Email rarely needs an introduction, as this feature has become so ubiquitous to the private and public sectors that it has become embedded as a near-traditional form of communication among industrialized countries. Email is a means of communication between two or more parties via a network connection. The email traditionally has been sent from computer to computer; however, users today can send email through mobile phones and through VoIP services.
How It Works
The traditional email is described as mailing a letter to someone, "only faster," as that email will arrive in a person's email box within minutes or -- if the connection is awry -- within 24 hours or so. But, with the advent of mobile phones, the use of email has improved so that a message can be sent using a mobile phone device on the road or when something has happened that cannot wait to be communicated to another person. Unlike instant messaging, the email is not necessarily "real-time" communication, as -- like a letter sent through a postal service -- it can languish for days in an email box client before being answered.
Email features are too numerous to mention here, but a connection between email and VoIP opens up new opportunities for ways to communicate with others. When email is combined with virtual numbers, the possibilities of contacting individuals located in any part of the world through VoIP is possible. What makes this service nice is that it is perfect for the individual who wants to communicate with someone by email, but not by voice.
One such service is offered by Jangl, where users can obtain free virtual phone numbers to communicate with someone through email. This eliminates the need to know primary phone numbers, and it's made to order for short-term business or personal relationships or for those you want to last, but that you don't want to pay long-distance rates for.
Interestingly, Jangl will pay for the local numbers and for the long-distance calls using Global Crossing for long-haul transport. Jangl is able to use a limited number of virtual numbers, as the same virtual number can serve multiple users as long as those users are calling from different caller identifications. Other services may offer this feature in the future, and new releases may let users initiate contact simply by entering a person's IM (Instant Message) number or ID.
Things to Look For
Email features are added so frequently to traditional computer-to-computer email clients that it would be difficult to stay on top of added technology for the average user. The same applies to the features offered by new technologies such as wireless communications and VoIP. But, if you're using mobile services or VoIP, look for some of the same email features that are familiar to you with your traditional email service such as an address book, frequently used email address selections, easy access from any location, and the ability to store text messages in the email client for future reference.
Another point to consider is email privacy. The same issues the are involved with traditional email are also involved with email features in any other tool. Be sure to ask about or understand how to filter those messages to avoid spam attacks, email address theft and viruses.