The Bottom Line
MSN Hotmail comes with solid security features and a straight forward, easy to use yet quite powerful interface. Unfortunately, Hotmail lacks POP or IMAP access, secure messaging is not supported, and email management tools as well as the spam filter could use some improvement.
: MSN Hotmail is now Windows Live Hotmail
- MSN Hotmail lets you accept mail from known senders only, makes it easy to report spam
- Can be accessed comfortably from Outlook and Outlook Express
- MSN Hotmail includes a rich text editor and is easy to use
- MSN Hotmail does not thread or otherwise organize messages, lacks virtual folders or labels
- Improvements to Hotmail's junk mail filter are needed
- MSN Hotmail offers no POP or IMAP access and lacks email encryption and digital signatures
- MSN Hotmail provides free web-based email accounts.
- Hotmail applies effective spam filtering to incoming emails, puts detected junk in a special folder.
- Hotmail offers up to ten custom filters for mail sorting, blocked senders list.
- It's easy to recover mail from the "Junk E-Mail" folder or report spam that slipped through.
- Hotmail has secure log-in, a secure mode for public computers and can block remote images.
- Inbound and outbound attachments are automatically scanned for viruses by Hotmail.
- MSN Hotmail offers a WYSIWYG HTML editor in Microsoft Internet Explorer.
- An integrated upload tool helps you attach photos in good quality while keeping the file small.
- MSN Mobile lets you access your Hotmail account in simple form from many a mobile phone.
- You can access up to four POP accounts through MSN Hotmail (for subscribers only).
Guide Review - MSN Hotmail - Free Email Service
MSN Hotmail not only looks nice, it also works nicely with its straight forward interface that makes most actions readily accessible with a few clicks (keyboard shortcuts would also be neat). Hotmail can be accessed in and integrates well with Outlook Express or Outlook for a small fee, and MSN Hotmail applies junk mail filtering (that could be better) to incoming mail so your mailbox is not overly filled with spam. Instead, Hotmail makes it easy to distinguish mail from people you know, newsletters and messages from as-yet-unknown senders. Unfortunately, message threading, automatic classification and prioritizing and virtual folders are missing, though. Should one or the other unwanted email make it to your Hotmail Inbox in spite of the spam filter, it is easy to report it and make the filter even better. MSN Hotmail also boasts great security features, especially if you access it from a public terminal, and it can block remote images in emails not from safe senders to protect your privacy. If you decide to reply, Hotmail lets you use a nice editor for rich-text emails and a simple yet convenient tool for attaching photos in good quality at a low file size. Unfortunately, this only works with Internet Explorer on Windows, and Hotmail's plain text editing skills are not nearly as refined. It is also a pity that MSN Hotmail does not support POP or IMAP access (though it is easy to retrieve Hotmail to any email client with one of the many third-party tools).