You can access an existing e-mail account using the handy Mail app supplied with your iPad, or if the mail service has a Web-based interface, you can sign in using the Safari browser. Using Mail involves adding an e-mail account, and you can add multiple accounts, too. Then you can use Mail to write, retrieve, and forward messages.
Adding a Gmail, Yahoo!, or AOL Account
If you have a Gmail, Yahoo!, or AOL account, iPad pretty much automates the setup. Here are the steps to get you going with any of these e-mail providers:
Tap the Settings icon on the Home screen.
In the Settings dialog, tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
Tap Add Account.
Tap Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, or AOL and then enter your account information in the form that appears.
After iPad takes a moment to verify your account information, tap Save.
The account is saved, and you can now open it using Mail.
Setting Up a POP3 E-Mail Account
You can also set up most e-mail accounts, such as those from Windows Live, Comcast, or Earthlink, by obtaining the host name from the provider. To set up an existing account for an account with a provider other than Gmail, Yahoo!, or AOL, you may need to enter the account settings yourself.
Follow these steps to set up an IMAP or POP3 account:
First, tap the Settings icon on the Home screen.
In Settings, tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and then tap Add Account.
In the screen that appears, tap Other.
Enter your name, the account address, the incoming server (which you can get from your provider), and your password.
iPad will probably add the outgoing mail server information for you, but if it doesn't, tap SMTP and enter this information.
Make sure the Account field is set to On, and then tap Done to save the account, which you can now access through Mail.
You can have more than one account set to On in Settings. When you do, you can then open different accounts to view their inboxes from within the Mail app. If you don't want a particular account's e-mails to be downloaded, you can turn any e-mail account off by opening it in Settings and tapping the On/Off button.