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March 2, 2011


When many people first got a personal email account it was an America Online (AOL) one.  Their browser was user friendly and the easy to navigate AOL features that were user friendly.  We remember the old AOL CDs that were mailed out and in stores all over. There was the monthly subscription fee which enabled access to a dial up connection and all the other AOL features.

Today having an AOL email address is free. That is one of the changes that AOL has made over the years.  Another change is they are no longer known as America Online but rather the initials AOL.

Like Gmail discussed in a previous blog, attachments are limited to 25mb.  AOL however does have unlimited storage.  There also is a filter for incoming emails that allows you to handle them in the manner you choose depending on the criteria that is set.  You still have the option of playing a sound when new mail arrives.  Some of us may remember "You've Got Mail" when there was a new message in your inbox. Well when you sign into your AOL account using the AOL browser, you still get that message when you have new email.

One of the better features of AOL mail is when replying to someone else's email you have the ability to highlight any text from the stream that you want to remain in your email that you are preparing, then click the "Reply" button. It will then automatically list the highlighted text, with a header on it in your email.  You also have the ability to block email from specific addresses you specify. This filter can also be set to allow email from specific addresses as well.

I am not too comfortable with the interface of the Contacts List.  For starters there is nowhere to input a website address.  The contacts do not open quickly as well.  The contacts can be found easily in AOL mail on the left hand side. When using the AOL browser it is not as easy.  If you are not familiar using the AOL browser you may forget that it is in the "Mail" menu under "Address Book".

There is also no automatic save feature like there is when using Gmail. You need to click on "Save Draft" otherwise you could lose the email you are preparing should your computer freeze or another issue arises.  

There are those who may like AOL with their own browser.  It is not for everyone but those who have been using it for many years may feel comfortable with its familiarity.