E-mail is an abbreviation for electronic mail. E-mail lets you exchange messages using a computer that is connected to the Internet.
To visualize how e-mail works, think of the U.S. Postal Service. When you want to send a letter to someone else, you write the letter on paper, place it in an envelope, address the envelope, attach a stamp, and drop it into a mailbox. A few days later, your letter is delivered. E-mail shares many similarities with this system. When you want to send a letter to another person using e-mail, you use the computer and keyboard to write your message, type an e-mail address for the recipient, and use an Internet service to send the message. Usually within minutes, the letter is delivered and placed in the recipient’s inbox.
To be able to send or receive e-mail you need a computer, Internet access, and an e-mail address. Internet access can be purchased from many different companies. The fees per month vary. To purchase Internet access you need to have either a home telephone line or cable television. Most Internet service providers will give you an e-mail address with your paid subscription. You can also obtain additional e-mail accounts from companies like Google™ and Yahoo!® free of charge.
Even if you do not have your own computer, perhaps you can find access at a local school or library. Using a public connection, you can still get a free e-mail address from companies like those mentioned above to use to send and receive messages.
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