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who needs an email client

(17 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by JadeEmperor
  • Latest reply from ScottW
  • Topic Viewed 6000 times

JadeEmperor
JadeEmperor
Posts: 244

when today's Internet users are always on and web based emails (cloud computing) very common, why do we need email clients like thunderbird (to name a popular one)?

i have experienced managing my own emails from mutt to netscape email to outlook express and am glad that web based emails have come. now i don't need to worry about making backups of my emails. privacy concern? i don't have anything illegal to hide. phishing? my answer, gpg.

what's your take?

Posted 5 years ago
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LH
LH
Posts: 20002

I have often wondered the same thing :)

Posted 5 years ago
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SarahJames
SarahJames
Posts: 6581

I go completely the other way:)
I don't like webbased email at all. I want to be able to store sent and received messages on my PC (keep a copy on a seperate disk, dating back to 1999 LOL).
And I dó mind privacy-issues. It's not a matter of having the need to hide something. What is private, should stay private and is no concern of anybody else.

Cheers,
Sarah.

Posted 5 years ago
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JadeEmperor
JadeEmperor
Posts: 244

wow all those emails since last century? you must be a really neat and organized person. man i wished i'd be too. just now i can't find where my cellphone is and my other shoe! LOL!

Posted 5 years ago
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BobJam
BobJam
Posts: 1052

I'm on the fence on web based versus client. On the one hand, I agree with Sarah . . . I do like to have my emails saved locally. Plus, I'm on an archaic dial up, so I'm not on line perpetually. A lot of times I do drafts off line and then send right away when I get on line. Guess I could do that with Notepad for web based email, but I'd have to make copies while I'm on line of the ones I wanted to do drafts on. Big time hassle there.

On the other hand, having all this email locally stored does take up a lot of space, especially when people send my stuff back to me in line (which infuriates me, especially when they have just a one line reply and I get the entire original message . . . it seems as if it would be common courtesy to just delete the original message and leave those parts you are responding to . . . it especially angers me when I send a large graphic file and then get it back in line with just a one line reply).

Web based mail eliminates those concerns.

If I had broadband, I'd probably switch to web based mail completely (I keep Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo accounts), I have the Webmail add on in my Thunderbird, so they are all integrated into my TB.

But with dial up, I think I'll stick with a client.

Posted 5 years ago
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SarahJames
SarahJames
Posts: 6581

@ BobJam - Do you use Windows Mail? If so, emails are easy to store as eml files and put in a seperate folder, for example on a seperate (backup) drive. So you don't have to waste that much space:)
(works for Outlook Express too).

Bye,
Sarah.

Posted 5 years ago
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BobJam
BobJam
Posts: 1052

Hey Sarah,

This is really a twisted path by Microsoft, and trying to 'splain it is difficult.

First of all, I have "Windows Live Hotmail" and I'm using XP.

Best I can determine from all the iterations M$ has released, "Windows Live Hotmail" is NOT the same as "Windows Mail".

Here's my understanding of this twisted path. "Windows Mail" is an iteration for the VISTA OS ONLY. It was succeeded by "Windows Live Mail" (formerly named "Windows Live Mail Desktop", code-named Elroy) and "Windows Live Mail" can be used by both XP and VISTA. As I understand it, "Windows Live Hotmail" is NOT the same as "Windows Live Mail". Phewww . . . with all these names and iterations, I'm really confused. And then there's "Windows Live Hotmail Plus" which is an iteration of "Windows Live Hotmail", which is just "Windows Live Hotmail" WITHOUT the ads and is a paid version.

OK, let me repeat again . . . I have just plain old "Windows Live Hotmail" and I'm using XP.

Best I can see (right clicking on emails in "Windows Live Hotmail" and such), there's no option in "Windows Live Hotmail" to save individual emails in .eml format locally. The only thing I can do is copy and paste each email into Notepad and then save it locally, which would be very tedious considering that I have several hundred emails that I'd like to file (those are already filed in .dbx format in OE now . . . which is even more complicated since I've imported all them into Thunderbird and they are now mailbox files in TB . . . which in TB they are stored as readable ASCII files, unlike the .dbx files).

Saving the files as individual .eml format files with OE would be tedious too. I'd have to go through the hundreds of emails I've filed and do each one as an .eml formatted file and save it. Very tedious.

Now for future incoming emails I could do this, but now I'm using TB, which has the same mechanism (option of saving each email as a .eml file), so I'd have to go through all the imported OE files and do that.

Wow . . . this is getting much too complicated for this lightweight. I'm starting to get a headache.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think that will work. Or maybe it will and I'm just misunderstanding (which is a distinct possibility considering my confusion and Microsoft's twisted naming of all those mail iterations).

'Splain it to me.

Posted 5 years ago
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LH
LH
Posts: 20002

I also have Windows Live Hotmail (but on Vista), The recent changes have made it "up to speed" for loading etc,
but I still prefer gMail

Posted 5 years ago
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cantthinkofanickname
Posts: 16

Cloud computing is the way to go. Keeping emails on your laptop is not efficient and you cannot access them on the move.

Posted 5 years ago
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LH
LH
Posts: 20002

But what if you don't move ?

Posted 5 years ago
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drifta
drifta
Posts: 446

i prefer web based mail such as hotmail, yahoo, gmail etc.
it gives you the option to access and read any of ur emails pretty much anywhere with a internet connection. (which is everywhere these days).
at home i use windows live mail to keep my mail upto date and since i have a couple of email adresses using winodws live mail gives me the otion to check them all without having to individually visit them.

when it comes to backing up, i am not sure how to back the mail onto a cd therefore i just leave them on my hdd.
if my hdd does crahs for some reason, i still have the mail on the microsoft and google servers so i wont loose all the mail entirely.

bobjam, i think you are getting all confused for no apparent reason. its quite simple. lets take hotmail for example. there are different versions of it. the free version that everyday people like me and you use, then there is the paid version which gives u more email storage and is add free. then there are email clients like windows live mail which help you organise all ur email accounts so that you only have to access 1 program to check all the accounts.

Posted 5 years ago
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JadeEmperor
JadeEmperor
Posts: 244

@BobJam

i once am a dialup user and i know your problems. i wasn't aware that there are still dialup users specially in the US.

but in all cases, with the availability of IMAP even dialup users should now have more control like the problem of persons giving a one line reply to BobJam, he can control it via IMAP to not download emails of such sizes.

Posted 5 years ago
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BobJam
BobJam
Posts: 1052

But when I'm off line I like to have access to emails that I want to compose drafts for. I cannot do that with web based email, unless I first select the emails I want to write drafts for and then save them locally. I could do this, but most often I browse my emails locally when I'm offline and depending on the "mood" I'm in, I select certain emails I want to respond to at the moment. This method would not be possible with web mail when I'm off line.

But JadeEmperor, your thing about limiting the sizes is enticing. I think though I might be able to play around with that concept in my client. It would be nice to eliminate those large returns I get with only one liners. Have to study up on that concept. Is it just size, or can I eliminate reception of the inclusion of the original and just receive the one liner?

Posted 5 years ago
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Aleeve
Aleeve
Posts: 2818

Well, I love using a client - never used to, but now I do I could not deal without it!

I have a hotmail account
And use the software 'Windows Love Mail'
Basically, Vista's Windows Mail, but Microsoft released a specific version for hotmail addresses - requires no POP3s or similar, just type in address and you're off!

It's a feed client too!

Posted 5 years ago
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jd2066
jd2066
Posts: 3814

A couple things to note about mentioned clients:
1. Windows Mail is being removed in Windows 7. The replacement being to download Windows Live Mail if you want to continue using the same features. Though you can always download your own email client or no email client if you use webmail.
2. One of the features Windows Live Mail has (Microsoft Outlook too if you install the Connector) that Windows Mail does not is the ability to sync email with Windows Live Hotmail, sync the Calender from Windows Live Calender and use Contacts from Windows Live Contacts (what Windows Live Hotmail uses for Contacts).
In the future Windows Live Hotmail will offer POP3 access for free so other clients will be able to copy email from Windows Live Hotmail though POP3 doesn't have any email sync features. Also no other email client offers syncing Calender or Contacts with Windows Live Hotmail. From what I've read Google, Yahoo, Windows Live and others have created web APIs to allow other sites and probably other programs to access the site Contacts so it's maybe possible for other clients to have a Contact sync feature. As for a Calender sync for other clients, I'm not sure.

A note a backups: You can't always trust the webmail to backup your email and restore it. There have been instances where people have lost their email due to a bug in the webmail system and then have no one to get help with restoring from a backup as free services usually don't have phone support and not very good email support.
If you do your own backups on the other hand, you know for sure you have a backup you can use in the event of a problem. You should also have an offsite backup too. Keeping a copy on your computer and on a webmail service would be the best of both as you have their backup if your backup doesn't work and your backup if theirs doesn't work.

Some notes on privacy:
1. Email messages are not secure, from the moment it leaves the senders machine, the email passes though a few email servers via a few routers and any place the email goes though could capture the email.
Also if you access your webmail service via HTTP or plain POP3/IMAP then it's possible for someone to capture the emails you viewed and sent in that session.
With services like gmail you can access it via HTTPS and secure POP3/IMAP.
If you want to be an email is private and secure then you need to encrypt it. Even then someone could find out an email was sent from someone to you so it's not entrely secure.
2. Services like gmail will scan the email for keywords to display ads. Some (Like http://www.gmail-is-too-creepy.com/ ) don't like this but it's no different then the spam scanning that most email providers do.

Now, what I do for my main email account:
I like SarahJames above, keep all my email (execpt for some spam messages and similar useless email).
I also like using Thunderbird and a webmail client when needed.
This is the path my email takes from my personal address to me:
1. I have my own domain with email hosting by Google Apps.
2. I have my Google Apps gmail account set to forward all email to my server in the basement here at home.
I would just have email sent to my server directly but I want Google Apps to catch email in the case my server is down.
3. I have IMAP enabled on my server and use Thunderbird to access it on my computer.
I also have webmail enabled on my server so I can access the email from somewhere else if I need too.

I also have some other email accounts from Yahoo and my ISP that I download email from with fetchmail on my server.
Email from the webmaster address at domains I host and design for companies around town and my techoddity domain all get forwarded to my personal domain address.
I have an extension in Thunderbird that lets my switch SMTP servers and from addresses around so when I send or reply to emails they have the correct email address listed in the from field.

On the question this topic is asking:
I need an email client. Thunderbird lets you do you things that webmail clients do not.
Like:
1. You can install extensions to do various cool things.
2. You have a right click menu. I like being able to right click on an email and do something with it. Webmail clients usually don't have this.
3. Other features I can't think of right now.
4. Read and send email offline (though I never have needed too, the Fiber connection here is quite reliable).
5. No email storage limits. Some email services limit you to a certain amount of space to store emails though after gmail came out most webmail services have made their limit higher then most people need.
No automatic expiring of accounts. Some webmail clients will delete your account and all your email if you don't login within a certain period of time though most are now 90 days so most people will check their email within 90 days.

Posted 5 years ago
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jmcguire
jmcguire
Posts: 552

I think both serve a good purpose, and used together may be the best answer.

Non web-based e-mail is risky because often this is an e-mail through your ISP. If you move to an area where your ISP doesn't offer service, then you have to get a new e-mail, and at first thought this may not seem like a major issue, but when one considers all the accounts tied to your e-mail (especially services that will not let you change this) and people that know that e-mail, it becomes an issue. With individuals that know your e-mail it is likely they will get the e-mail informing them of your e-mail change, but there is a chance they may overlook it.

Web-based e-mail is accessible from any computer anywhere in the world, as long as the website is not blocked in that country. These messages are stored on the server of the provider (Hotmail, Yahoo, GMail, etc.). With these e-mails you are putting trust in the company staying around, but the major e-mail providers have been around thus far, so this seems like a safe bet.

The ultimate compromise:
Using Thunderbird for example with a web-based provider.

With the vast growth in mobile computing, laptops, netbooks, etc. it seems that people travel with their computer, or at least have the ability to in today's world. The user could set up Thunderbird to check their Gmail (for example) account and delete the messages from the server once Thunderbird retrieves them. The best option of course would be for Thunderbird to not be actively running, so that if you were away from your computer for some reason, but still needed to check your e-mail, you could go to gmail.com and the message would not have been deleted and sent to your own computer in Thunderbird.

One may think "But the messages are still stored somewhere on a server by Google even though they aren't in my Gmail inbox." This is true. It is also true though that the message could be (and may very well be) stored on a server somewhere by your ISP if you use an non-web based e-mail.

It is a decision that we all need to make, web-based vs non-web-based, but the best choice may be both.

Posted 5 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

I am reminded of a recent thread where the poster was asking how to use inline images in a webmail client. As yet, there is no working solution:
http://www.howtogeek.com/forum/topic/copy-images

Thunderbird has far more capabilities than any webmail client I have seen -- inline images are easy. Also, using a local e-mail client gives you a consistent interface for multiple e-mail accounts. Otherwise, you have to learn the idiosyncrasies of each webmail client.

Gmail gives you IMAP access to mail which is the best of both worlds. Access mail from Thunderbird, but it's also there on the server when you are at a remote location. Unfortunately, I only get POP3 access from Yahoo.

Finally, I'm not clear on the use of GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) for encrypting web-based e-mail. Which web-based mail client supports this? With Thunderbird you can get yourself a free S/MIME certificate, then sign and encrypt e-mail from within the client. It's seamless.

Posted 5 years ago
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