Best Free Email Software

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Introduction

With so many clients now in the cloud, rather than on the desktop, email clients have certainly taken a turn over the past few years. So, to differentiate themselves, the desktop clients have become more advanced and offer more and more features to keep customers interested.

For most users finding a good email client can mean the difference between getting on with your work or hitting your head against a desk in frustration.

Here's a list of the best email clients reviewed and compiled to save you from heart/headache. For ease of use I've split the review into two different categories, desktop and web-based or mobile.

Desktop Email Clients

Thunderbird  

A free, open source POP and IMAP email client by Mozilla that works across multiple platforms.


Our Rating: 
5
License: Free (Open source)
Customizable and expandable through add-ons, intuitive user interface.
No native support for web-mail clients such as GMail or Hotmail.
Read full review...

Opera Mail  

A combined email database, news reader, mailing list organizer and RSS news feed reader, supporting both POP3 and IMAP protocols.


Our Rating: 
3.5
License: Free
Built-in spam filter works right out-of-the-box, easy and intuitive to use.
No support for secure message signing or encryption. No further updates.
Read full review...

eM Client  

A popular client for Windows supporting all popular webmails as well as POP3 and IMAP.


Our Rating: 
3.5
License: Free (Limited features)
Clean interface, easy to set up, import accounts from other clients.
Account restriction to only two email addresses in the free version
Read full review...

Foxmail  

An alternative to Thunderbird worthy of consideration.


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free
Intuitive and easy to use, has many of the same features as Thunderbird.
Help files are not very good.
Read full review...

IncrediMail  

Supports IMAP, POP3 and Webmail accounts with additional premium features.


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free (Limited features)
Easy set-up, supports POP3, IMAP and WebMail.
Need to upgrade for some features.
Read full review...

Web-Based Or Mobile Email Clients

Gmail  

The most popular webmail client at the moment, integrating deeply into the Google ecosystem and offering many features.


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Ads)
Can be linked to other Google Products e.g. Calender, Buzz, Talk.
Has advertising, a little cluttered in its present form, need to pay for additional storage.
Read full review...

Microsoft Outlook  

The new Hotmail with the modern user interface and some appealing features.


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free (Ads)
Modern user interface, import from other mail accounts, automated replies, filters and folders, built-in contacts, calendar and tasks.
Supported by ads.
Read full review...

Related Products and Links

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Editor

This software review is copy-edited by Glyn Burgess. Please help edit and improve this article by clicking here.

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Comments

Again, see my post above. I have used Thunderbird from around v4 to current v24.6.
I have emails stored in there going back to about 2003.
The only reason I lost email PRIOR to 2003 was I was using MS Outlook 2000 and it decided one day to upchuck and die and POOF gone.
Never has it been too heavy on resources, maybe a little slow, but when you consider the profile with all that email archived is approaching something like 2/3 to 3/4 of a GIG, well, it explains it.
-------
As for Opera Mail..YUK!
Tried it and never went back. Did NOT appreciate that it organizes your mail how it sees fit (oh yeah you can "tag" and all that) but it does NOT store them in a distinct layout on the drive (aka FOLDERS).

I too have used Thunderbird like for ever on Windows and Linux. I use mostly Linux and as I have emails coming in all the time the Firetray extension that let's me see the numerical count of new mails is a great bonus. Thunderbird collects from my Gmail, GMX and webmail accounts, all of which have some sort of tag system or message filter applied. There was one Windows version some time back that would suddenly stop collecting mails at the preset interval automatically, but apart from that I've never had a problem with either platform. MC - Site Manager.
Evolution is available for Windows but I never found it stable enough to use. http://www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/E-mail/E-mail-Clients/Evolution-fo... Even on Linux I had some severe issues such as a random desire to re-download mail that was already in one of my inboxes, and it would never auto connect to GMX if I had a torrent running. Thunderbird on the other hand has been fine on all my systems and I use it for both Linux and Windows. As with all data I keep it backed up and on the odd occasion when something does go astray (sometimes after an upgrade) I can always restore. eM Client is a better Evolution alternative for Windows (but limited accounts in free version) although no doubt some will complain that it's heavy. MC - Site Manager. http://www.emclient.com/

Thunderbird Users who would like to connect to MS Exchange based accounts may want to try the ExQuilla extension. I (personally) think this extension reduced the gap between Thunderbird & M$ Outlook by miles!

Please note that ExQuilla is beta software and still under development. You can check out the issues being experienced by users here. MC - Site Manager. http://mesquilla.com/2012/01/31/exquilla-microsoft-exchange-server-for-t...

There is new free e-mail client on market: Inky

Here is the link:

http://inky.com/

I am going to use it for now and we'll see if it is good. Of course it is highly recommended to try it.

Best regards

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