Is Webmail Better? - Comments Page 1

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Posted by:

Lee Doan
12 Apr 2007

Bob, You didnt mention what I think is the biggest drawback to web-based email. I have an account with, and what annoys me is the advertising. I could always ignore it before, but lately when I go to check my email, I get audio advertising - loud tones and voices blaring at me and I've had to mute my audio. Another thing that bugs is that they dont give you near enough spam filters.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Loud audio advertising? I'd drop that in a heartbeat. You might want to try Gmail...

Posted by:

Bill Morris
12 Apr 2007

Bob, One advantage that you neglected to mention with a web based email is the ability to access it at work without violating acceptable use policy. I have work email forwarded to my gmail account and can check work emails both at work and anywhere else. Gmail can be downloaded (if you want) to your computer. It also has a spell check (Firefox has one, too so you could use it and not worry). I have Thunderbird, but it has been a while since I have even used that. Since I use more than one computer, I alway have access to my emails. They are never left on another computer. My isp provides me with 7 addresses, and professionally I have two more. Gmail is still the primary email I use.

Posted by:

17 Apr 2007

1. Yahoo mail once wiped out all I had saved because, they claimed, I hadn't checked email for 4 months.

2. Gmail seems to want me to import everything from my Eudora.

3. I am afraid it will be like Homestead which was free to begin with, but after I had spent weeks on my site, they started to charge, first $30 but it has gone up to $100.

Posted by:

Chris Decker
26 Apr 2007

I've been using GMail for well over a year now, and haven't had any trouble with it. It hasn't required me to upload anything, although it did offer to import my address book. One thing I do like about GMail is the fact they allow free POP3 access. I'd used Hotmail and Yahoo both before they started charging for that feature. Yes, there is the possibility that Google will start charging in the future, but it's unlikely. All in all, I'm quite satisfied with GMail and hope to use it for a long time to come.

Posted by:

26 Apr 2007

I love web-based e-mail. I have 4 different accounts, and have mail from a list go to two of them so in case one is down for service I won't miss anything. I particularly like the features of and I closed my gmail account because of ads. On my two of other e-mails I don't get ads, and all but lycos are great at screening out spam.

If I want to save something I can save it in the mail or copy and paste onto a Word document. They save sent mail and trash but empty trash periodically. I also like the fact that I can access my mail from anyh computer anywhere.

Posted by:

26 Apr 2007

I tried gmail but even on a broadband connection I found it too slow to be of any use so reverted back to my computer based account. I only use one computer and travel infrequently so there is no advantage to me of accessing my account away from home, besides there are always options to getting my email if necessary.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Must have been a bad day... I use Gmail because it's lightweight and FAST!

Posted by:

26 Apr 2007

To Viv: Many free mail providers close an account if its unused for several months. Thats how I got rid of my spam-filled hotmail account. Theres no delete way. Its possible that if you had scripts or cookies blocked that it may not have recorded your login. Gmail may ask if you want to import Contacts etc from your local email client but its optional. And it doesn't delete your email as "spam" without you knowing about it which some do.

Bob: I can think of a couple of other issues with webmail accounts like the ones mentioned.

For one, you have no local backup of your email so if there is a hiccup like Viv mentioned, its gone. That could be fatal for a business. In that instance, I would use it as a remote copy for things like traveling but have it also forward to a standard POP account you can download.

Secondly, free email accounts have a bad reputation. Especially Hotmail and AOL. Some business sites won't accept them for contact. For a professional "look" its much better if you have a more professional domain.

Finally, its worth mentioning that most ISP's now provide web access to email so you can choose to use webmail or a client. The issue of being tied to an ISP is avoided by getting your own domain and using it with the ISP.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I do exactly what you mentioned for email backup. My is forwarded to Gmail and a regular POP inbox.

Posted by:

Anthony Balch
26 Apr 2007

I use Gmail as you can see, but I have recently been introduced to a new webmail called Squirrel, and although only one week of use it seems to offer most of the essentials one finds in Thunderbird.

Posted by:

Billy Ethridge
26 Apr 2007

An excellent web-based email -- one that allows you to pay a little more and substantially increase the storage -- is For $9.95 you can get rid of the one-line advertising "footer." Up to 30GB storage.

Posted by:

26 Apr 2007

Something else in Gmail's favour. They offer free POP access, so you get the best of both worlds - download your mail to your computer or, if you're travelling, use their webmail service.

Posted by:

Ron S
26 Apr 2007

In your article you state that "Webmail frees you from your Internet Service Provider." While I agree that not having your email tied to your ISP is a good thing, it is not really relevant to whether or not you use webmail. My ISP provides an email address that I can use with a POP3 client or via Webmail. Other email providers such as Gmail also allow you do likewise.

I definitely recommend getting an email address separate from your ISP. Whether you want to use webmail or not is a completely separate issue, based on all other valid issues you covered in the article. Your readers might be interested in checking out It's a free email service that provides a lot of free extras such as photo posting and online storage. It seems to be a very good site.

EDITOR'S NOTE: It's true, some ISPs offer their own branded webmail service. If you're going to go to webmail, I do recommend that it be separate from your ISP.

Posted by:

Vernon B
26 Apr 2007

My two favorites is GMail and Yahoo (Beta) in that order. GMail gives you more options for free, like forwarding, Pop3, and the ability to collect email from other Pop3 mailboxes. Also like the ability to Pop3 email and have it Archive the downloaded messages instead of only two options of delete or leave in the Inbox. This creates a nice little Web mail access and still use your favorite desktop email client. Also if you set it up correctly sent items from you desktop email client will also be in GMails sent items as well.

Posted by:

26 Apr 2007

Bob: You should also mention the implications of having all your e-mail correspondence and address book on some freebie server. If they go down or out of business (or boot you), you are dead meat; and if its ever hacked, your least favorite enemy will have a ton of fun and may do insufferable damage with your little gift to them. And after you dump them (or they dump you) what reason do they have to keep any confidences? Food for significant additional thought, no?

EDITOR'S NOTE: The same thing could happen with a regular POP inbox at your ISP...

Posted by:

Sean Taggart
27 Apr 2007

Get the Best of Both (and some of the other). For the last month I have been using thunderbird installed on a pen drive ( ). With this I collect all my Gmail, hotmail and RSS feeds in the morning at home then read them wherever I am during the day.

Thunderbird can read most webmail accounts if the webmail extension is installed however most webmial providers will not permit sending in this manner. To send you will need a POP3 account like Gmail (which is free and available anywhere you have an internet connection).

An additional note, somewhat off topic: Bob is the King. :-)

Posted by:

28 Apr 2007

I have gmail, Hotmail, MSN and Yahoo webmail with my slow dialup and have never had a problem. I uninstalled Outlook Express and never learned how to use it or what to do with it. I guess what you don't know wont hurt you.

Posted by:

29 Apr 2007

Are you sure of your facts? I believe Yahoo mail now allows UNLIMITED email storage. I've been using it for many, many years and am very pleased. Once their server got infects with a virus and they had to find backups of all my mail. It all came in one folder, which I then had to re-sort into all my usual storage folders, but otherwise it's been great. I'm very impressed by the efficiency of Yahoo at identifying spam.

By the way, periodically my students find that the attachments they sent to themselves on their Hotmail account refuse to download. another teacher in another part of our school system and have never seen that on a Yahoo email account.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Yahoo currently offers 1GB, but they will begin rolling out unlimited storage in May.

Posted by:

29 Apr 2007

Hi Bob, I like Gmail for several reasons. Hotmail filters out emails randomly, Yahoo bounces more often than not. Gmail is not only an almost-instantaneous delivery, it self-refreshes so that when new mail arrives, I don't have to hit "refresh", it does so automatically. I like the threading feature as well as the fact that when I am connected to Gtalk (its chat program), new mail notifications come in automatically as well. All 'round excellent program, and because it is still in beta stages, I'm betting it will get even better. Thanks for everything ya do!

Posted by:

Robert R Brandt
02 May 2007

I live in Brazil, and have webmail at work. Recently the server at work was hacked (could happen to anyone) and the administration opted for a re-install. Since then I have been unable to login to my company webmail. But I have set it up to forward my email to my gmail account, and now I can read it on any of the various computers I work with.

There is one computer I sometimes use which is a very old, slow PC. On this particular PC, once I log into gmail, I have to switch to "basic HTML" to read my emails. Otherwise the time it takes to refresh the page with all the fancy scripts is longer than the refresh rate, and it gets into a loop and I can't get it to do anything useful.

I've been a subscriber to the TOURBUS for some time. Keep up the good work, Bob.

Posted by:

04 May 2007

I rarely use web based email anymore since I can access all addresses from from any where. Their site allows me to delete email from my server, off of and also use it the same as any email software. I don't have to sign up or register to use it either plus they also have a secure connection. I was told about by my server 8 or 9 years ago and have used it many times even at home when my OE isn't working.

Posted by:

24 May 2007

You state "Many people would like to switch to another ISP, but they don't want to lose their email address". If you don't already have a domain name, aren't you faced with changing your existing ISP email address to your new gMail, Hotmail or Yahoo address?? How do you keep your existing ISP provided address when you switch to the likes of gMail?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Many (not all) ISPs allow you to forward email to another address. If you forward your ISP mail to your webmail, you're good to go.

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