TOURBUS: Tuesday, July 9, 1996
DRIVER: Bob Rankin
Free E-Mail?

I think everybody should have an e-mail address. One of my goals is to get my parents wired before the end of this year, but I'm not sure they would see the value in paying even $5 a month for an Internet account. Wouldn't it be nice if e-mail was free?

Surprise, it is. Today I'll highlight two new services that offer FREE E-MAIL accounts with no strings attached. Juno and Freemark are two companies that are beginning to offer free e-mail to almost anyone with a modem. What's the catch? Commercials. But it's done right - you only have to endure a display ad on the bottom of your screen. No ads are actually delivered to your inbox. Kinda like commercials on TV...

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I should state up front that both of these services cater only to users in the U.S. with Windows-based computers. But they are both planning to accomodate Mac users in the near future, and I'd be really surprised if the concept does not spread around the world like wildfire. If you hear about a similar service outside the U.S. please let me know and I'll share it here!

Rather Fight Than Switch?

If pay an access provider or online service each month just for the privilege of using e-mail, then you really should consider moving to a service like this. At the very least, you could probably save money by using a free e-mail service and limiting your online time to other activities such as Web surfing.

But here's another twist, it turns out you can access almost ANY Internet resource through e-mail. My free guide "Accessing the Internet By E-Mail" tells you how to use FTP, Gopher, Archie, Veronica, Finger, Usenet, Whois, Netfind, the World-Wide Web, and some other fun stuff using simple e-mail commands.

To get the latest edition, send e-mail to one of the addresses below.

To: (for US, Canada & South America)
Enter only this line in the BODY of the note:
send usenet/news.answers/internet-services/access-via-email

To: (for Europe, Asia, etc.)
Enter only this line in the BODY of the note:
send lis-iis e-access-inet.txt

Which is Better?

I've seen the screens for Juno and Freemark and they both look really easy to use. But Juno is available in a few places where Freemark is not, and they also promise access via a tollfree 800 number if there is no local Juno number in your area.

The one annoying feature of Juno is that you cannot receive a message larger than 60KB, and I'm pretty sure that there is a cap on the number of messages you can send or receive in one day. It's possible that Freemark has similar limitations as well.

Freemark requires only 3-5 megs of free space on your hard drive, while Juno requires 15 megabytes. Try 'em both!

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See For Yourself

You can get more information on JUNO at, or by sending e-mail to You can even call them tollfree at 1-800-654-JUNO.

You can get more information on FREEMARK at, or register to receive their software by emailing your name and address to You also can call them at 617-492-6600.

You can bet that if free e-mail services are successful, then other types of advertiser-sponsored services will not be far behind. Free SLIP/PPP, anyone? It could get really interesting... :-)

See you next time! -Bob

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