Outlook.com

Formally known as Hotmail, Microsoft’s free personal e-mail service is now available as Outlook.com. With over 400 million users worldwide, the provider is a major contender in the free e-mail market. And with access to Calendar, Office Online and OneDrive, there are many reasons to register.

Outlook.com brings a fresh new look and can be used on a variety of devices, including Apple iOS, Android and Windows smartphones. Registering for Outlook.com also entitles you to use other online Microsoft services, such as OneDrive (an online cloud storage service), Calendar, and Office Online, where you can use online versions of popular software, such as Word, Excel, Skype, PowerPoint, and more.

Better still, you can use a single e-mail address to access all these services on every device you own - and synchronise data between them. This means that all your messages and files can be kept continually up-to-date, which is great news if you work away from your desk and like to keep up with your correspondence.

The provider includes excellent spam (junk-mail) filtering and lets you arrange messages into different folders, such as newsletters, promotions, important messages, etc. The interface is intuitive and allows you to quickly unsubscribe from e-mail lists, pin messages, initiate chat or create additional aliases as necessary. In this respect, Outlook.com is very adept at keeping your mailbox tidy and organised. If you’re already using Gmail or Yahoo! Mail and want to import your contacts and e-mail messages, this can also be done by using the simple import tool.