How to Access Your E-mail while Traveling with Your Laptop

When you leave home with your laptop, you can easily access your e-mail using a Web-based e-mail system. Most people pick up their e-mail by using an e-mail program. That program, such as Microsoft Mail or Outlook Express, connects to your ISP's mail server, which then divvies up any pending e-mail.

Before you leave, check to see whether your ISP has a Web-based e-mail system. This isn't the same as getting a Web-based e-mail account, such as a Yahoo! or Hotmail account. Instead, it's merely an alternative way to check your e-mail when accessing the ISP's e-mail server directly isn’t possible (or incurs an extra expense).

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The above figure shows an ISP's preview and pickup page. After logging in to this Web page, the user can see all e-mail pending for them. (It's all spam in this case.) You can click a message to read it, click a link to view an attachment, or just delete the messages.

Note that any mail you don’t delete remains on the ISP's server for later pickup. That can be handy if you would rather wait until you're back at the desktop computer to pick up some e-mail.

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