Desktop or Web-Based E-mail


Making the choice between a desktop email client such as Outlook or a web-based client such as Gmail.

Are you a user of Web-based e-mail like Gmail or Yahoo!? Or do you use a desktop e-mail client such as Postbox, Outlook or Sparrow? Each e-mail option comes with pluses and negatives. As a recent story by the Lifehacker Web site says, some computer users will fare better with a desktop e-mail client while others will thrive using a Web-based e-mail system. Are you debating over whether or not to install that latest desktop e-mail client? Or are you thinking of signing up for Gmail? Deciding whether Web-based or desktop e-mail is best for you necessitates a close look at your computing habits.

The desktop client

Here’s who should be employing a desktop e-mail client, according to Lifehacker: Users that have multiple e-mail addresses with different domains, people who need to access their e-mail messages even when they’re offline and those who filter and block e-mail messages according to subject headers, senders and specific words. Lifehacker also recommends that you use desktop e-mail clients if you like using security features such as encryption and digital signing.

When Web-based e-mail makes sense

Lifehacker recommends the use of Web-based e-mail if you prefer a single unified inbox for all of your e-mail messages and you only have a small number of e-mail addresses to monitor. Web-based e-mail may also be the better choice if you like using Web-based programs instead of downloading them to your computer and if you’re more comfortable storing your e-mail messages in the cloud rather than on your machine.

The good news

Here is the best news of all: Whether you decide to go with a desktop e-mail client or a Web-based service, take comfort knowing you’ve got lots of outstanding options to help you manage and organize your e-mail messages. Desktop services such as Sparrow and Postbox offer a wide range of organizing features. On the Web, the tried-and-true Gmail remains one of the strongest e-mail clients, whether desktop or Web-based, available for people who use computers.