If you haven't given online banking any consideration, you might want to. First, know that it goes by many names, such as online banking, Internet banking, PC banking, home banking, and electronic banking.

Online banking permits you to pay bills online, transfer money between accounts, and access account information at any time.

Since online banks don't have all the expenses that traditional banks do (such as marble columns and red carpets), they can typically offer better interest rates. In recent years, as online banks tried to attract more customers, they have frequently offered extra-special rates and deals.

There are various degrees of online banking. You may have a traditional checking account at a traditional, venerable bank such as Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) or Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), but if it offers some online services, you might find that you can begin checking your account balances online. If so, you'll be doing some online banking. At the other end of the spectrum, you might move all your money to an Internet-only bank, and take care of all your banking needs online. If you use an Internet-only bank, you can access it wherever you are. You can move from Anchorage to Tampa and not have to change banks.

If you're wondering about the safety of online banking, know that a good online bank will take security very seriously and use encryption technology to protect customers. But don't take my word for it. With any online bank you're considering, poke around its website and look for a link to information on its security provisions. Each website should list this somewhere. If you don't find it, ask about it.

See what banks Fools are using on our Online Banking discussion board. You can also learn more about places to stash your cash in ourSavings Center. Understand also that some brokerages now offer banking services -- learn more about brokerages and possibly find a better brokerage for yourself at our Broker Center.

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.