Sick of Gmail? Try these options

Gmail is fast becoming the most popular web-based email platform. This is for several reasons. It’s free, it provides free storage (over 7 GB and counting), and it is provided by one of the best known Internet brands – Google.

However, some people are not completely satisfied with the service that Gmail provides. One of the biggest complaints is the contextual advertising. It can be disturbing when you get an email from your dad asking you to join the New York Giants football game, and you see that Google has placed several ads around the email asking you to to buy Giants tickets. It looks like Google is reading our emails!

If this describes you, this guide may be useful to you. Here are some of the best free alternatives to Gmail for email on the web.

1. Yahoo! mail

Yahoo! Mail started early with providing free email accounts and they are still far from the most popular web email service. As of March 2010, Yahoo! Mail actually had several U.S. traffic than all other web email sites combined! Yahoo offers free email with unlimited storage. One downside to their service is that they say they will delete all your messages if your account does not have access for 4 months.

2. Windows Live Mail

This is the second most popular email service in the United States. Formerly known as Hotmail, MSN Live Mail gives you 5 GB of storage space and a choice of domains for your email. You can choose a @hotmail, @live or @msn email address. They also allow you to consolidate all your other email accounts into their interface. This is useful if you have a Yahoo! email account, or you’d still like to see your old Gmail emails through a new interface.

3. Hushmail

For people looking for an alternative to Google due to privacy, Hushmail may be a good choice. Although they have never been very popular, Hushmail has a high customer satisfaction rating dating back to 1999. This service automatically encrypts every email you send. If normal emails are like sending a postcard, Hushmail allows you to send sealed envelopes. They offer 2GB of free storage, but you can pay for more if you ever need it.