PROS / Yahoo uses strong phishing filters and security support from Norton.
CONS / You have to deal with a lot of ads in your inbox with this email service.
VERDICT / Yahoo Mail is a great option for free email, with only a few small drawbacks keeping it from being the best.
Nearly dating back to the earliest creation of email, Yahoo Mail is a prominent and long-standing force. This free email service has gone through years of experience to create refined email accounts. While this service could still be tweaked to compete with the top two competitors, it provides plenty of storage, general features and security measures that keep it one step ahead of most services, earning it the Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award winner for best email services.
If you're new to Yahoo Mail or simply starting a new account, you'll find it very easy to sign up, especially if you already have a Google or Facebook account. This is because Yahoo's email service is now compatible with your existing login credentials for those services. This is great because it's one less password to remember, and your accounts for those services will automatically be linked with your Yahoo Mail.
This email service is simple to use, and your inbox is easy to absorb quickly at a glance. Yahoo separates your inbox into sections – last week, earlier in the current month, last month and each month after that.
The service also includes a few additional features, such as a calendar and notes section. The focus on the calendar is a major highlight. It is easy to create an appointment and set reminders. You can also preview the weather forecast on the day of an appointment. General email accounts are simple by nature, but the little things like this put them over the edge in terms of quality. The built-in instant messenger connects you to other Yahoo users and serves as an incoming mail notification service.
The interface still includes large advertisements. As you sign in to your account, one large ad takes up the entire screen. While in your email inbox, you see an ad on the right side of the page. That's not the only ad in your Yahoo Mail inbox, either; they are all over the place – along the top of your inbox and on the bottom left side of your inbox, too. It's understandable that most free email accounts show ads to make up for revenue, but the best email services block ads for the best possible user experience.
Yahoo's composition tools are a strong asset. This service allows you to send the standard 25MB file attachments. The pop-out window allows you to write your message, while being able to read previous messages in a conversation window. The text composer does not give you the option to change or edit font, but that omission is minor if your intent is to send a basic email. Essentially, Yahoo Mail provides you with nearly every tool to send clean, professional-looking emails.
Yahoo does a great job of keeping spam and other unwanted email out of your inbox. It sends all suspicious email directly to your spam folder. You can have all messages in the spam folder automatically deleted, or you can keep them for one week, two weeks or one month. Occasionally the service sends legitimate emails to the spam folder, but not often enough to be a major problem. Yahoo Mail gives you the ability to correct this by going into the folder and marking the message as not spam. It's always a good idea to keep an eye on your spam folder, just in case.
The service keeps malware off your computer by teaming up with Norton AntiVirus. It scans all incoming and outgoing messages for known viruses. In some cases, Norton can clean infected messages and make them safe to open. Yahoo also combats phishing fraud by blocking known phishing sites from your inbox.
Help & Support
Yahoo provides comprehensive customer support, most of which comes in the form of a FAQs section. Because of this, the search feature only looks for keywords in the content and sometimes displays strange results that barely relate to your problem. This resulted in us searching through the help section for answers a little longer than we would have liked. However, Yahoo answered our questions after some trial and error. Ironically, Yahoo does not provide an email contact for support.
Since Yahoo Mail's launch, it has provided hundreds of millions of people worldwide with free email accounts. With its top-notch scanning services provided by Norton, mobile apps on multiple platforms, instant messenger and more, it doesn't look like Yahoo Mail will close up shop anytime soon. Its place on our lineup as one of the best free email services is well deserved.