Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
The email address use for your instant messenger account doesn't have to be the email address that belongs to the same service.
Can I use Yahoo or MSN messenger without Yahoo or MSN mail?
Yahoo, MSN, and AOL all supply both email and instant messaging programs. Yahoo's email is free, MSN provides both free email with Hotmail and paid services with MSN itself, and AOL requires a subscription for email. But they all have different and incompatible instant messaging programs.
Can you mix and match? Sure!
Yahoo requires that you create a Yahoo account to use their instant messaging service and with that account comes an email address. But there's nothing that says you have to use it. You can happily ignore your Yahoo email and use Yahoo instant messenger all you want. I do.
MSN requires that you create a Passport account to use MSN Instant Messenger, and a passport account requires an email address. The most common addresses used for happen to be Hotmail accounts. Year ago that was the only option but passports can now be created for any email address. So you can get a free Hotmail account like I did, or not. You can use an MSN email account or something else. It doesn't matter.
AOL Instant Messenger does not require an AOL account. If you have an AOL account, you're set. But if you don't then you can create an AOL sign-in name at any time. And keep using whatever email you use, AOL or not. I do.
And yes, I have instant messaging accounts on all three services and often run all three instant messaging clients at the same time. Again, no problem.
And my email? Not related to any of them. It's completely separate.