The consensus is in - Gmail is the best free Email service on the Internet. Four different sites and a blog have unanimously proclaimed it to be number one of all providers. At About.com, Heinz Tschabitscher ranked 18 free email services. He found fault with every one of them, save Gmail. ConsumerSearch ranked Gmail tops out of three services. TopTenReviews ranked Gmail number one out of ten free email services and gave it a four out of four rating. Zahipedia also ranked Gmail number one out of ten free email services. The blog, Just Creative Design, cited 12 reasons to switch to Gmail - from a desktop program!
Gmail is a free email service operated by Google, the search engine giant. It was first introduced in 2004, and in order to get the service, you needed to receive an invitation. In early 2007, Google decided to open Gmail up to the public at large. It officially left beta stage in the middle of 2009, along with several other Google products.
Gmail has several unique qualities. A user has the ability to create spreadsheets, PDFs and documents through the use of GoogleDocs, via their Gmail account. A user can see an appointment using their Google calendar. You can set up these functions in the settings tab, and then they will reside on the left hand side of your screen. You can tag your emails with the use of stars, meaning that you can set aside emails that are important. You can also label and filter your emails within your large storage box. The storage keeps on growing, but for now has about 8GB. A user can purchase more if needed.
Gmail has IMAP and POP access. You can forward your email from other email accounts, or send email from those accounts as Gmail. You can chat and video chat right from Gmail. You can make Gmail look the way you want in themes and add widgets to your account.
One additional thing Gmail has that is interesting is called Labs. Some of these items are still in the experimental stage, and some are available to Gmail users. Some are quirky and some are very, very useful. Here are a few of them: Gmail Offline - use Gmail on your desktop; Canned Responses - if you have an email that you need to send over and over again, you can compose it using this; Mail Goggles - you will have to solve math problems before you can send out that email. It keeps you from sending out emails that you may regret later. Vacation Time - lets you set the vacation auto-responder.
As you can see, Gmail really is a great free email service. It provides such a great service that several businesses use it as their email provider. Google has gone above and beyond simply providing free email on the web - they have provided a whole suite of services upon which they continually improve. Gmail is sure to continue to remain the number one free email service on the Internet.