Desktop email clients are very popular for messaging needs. In many aspects, they are on a par with webmail. It is their differences that make desktop clients a preferred choice for many, notably encryption, email templates and integration.
In a similar manner to other debates in the online community, opposing opinions on the choice of the email client are spiced with personal preferences. Objectivity often seems to escape the notion of the masses, but that still doesn’t mean that both email client types don’t have their distinctive benefits and drawbacks. We shall focus on them here and leave the choice to the reader.
First of all, desktop email clients should take precedence over webmail in the case of people who often access email offline. Each message that’s been accessed remains accessible forever, unlike with webmail clients. Another benefit of desktop email clients is spotless encryption. Webmail can be encrypted, too, but in a different way and with the help of third parties. Not so with desktop clients — they are stand-alone in this regard.
Commonly Used Email Clients for Windows
Try asking anyone what they know about desktop email clients. Chances are, the answer you’ll get will be — MS Outlook. Outlook may be the best known email client, but it is by no means the usual choice for many people. For one thing, it is not affordable for just any user, and for another, alternatives are numerous and not less beneficial than its expensive forerunner.
Commonly used free desktop email clients include Mozilla Thunderbird, MacOS Mail, iOS Mail, IncrediMail and Mailbox. Commonly used webmail clients include Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Outlook.com.
Popular Desktop Email Clients for Windows
“Best” doesn’t always equal “the most popular,” although in this case, there are some common determiners. Windows Live Mail and Mozilla Thunderbird are widely used and none the worse for that, but there are also some less known but no less marvelous desktop email clients. Starting with the popular ones:
- Mozilla Thunderbird
Mozilla Thunderbird supports Windows, Mac and Linux. It runs on the very same Gecko engine Firefox does, which makes it a convenient choice for the browser’s users. It also means the client is customizable, with themes and extensions included.
- Windows Live Mail
Windows Live Mail features its famous two-line vertical view, which makes it tidy and increases new message visibility at a glance (another desktop email client that uses the same feature is Opera Mail). The client supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and DeltaSync protocols and features calendar integration, RSS feed and newsgroup support.
Although the client’s name is easily confused with a trading galley, it actually offers a refreshing number of options to brighten everyday inbox use. Some of them are as curious as they are dubious (i.e., IRC chat client), while others include RSS feed and newsgroup reader.
In actual fact, the SeaMonkey is an ambitious internet suite using much of the same Mozilla Firefox source code. In regards to it being an email client, it is most similar to Thunderbird.
- eM Client
eM client is nothing if not user-friendly. So friendly, in fact, that opening it for the first time you will find yourself wondering whether you’re looking at some other email client. Keeping things simple and visible is where eM truly excels. eM uses much the same template as other popular simplified clients: folders on the left; contacts, calendar and tasks right below them.
What makes eM stand out from the competition is that it translates emails in as many as 39 languages — within the very app, to boot (it goes without saying that it also automatically detects languages). The reliability of the translations has not been either proved or disproved, possibly because there are no eM users speaking the 39 languages.
Another great feature eM offers is the so-called Deduplicator, a tool that automatically finds duplicates in emails, events, contacts and tasks. It’s quite a useful addition, we must admit. Finally, there is a chat option.
With all those features, it shouldn’t be difficult to conclude that eM is not a free desktop email client. Nevertheless, it is a great multi-purpose tool that makes everyday messaging considerably easier (and more enjoyable).
- MS Outlook
If there is one thing to be said about MS Outlook, it is that everyone has heard of it. It is indeed a powerful email client and arguably among the most reliable, but we wouldn’t be as ready to say it is the best one.
To be sure, Outlook has its reputation, being one of the oldest email clients of the lot. It is, therefore, no wonder that it has some unique features, such as the Quick Steps tool and scheduling.
Benefits of Choosing the Right Desktop Email Client
When selecting the ideal desktop email client, the most important thing is to research the benefits that are available. However, with so many options on the market, there are some benefits that deserve more attention, especially when your hope is a safe, secure inbox.
Knowing that you can send and receive messages quickly and safely can make all of the difference. However, there are some common myths when it comes to safe messaging that need to be reconsidered.
- A strong password will not keep your email safe on its own. Even though we have been told that creating an iron-clad password will solve all of your safe messaging problems, unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Malware and keyloggers can easily get past even the most secure passwords, so no password is every truly “safe.”
The most secure email clients will offer two-factor authentication, which will require including a code that is sent to a mobile decide before you can access mail from an unrecognized device.
- It isn’t always simple to identify spam. Phishing techniques have become much more sophisticated. This is why a high-tech spam filter is a necessity, and can easily identify not only spam with identifying subject lines, but those that contain links which will send users to sites full of harmful malware.
- Even emails from safe senders can be harmful. Filters are not only designed to catch devious spam emails, but they can also identify messages that have been sent from trusted users who may have been compromised. If a user on your safe list has been infected, then emails originating from them may not be generated from a harmful source. Therefore, it is absolutely worth it to spend a little time setting up your spam filters.
- Not all spam filters are created equally. Even though a good spam filter will catch most of the dangerous emails trying to work their way into your inbox, no filter functions at a full hundred percent. Therefore, special features like the ability to disable the auto-connect feature, which will keep the next email from opening automatically, providing users the opportunity to judge the sender’s trustworthiness.
Ease of Management
Webmail is typically embraced for its portability. However, with every positive comes a downside, in that it will always need an internet connection for checking mail and completely other activities. If you compare this to cellular roaming, it’s simple to see why this pro can quite easily turn into a con. However, desktop email clients can provide simple, efficient offline management for email. This enables you to check email and compose responses, making them ready to send.
Additionally, desktop email clients typically supply more stable, easier encryption. Of course, it’s true that this function is also available with webmail. However, setting it up does involve third parties, which makes the email more vulnerable., open to be intercepted and hacked. The best manner in which to encrypt email is absolutely control of store keys and generation tools, which is an advantage that is offered by desktop email clients
Plus, desktop email clients have a function that will automatically backup messages and contacts. It can be tough to imagine a worst-case scenario when it comes to email, but experience the loss of messages and contacts would definitely be at the top of that list. Thankfully, measures may be taken to avoid this.
The bottom line is that users appreciate being able to make choices, so allowing users to choose where to store and host files and attachments is an important benefit.In fact, some desktop email clients enable the user to upload attachments and files directly to Dropbox, or to provide email recipients with Dropbox download links.
Desktop email clients offer a convenient system for folder organization. This is one aspect that makes webmail pale in comparison, with the offering of flags, filters, categories, priorities and much more.
For example, Thunderbird and Postbox offer extended prioritized features, including flagging, with the addition of a number of add-ons (i.e., QuickFolders and QuickFilters).
As you can see, the offer of desktop email clients is rich, sometimes making it difficult to pick just one. As far as free options go, trying several of them out might sound like a good idea. Still, the task is time-consuming, so maybe better stick with your preferred features. That holds true for all choices in life, right?