Today’s technological advances have opened the door for more options than just e-mail clients. Both businesses and consumers can now select between web-based and the traditional e-mail software. Web-based e-mail is accessed through a cloud storage program over the internet, while software clients are pre-installed onto a computer, such as Outlook or Outlook Express. In order to use such a program, it must be downloaded, while web-based options can be accessed online through free or paid hosting services.
With web mail, all messages are sent and received through a browser. Some popular companies that offer these services include Hotmail, Yahoo, MSN and Gmail. When a person needs to access their messages and contact, they will go to the URL for that particular carrier. From there, the user will have to log in and enter a password. Though it is tempting, users of web-based e-mail are encouraged to not have the web browser remember their password and log-in information – especially on public networks where this information can be picked up. After the user has logged in, they are able to read, respond and create new e-mails without opening anything on their desktop.
E-mail Client Software
E-mail clients are software components installed onto a computer’s hard drive. From this application a user will open, respond and create new messages. these accounts are usually faster than web accounts, especially with a slow internet connection. With an e-mail client, the user can view old messages that were previously received without being connected to the internet. Correspondence can be composed online and saved as drafts and then sent when the computer reconnects to the internet – which means those using dial-up can save on their usage charges.
E-mail clients can be free or cost extra. For example, Microsoft Outlook Express is a free software application that can be downloaded to a user’s computer, but Microsoft Outlook must be purchased. These programs will require additional set up in order to access messages from the client rather than the web-based system. A user must create an account first online and then add those settings into the program on their computer. From there, the user will have to enter portal, server and other connection information in order for their email client to download and send emails from their account.
Though e-mail clients used to be popular among business users, web mail is becoming a more cost-effective option. Free e-mail accounts, like Gmail, offer a considerable amount of storage as well as cloud features that allow a business to operate online anytime and anywhere. The only drawback to cloud servers is that the user must be connected to the internet at all times in order to view, respond and create new messages. Some business users combine e-mail clients and web accounts so that they can use the convenience of the cloud from anywhere, but the functionality of computer-based software when at the office.