Help with e-mail

There are two basic types of e-mail. They are web mail and client mail. The primary difference is where the e-mail resides and who controls that email.

With today's many devices like computers, Smart Phones, Game Consoles, Digital TV's, Tablets, etc., it's convenient to use a combination of email protocols. It's handy to access the same email account from multiple devices, but permanently store it on only one.

See Wikipedia for a more complete discussion of email clients.


Web Mail

With web mail the e-mail stays on an ISP server somewhere on the Internet and is under the organizations control. You get to web mail from a web browser.

Examples of this type of mail are AOL, Gmail, NetZero, Yahoo Mail, MSN Hot Mail or your ISP's Web Mail.

If you get to your e-mail with Internet Explorer or Firefox, you are using Web Mail.

Web Mail

The advantages of web mail are that you don't have to worry about computer viruses, spyware or adware. The organization who runs the server on which the mail resides does all that.

The disadvantages are that it is under control of the server owner, not you. If too much disk space is being taken up by e-mail, the server owner may remove attachments like pictures, movies, graphics or sound to conserve space. They may also simply erase your saved e-mails. If you don't mind the disadvantages, it is safer than client mail.

There are two ways to access  Web Mail. Through a web browser or using your email client or a combination of both. It is handy to use a combination of both if you access an email account from multiple devices. For example, you may wish to access an email account with a PC, Smart Phone and Tablet. It is best to  use IMAP instead of POP when you set up the account on all devices except one.

The one device where you should use POP is the device where you want to permanently store your email. That way you can access your email from all devices, delete unwanted mail from any device, send from any device, but permanently store on only one (the POP).

Most modern Web Mail systems support both IMAP and POP protocols.


Client Mail

With Client mail the e-mail lives on your computer and is under your control. You get to client mail with a program on your computer like Outlook Express, Outlook, Eudora, Pegasus Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird or Win Mail.

Client Mail


The advantages of client mail is that it is under your control. You will get all attachments and mail can only be deleted by you.

The disadvantages are that it takes a few megabytes of disk space on your hard drive (C:) and you must protect your computer from computer viruses, spyware and adware.

The disadvantages are easily answered. Today's disk drives are huge, measured in gigabytes (1,000 megabytes). The amount of space taken up by email is trivial, measured in megabytes. Your computer probably came with an anti-virus program like Norton or McAfee. If you don't have an anti-virus program or didn't buy updates after the free trial period expired, you can download the free AVG program here.

The, also free SpyBot will take care of spyware and adware.

Which you use is up to you but you need both installed on your computer when using client mail

If you have a digital camera and want to e-mail pictures or a digital video recorder and want to e-mail movies, client mail is your best choice.

You can also move from web mail to client mail, or client mail to web mail. Instructions follow.


Moving from Web Mail to Client Mail

This is the more difficult move because you have to configure the client program. If you're running Windows an e-mail program came with your computer. Outlook Express comes with Windows XP, 2000, 95, 98, Me and WinMail with Windows Vista, we all have one or another and we'll cover these two.

You will need to know 4 things. The first two should be on your ISP's web site, or the paperwork that came when you signed up for the service. Or you can call your ISP on the telephone. The last two are the same that you use for signing in to your web mail account.

  1. The name of your ISP's POP server. This will be something like mail.bellsouth.net or pop.mindspring.net.
  2. The name of your ISP's SMTP server. This will be something like mail.bellsouth.net or smtp.mindspring.net.
  3. Your full email address. This will be something like joe@bellsouth.net or mary@mindspring.net.
  4. Your email password.

Setting up Outlook Express

Start Outlook Express, then:

  1. Click Tools
  2. Click Accounts
  3. Click Add
  4. Click Mail...
  5. Display Name: Your Name as you want it to appear on emails
  6. E-mail address: youraccount@yourISP.net (Same as question 3 above.)
  7. My incoming mail server is a POP3
    Incoming mail server: answer to #1 above
    Outgoing mail server: answer to #2 above
    Click Next>
  8. Account name: answer to #3 above
    Password: answer to #4 above
    Make sure Remember password is checked
    Click Next>
  9. You're done - click Finish

If you're coming from any of the following common ISP's, a link is provided:

If your ISP is not covered, consult their web site or do a Google search on:

+"outlook express" +servicename (like AOL)


Moving from Client Mail to Web Mail

You really don't have to do anything. If client mail is set up, you can still access your mail with web mail. Handy, if you are on vacation or out-of-town on a trip.

If you really want to delete your client mail account, bring up your client mail program, highlight the account and remove or delete it.

Other e-mail clients

Two of the other popular e-mail client programs are Mozilla Thunderbird and Eudora. Both Thunderbird and Eudora are free and unlike Outlook Express have a built in spell check and a Bayesian spam filter.

In 2006, Mozilla acquired Eudora from Qualcomm.

You can download either here:




Notes on Eudora:

Eudora was named for Eudora Welty, the Southern author and her short story "Why I Live at a the P.O.".

The relationship between Eudora (the mail system) and Mozilla (the web browser) is rather incestuous. Both originated at the the University of Illinois Center for Super Computing Applications, Urbana-Champaign in the early 1990's. Eudora (the mail system) was originally UIUCMail and Mozilla was the code name for the very first web browser ultimately named Mosaic. The same team developed both. The mail system was sold to Qualcomm Corp and Mozilla programmers formed Netscape Corp. When Netscape was bought by AOL, the developers left and formed Mozilla. Now they are one big happy family again.