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34.2.2 User-based E-mail Storage > 34.2.2 User-based E-mail Storage - Pg. 241

34.2 E-mail Storage and Access: Where Is It? 241 l be available at remote locations via off-site storage applications. In the case of older backups where the physical server is no longer available, it is still possible to retrieve the e-mail from the backups by duplicating the missing server on a new computer or entirely in software in a virtual environment. A virtual environment is a method for creating the equivalent of a physi- cal computer entirely in software by using a "host" computer to contain the virtual computer. Using this method, a single computer can take the place of several physical computers at once. Depending on what type of backups were made, the type of e-mail server, the size of the e-mail store, and the backup media, restoring e-mail ranges in cost from a couple of thousand dol- lars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Free e-mail accounts are hosted by companies who are in the business of marketing via the Internet, with Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google dominating the free e-mail marketplace. There are many other free e-mail account pro- viders out there. Depending on the free e-mail account provider, e-mails may be stored for only a short time if an account goes inactive; in some cases e-mail is purged from a free account if it is not accessed for a 30-day period. However, the record of the account creation can be stored for a very long