I’m torn between Yahoo and AOL email. My son has the former while the latter is used by many of my friends. Which email service would you recommend? Will AOL work for a 70 year old retired grandpa who’s just started to dabble in computers?
Both Yahoo and AOL are among the best email services in the world with very similar features and intuitive easy-to-use interfaces. Having said that, you should probably get an AOL email address since, I assume, your friends would be easier to approach in case you face any problems or difficulties.
Also, POP3 and IMAP are provided for free by the service. This enables you to download AOL email to your computer. The advantage is that when the messages reside on your local hard disk, they would be available even without a live internet connection. Yahoo charges $20 annually for this and offers only POP3 (at the time of writing).
Get a free email at AOL
To get a free AOL email address all you need is a computer with a web browser program and an internet connection… not necessarily one provided by AOL. Below are step by step instructions with screenshots – please refer these when in doubt.
- Open a new tab/window in the web browser and go to the AOL home page – AOL home page; or click on that link.
- If it doesn’t look something like slide #1, no worries… simply locate the “Mail” image or the “Sign In | Sign Up” link and click on it [Slide 2].
- This loads the email sign in page. Click on the “Get a Free Username” link [Slide 3].
- You will now get the online sign up form [Slide 4].
- By the way, if you see someone’s AOL email account instead of the registration page, you need sign out first and reload the page. FYI, the sign out link is generally located below the AOL logo. If the form still doesn’t show up delete the cache and the stored passwords or use a different browser program.
- To create a free AOL username which will get you an email address at the service, you need to provide several bits of personal information. Let’s start!
- Type in your first name and the last name in the appropriate fields [Slide 5].
- In the next field, you need to choose a username at the AOL service. You prospective email address will have the format USERNAME@aol.com. Since the part after the ‘@’ sign doesn’t change, the username is the only thing of the address you can choose.
- Based on your first and last names, AOL will put forth available usernames [Slide 6]. Unless yours is an uncommon name, these automated suggestions will include the underscore character and/or digits and are simply not up-to-the-mark. You are not required to choose a username from this list and you can dismiss it by clicking on the small “x” sign [Slide 7]. Spend a little time to get a username which is easy to recall, not by you, but by other people!
- Though the username can be anything you want, I suggest reading tips on how to get a nice username. Please understand that the AOL email service has millions and millions of subscribers and you can only get a username when it’s not in use by someone else. Enter your choice and let AOL check if its available. Be patient and don’t get disheartened if all good username are taken. FYI, numbers and characters like the period sign (.), the underscore character (_) are allowed in the AOL username.
- Once you get an AOL email username that fits the bill, rejoice! [Slide 8]
- Each email account needs to be secured with a password; you wouldn’t like sharing personal messages and information, right? The password is like a security key of your account and, hence, should not be something others can guess in a few tries. Read how to make a strong password. Start typing in a password in the field [Slide 9] – the characters will be replaced by dots or asterisks. The strength bar will indicate how strong the password is. The AOL password has to be 8-16 characters in length and should ideally include special characters and digits.
- Enter the password once again in the next field [Slide 10].
I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your AOL email inbox safe and secure. Each day I get tons of messages from desperate users who cannot access their accounts because they have either forgotten the password or are unable to recover/reset this information.
The remaining few fields of the AOL sign up form are very important and should not be taken lightly. They can help you regain access to your account in case of loss of password. Continue reading how to make a free AOL email.