Webmail vs desktop email client: which one to choose?


through Milan Stanojevic

Windows and software expert

Milan has been passionate about PCs since his childhood, which led him to take an interest in all technologies related to PCs. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as a front-end web developer. Read more

With the rapid development of the Internet in the early 2000s, e-mail changed forever. In the beginning, the only way to read and send emails was to use a dedicated email client, but as the internet spread, people moved from dedicated email clients to webmail.

Despite the number of users switching to webmail services, many users still prefer to use a dedicated email client on their PC. If you can’t decide between a dedicated email client and webmail, we’ll compare the two and help you determine the best solution for you.

Webmail or desktop email client – which one to choose?

Email clients have been a key part of every operating system since the inception of email services. Outlook Express was a default email application on older versions of Windows, gaining extreme popularity among Windows users. Although Microsoft removed Outlook Express from Windows, many alternatives appeared soon after.

Today there are many alternatives to Outlook Express, but most of them don’t have the same simple user interface that many users are used to. Outlook Express’s simplistic design is what makes it so unique and attractive to users – many webmail services and email clients lack it.

Webmail services use advertisements

In addition to providing a more complex design, webmail also brought certain limitations. Although almost all webmail services are available for free, most of these services display advertisements. There is usually an option to upgrade to a premium version of the service in order to remove ads, but many users don’t like the idea of ​​paying a monthly fee for an ad-free experience. If you aren’t too keen on ads, desktop email clients might be just what you need. In fact, finding an ad-free email client for Windows isn’t that hard – you just need to find one that fits your needs.

Webmail services rely heavily on JavaScript

Most webmail clients rely heavily on JavaScript, and if JavaScript is not enabled in your browser for some reason, you will need to enable it in order to verify your email. On the other hand, desktop email clients don’t require JavaScript at all, so you won’t have to go through the tedious process of enabling JavaScript every time if you want to read or send an email.

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Webmail services generally do not support custom domains for free

Webmail does not support custom domains. If you own your own business and use a custom domain, you won’t be able to use that domain with most webmail services unless you choose to upgrade to Premium. Some webmail services, such as Outlook, do not support custom domains at all. So you should think twice before choosing webmail over a desktop email client.

You cannot manage multiple email accounts from webmail

Desktop email clients are also a better choice if you use two or more email addresses. If you use both Gmail and Outlook, for example, you’ll need to sign in to each of the two services in order to verify your email. This is not a problem for most regular users, but if you rely heavily on email for communication, checking two or more webmail services several times a day and responding to emails can become a tedious process.

Using a desktop email client, you can easily manage two or more email accounts directly from a single app. Accounts don’t even have to be on the same domain – you can have an unlimited number of email accounts across multiple domains and verify them all with the click of a button right from your desktop email client.

You cannot access webmail without an internet connection

Another benefit of desktop email clients is the ability to access your email offline. When you use a desktop email client, all of your emails are downloaded to your computer where you can read them, prepare replies, and check attachments even when you’re offline. This is extremely useful if you are traveling or do not have a constant internet connection.

Webmail comes with limited storage space

Many webmail services have limited storage space. If you regularly send and receive email attachments, you might run out of webmail storage sooner than you think. Once you run out of space, you will not be able to receive new emails until you delete old messages or purchase a premium option that gives you more money. ‘space.

The only limitation of this operation is the size of your hard drive. But on the other hand, with enough space, you never have to delete any emails or attachments or worry about the remaining space for your emails. Some desktop email clients, such as OE Classic, use the public domain SQLite / MBX database to store your emails, which means you can easily export your emails and save them to another computer for the backup.

Desktop email clients require initial setup

Desktop email clients are great, giving the user more freedom with fewer restrictions. However, they may require a bit more setup before you start receiving your emails. With webmail services, you only have to navigate to a specific website and all of your emails will be there. While desktop clients don’t require you to visit a website or start your browser to check your email, they do require some initial setup.

Before you can start reading your emails, you need to create your account, a process usually consisting of adding your email address and password as well as the mail server address. This process may seem a little intimidating for some users, which is why they choose webmail services instead. With webmail services, there is no need to enter a web server address – everything you need is automatically configured with just an email and password to create.

Webmail services are synced across all your devices

An additional advantage of webmail is its availability on all your devices. If you have a Windows 10 PC, laptop, and Android smartphone, you can access your emails on any of these devices. And since everything is stored in the cloud, they’ll be perfectly synced across all of your devices, no matter what platform you’re using. Even if your hard drive suddenly stops working, with webmail, all of your emails will remain securely stored in the cloud.

Webmail services do not require third-party applications

Webmail services can also be useful if you don’t have permission to install third-party applications on the computer you are currently using. For example, if your company policy prohibits the installation of third-party applications, webmail may be a better solution for you in this situation.

Which is the best option: Webmail or email client? It all depends on your needs. If you can’t install third-party apps and want your emails to sync across all devices, webmail is a better choice for you. In addition, webmail offers more simplicity and this is what many users prefer.

On the other hand, standard email clients offer more advanced features like quick access to multiple email accounts simultaneously, unlimited storage on your computer, easy way to backup your important emails and the ability to manage and read your e-mails even without internet. link.

Some email clients like OE Classic feature a simple Outlook Express-like design, which many users are looking for. Many email clients work exceptionally well with webmail services. Therefore, if you can’t choose between a webmail client and a desktop email client, you can easily combine the two and get the best of both worlds.


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