By the term “Webmail”, we describe two particular things. One is the Webmail client. An email client is implemented as a web application. For this implementation, you will need access to a web browser. In this article, we will focus on this particular term.

Another use of this word is done to describe a email service that is web based. This email service is offered via a website like Yahoo!, Gmail, AOL Mail etc. in practical, email access offered by a webmail provider is done by use of a webmail client. Most of them use standard email protocols via desktop in order to provide email access. On the other hand, most of the internet service providers offer a webmail client that is part of the email service included in the internet service package.

In case of any web application, main advantage of the webmail over using a desktop email client is the email sending and receiving ability anywhere from web browser. The main disadvantage is that you will need to keep it connected to the internet while using it. (If you install Gears, you can use the webmail client of Gmail). For integrating different parts of the webmail functionality into the operating system, there are other existing software tools. (an example is to create messages  directly via MAP by the help of third p[arty applications ).

Rendering And Compatibility


While using both desktop client and webmail client by the use of POP3 protocol, the users may find it difficult.  For instance, downloaded email messages on the desktop client that are removed from the server will not be available in the webmail client any longer. Before the desktop email client downloads messages, there is limitation on the user to preview these messages. In contrast, if you use IMAP4 protocol for using both desktop client and webmail client, the mailbox contents will be consistently displayed in both the clients. Also if you perform any action on the messages in one interface, it will be reflected if you access email using the other interface. As far as rendering capabilities of webmail is concerned, there are noteworthy differences between Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Windows Live Hotmail. Due to the variations in using HTML tags like <head> and <style> along with rendering inconsistencies in CSS, email marketing companies send cross-platform mail by using older development techniques. This means relying greatly on online stylesheets as well as tables.

Privacy Concerns


Despite of reading accessibility of email service providers in case of server stored emails (other than encryption), some explicit concerns regarding webmail have arise. Most of the popular webmail services have the tendency to use targeting ads along with online spam filters (rather than client based one). What these services do is to search certain keywords via email and though service providers can claim that none of the humans read the emails, some of the providers have make it possible forcibly so that the users can get on without this feature. As browsing the web is the most anticipated way to view inbox, webmail providers store the emails for a longer time compared to that of the usual providers, who delete emails from their servers most often once send to the email client.

Another big concern is that most of the webmail service providers are located in USA, so they are subjected to the Patriot Act. It means that US authorities have the capability of demanding to a company an user’s overall information without letting the user even know. Even the residence of the user or nature of the stored information is not a big deal.

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