mail



Sometimes, you need to access your e-mail when away from your computer. Web-based e-mail access allows you to read e-mail, send messages, and manage your mail folders from any computer by logging onto a Web site. Many ISPs provide their subscribers with Web access to their e-mail.

Another very popular type of e-mail account is the free Web-based e-mail service, such as Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail. These sites offer users a free e-mail address and Web-based access to it, with the bill footed by the advertisers who pay for ads to be shown on the Web page.

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