The undying dilemma of whether desktop email clients are better than webmail never seems to abate. The choice depends largely on personal preferences, but both options seem to be gaining momentum. Many users opt for both options, making the best of the benefits of each.
In a nutshell, desktop email clients work when offline, offer a tad better encryption, do marvels in terms of backup, and allow for advanced attachments and filtering. Webmail is, on the other hand, accessible from literally everywhere, but the device must be online to access any messages (old or new).
How Does One Go About Deciding on the Best Email Client?
Given that webmail is used on a daily basis, the choices are indeed many, so the question remains: how to choose the best client?
The term “best” should be taken with a grain of salt, given that different users have different needs. Still, some commonalities do present themselves, such as is the criterion of the ease of use.
In today’s hectic times, it’s no wonder that everyone wishes to read and reply to emails efficiently yet fast, to which end many email clients offer templates and nifty filtering options.
Commonly, users pay great attention to the interface. The simpler it is, the more appealing it becomes. Exactly because of that, most popular email clients provide similar features arranged in a familiar manner.
Popular Web Email Clients
Popular or famous is not similar to “best”, at least according to common opinions. Some of the best known email clients are Gmail, Yahoo! and Outlook. Other free and paid services also come to mind.
Gmail has been around for a while and is famous for its ease of use and constant updates. The service is free and allows for adding 100 recipients and 25 MB attachments per message. It seamlessly integrates with multiple services and features both folders and labels (fully customizable). Arguably the most popular webmail, Gmail has a clean interface and comes packed with a storage space of 15 GB. It features various scheduling options and virus protection.
Another free webmail, Yahoo! is rumored to be widely used across the U.S.A., where it is more prominent than even Gmail. In the same manner to the latter, Yahoo! allows for adding 100 recipients and 25 MB attachments per message. The Yahoo! desktop version is not free of charge, but is still reasonably priced.
Yahoo! has been around since 1997, preceding Gmail by seven years. Even after Google launched what would become the best-known email client, Yahoo! has managed to keep up with the trends. As a result, today it has some 225 million users (as opposed to Gmail’s assessed 1.4 billion), and the number keeps growing. Arguably the most welcome feature of the client’s is automatic message sorting, which sees lower priority messages organized into folders.
Outlook (not to be confused with the desktop MS Outlook version) is a free email client allowing for adding 100 recipients and 100 MB attachments per message. Like all Microsoft’s products, Outlook connects with cloud storage services and supports encryption. One huge downside to it is that the service doesn’t allow for scheduling. The free Outlook version offers 15GB of space; Office 365 users get 50 GB.
Popular Desktop Email Clients
1. MS Outlook
As one of the best-known desktop email clients, MS Outlook doesn’t need to be particularly introduced. It has been around for a while and has a recognizable interface many email clients have adopted to follow suit. MS Outlook is a popular choice for businesses, but not necessarily the best solution for private messaging, seeing as it is a paid service and not without competition offering, more or less, the same features.
2. Windows Live Mail
Windows Live Mail is known for its two-line vertical view that increases new message visibility. The service supports DeltaSync protocols and Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, featuring, among other benefits, newsgroup support, RSS feed, scheduling and calendar integration.
3. Mozilla Thunderbird
Mozilla Thunderbird supports Windows, Mac and Linux, and is run by the Gecko engine, just like Firefox. Similar to the browser, Thunderbird supports extensions and themes and features a clean, user-friendly interface.
4. Opera Mail
Originally part of its namesake browser, Opera Mail also features a two-line vertical view and is fully customizable. It offers all standard features a reputable desktop client should, including a contact manager, spam filtering, inline spell checking, newsgroups and RSS feed. The client is available for OS X and Windows.
SeaMonkey still hasn’t hit the spotlight; judging by its features, it soon will. The service offers a wide range of features, including RSS feed, newsgroups and IRC chat client. SeaMonkey is, in fact, so much more than a simple email clients. It is an internet suite using Mozilla Firefox source code.
On top of the abovementioned email clients, there are numerous other alternatives. Briefly presented above are only those most popular at the moment and those to have earned users’ trust over the years. When choosing the optimum client for you, the best approach is to compare their pros and cons.