In spite of the recent excitement over Gmail, Yahoo Mail remains the best free email service. It is very stable, feature rich, 1 GB storage, and international accounts have free POP3/SMTP access.
I mainly like Yahoo Mail for its stability. Website hardly ever goes down. The website has many features, including address book, calendar, aliases, spam guard, and virus protection. But Gmail has added many features and improved its stability. It is a completion to Yahoo.
For international accounts like Yahoo Canada and Yahoo UK, the POP3 and SMTP access is free. You need to sign up for email at those respective sites and then sign up for the email service. I opened up an account at Yahoo China (at that time, the only 1GB service), enabled POP3, and migrated all my Yahoo Groups to that account.
Yahoo does have its drawbacks. The website loads slow and advertisements are in abundance. And tech support is at best inconsistent. I use POP3 most of time, so I do not use the slow loading website and not see the advertisements. I had to enable Yahoo Delivers to get POP3 access, but in international accounts, I have not yet gotten one advertisement. Most of the time, Yahoo Support is slow or gives canned answers. But since the site is so stable, there is little or no reason to contact support.
Tell me what you think. What is your favorite free email service?
Edit: 16 October 2010
Moderator of POP Peeper Email Forum