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Facebook fails webmail tests

Nearly as bad as Hushmail

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Consumer organisation Which? reckons Facebook provides one of the worst free webmail services available.

Researchers looked at seven different sites, including AOL and Excite for history fans.

Microsoft's Windows Live Hotmail came out in top spot with an 83 per cent score. Researchers liked its 5GB of storage space and easy interface.

Which? Computing said: "It actually feels like part of the operating system. They also liked the way you can group messages into conversations. It said Hotmail's advertising is unobtrusive compared to rivals and it has good spam filters.

Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and AOL were all marked "Worth considering" with marks of 69 per cent, 67 per cent and 65 per cent respectively.

Facebook's webmail scored a lowly 48 per cent, marked down for lack of features, inability to receive mail from other accounts and lack of HTML formatting. Overall Which? said the service was too minimal.

Only Hushmail, which offers full PGP encryption, scored less. It received a 40 per cent score and was criticised for its scanty 2MB storage space and lack of filters and basic folders.

Which? reckons webmail offers all the advantages of a mail client – unless you have a ropey internet connection and find it easier to download a bunch of mails to work on locally. ®

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