Your Broadband provider will provide you with one or more e-mail addresses as part of your broadband package
These will give you typical e-mail addresses ending with the domain name of the broadband provider:
These e-mail addresses are provided as part of your continued subscription to the broadband company in question. If you change broadband providers you are likely to lose your e-mail address, though it may be possible to continue to use the e-mail address if you pay a small fee per month. If on the other hand you do not have a broadband provider but make use of public computers in libraries, educational institutions or perhaps at your place of work you need a way of obtaining an e-mail address and sending and receiving e-mails.
Fortunately there is a way of obtaining an e-mail address that does not require you to have a continuing paid broadband service or even to have your own internet connected computer and that is through a free e-mail provider, who will provide you with a free e-mail account where you can send and receive e-mails on any computer using webmail where your e-mails are stored on the provider's computer servers.
Major Free E-Mail providers
GMail - Launched 2004, 1.2 Billion users worldwide in July 2017
Outlook - Launched as Hotmail 1996, relaunched as Outlook 2012, 450 Million users in 2016
Yahoo Mail - Launched 1997, 225 Million users in Feb 2017
GMX Mail - Launched 1997, 11 Million users in Jun 2017
Mail.com - Launched 1995, very similar to GMX which owns both
Zoho Mail - 10 Million users in Jun 2017
iCloud - 720 Million users
GMail is the best overall. People in all walks of life expect to see someone with a gmail e-mail address. Users of Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, Broadband provider addresses may be thought of as people stuck in the past. GMX is a good alternative especially for someone who wishes to avoid Google for any reason. Zoho is part of a suite of office programs and may be worth further consideration. iCloud is aimed at the Apple Mac community.
Other Free E-Mail providers
Perhaps you don't wish to be one of the 1 Billion GMail users worldwide. You may have found that the only e-mail address available from google is something like email@example.com. If so consider GMX, Mail.com or one of the following smaller less popular e-mail providers which will most likely give you an equally reliable service.
Mail.co.uk (UK) Straight forward Webmail provider, English interface.
Mail.ee (Estonia) - one of the Baltic states bordering Russia. The interface is in English. You are more likely to find your desired e-mail address without having to add numbers to your name.
Inbox.lv (Latvia) - another of the Baltic states, the interface is again in English
Inbox.lt (Lithuania) - another of the Baltic states, the interface is again in English
Post.cz (Czech Republic) - the western part of the former republic of Czechoslovakia, the interface is in Czech but it is easy to translate neccesary information into English online. @email.cz address also available.
Mail.md (Moldova) - small country just east of Romania, the interface is in Romanian
Mail.ru (Russia) - think "outside the box" and get an e-mail address from Russia. Interface in Russian. There is an English signup here. Once you are signed up it is relatively easy to use the webmail even though the page is in Russian. The attraction of Mail.ru is the 25GB of free Cloud storage which is great for audio (mp3) hosting. The interface to administer the Cloud storage is in English
Mail.fr (France) - Mail.fr, Mail.de, Mail.ch, Mail.co.uk are all different country domain names offered by the same German company. The default interface for Mail.fr is French, but if you change from the fr sub-directory to en you should be fine eg to sign up you are taken to https://signup.mail.fr/fr/, change the address to https://signup.mail.fr/en/ and continue
Mail.de (Germany) - The default interface for Mail.de is German, but if you change from the de sub-directory to en you should be fine eg to sign up you are taken to https://signup.mail.de/de/, change the address to https://signup.mail.de/en/ and continue
Mail.ch (Switzerland) - The default interface for Mail.ch is German, choose English option from the DE drop down
Eclipso.eu (Europe) - English interface, German company choice of .at (Austria), .bt (Belgium), .ch (Switzerland), .de (Germany), .it (Italy), .nl (Netherlands) and .eu (Europe) domain names
Language considerations might put you off Mail.ru, Mail.md, Mail.fr, Mail.de and Mail.ch, but once you have registered, the layout of the webmail interface is very similar to an English/American E-Mail provider. Use of a foreign e-mail address with a country extension (the part after the dot) may be problematic within the UK if you are applying for jobs especially post Brexit, you may be thought not to have permission to work within the UK. For personal use though why not choose to be different, it wont cost you anything!
Mail.co.uk is worth considering for a "simply stated" UK e-mail address. For something more "unusual" consider one of the Baltic states providers or Eclipso before tackling Mail.fr, Mail.de, Mail.ch or Mail.md.
Other articles by Michael Fowler:
Free Domain names - Michael Fowler
Discussion of the Pros and Cons of Free domains, popular free domains available and their suitability for different websites.
Free Hosting - Michael Fowler
The Pros and Cons of using free hosting. A review of the free hosting available in the early days of the internet (1990 - 2000) and the free hosting options available today.
Hosting Reviews - Michael Fowler
A listing of leading website hosting companies with links to Review centre and Trust Pilot reviews
Notes: Potential Communications does not receive payments from any of the companies mentioned on this page