Yahoo! Mail

From ArticleWorld

Yahoo! Mail is a webmail service offered by Yahoo!. Yahoo! Mail is one of the major e-mail providers on the Internet, with millions of offered accounts. It is involved in a major competition with Gmail, Hotmail and AIM Mail.

Yahoo! became interested in offering a web-based e-mail service as the adoption of the Internet and WWW by home users became something common. Initially, Excite, Lycos, AOL and Microsoft were the most important players, along with another company: Four11. In March 1997, Four11 launched Rocketmail, a web-based e-mail service. Four11 was later bought by Yahoo! and formed the base of Yahoo! Mail, although with significant criticism from Rocketmail users.


Yahoo! Mail has two account types:

  • Free account. Free accounts have a 1 GB disk quota with a 10 MB attachment limit. Some spam and virus protection features are available. Advertising banners are displayed on the screen, but they are not intrusive. However, some features are not available: users cannot send e-mail through other SMTP servers and they cannot use e-mail clients. Accounts that are not used for more than four months are de-activated and the data is lost (although the accounts themselves can be retrieved). There is also support for one alias name per account.
  • Plus version (paid). The Plus accounts have a 2 GB disk quota and offer POP3 access, enabling subscribers to use their favorite e-mail client. No ads are displayed when using the web-based interface and additional spam and virus protection features are available. The price is 19.99 USD per year per user. In addition, one can have access to five custom e-mail addresses and domain names for 35 USD per year.

At the time of writing, Yahoo! is still testing a yet to be released version of the web-based interface, based on Ajax scripting with support for many usability enhancements like drag-and-drop and hotkeys.


Yahoo! Mail did receive a significant amount of criticism in 2002, when users noticed that certain words were filtered out and changed. For example, "mocha" became "espresso", but, with the most damaging results, "eval" (short form for evaluation) was transformed to "review". This lead to strange terms like "reviewuation" or "medireview". These words were obviously changed so that they could not be exploited by crackers, as many are commands or part of commands which may be used for malicious purposes. At the time of writing, Yahoo! Mail prepends an underscore to these words so that they can no longer be recognized as valid commands.