An e-mail address is a directory that you can use to send and receive electronic correspondence with other people on the Internet. Once you have an e-mail address, anyone can send you messages--not just people who are using the same service as you. E-mail addresses are a dime a dozen these days, with many services offering free e-mail addresses. All you have to do is choose your service and sign up for an account.
Use Gmail (see References). Gmail is a free e-mail address service provided by Google. A Gmail account (which you can sign up for from the main Gmail website) comes with over 7GB of storage space in addition to all of the features of a regular Google account, like photo hosting, a free (but optional) blog and free access to many of Google's desktop applications like Google Earth.
Use Yahoo! Mail (see References). Yahoo! Mail is a free e-mail service offered by Yahoo!. You can sign up for a Yahoo! e-mail address using the utility on Yahoo!'s main site. A Yahoo! e-mail account also comes with access to Yahoo!'s "Groups" feature, which are electronic organisations through which users get together and chat about nearly any topic of their choosing.
Use Windows Live Mail (see References). Windows Live Mail is the latest evolution of Microsoft's old "Hotmail" e-mail service. Windows Live Mail accounts are free, and you can sign up for them using the electronic form on the Windows Live website. A Windows Live address can be used across a variety of Microsoft products, including logging into technical support for your operating system and logging into the multiplayer aspects of certain Microsoft produced video games.