An email has become a necessity in every professional’s daily life. There are multiple types of email accounts available online. Around 200 billion emails are sent per awe-inspiring day. Even though office chat platforms are available for communication, email is still required for several things like networking, job recruitment, downloading resources, transferring files, setting reminders, meeting with colleagues, and so much more.
But sadly, not all types of email accounts are free. Also, the free email services might not be simple to use or may not have all the features you require. Therefore it is a challenge to find the best email accounts at no cost that balances the right elements with usability.
#2 Types of Email Accounts
Table of Contents
- 1 #2 Types of Email Accounts
- 1.1 Email Clients
- 1.2 Webmail
- 1.3 Email Protocols
- 1.4 POP3 – Email Protocols
- 1.5 IMAP – Email Protocols
- 1.6 Microsoft Exchange – Email Protocols
- 1.7 Conclusion
For choosing the types of email accounts, you should search for a functional spam filter, enough storage space, user-friendly interface, mobile access, what types of advanced features are included, like messaging, filters, ability to import other data, and also the availability of a desktop client.
In this blog, we have tried to highlight a few of the essential aspects that will help you to select the best email accounts according to your requirements.
There are two main types of email accounts that you can select: Email Clients and Webmail. If you want to use your email from another device or location online, you can use any one of three major email protocols: POP3, IMAP, and Exchange.
Email clients are software applications that you can install on your computer to manage the email you send and receive. To use these types of email accounts, the client links with a remote email server. Examples of Email clients are Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, and Apple Mail.
To access these types of email accounts from the web, instead of the client’s computer application, the email client uses the email protocols. For instance, although you might have Outlook installed on your computer, you can also log in to your email account through outlook.com using a specific email protocol.
Below are the pros and cons of Email Clients:
Pros of Email Clients
- Number of email accounts can be tracked in one place, without signing in and signing out of accounts
- It is not dependent on Internet connectivity and bandwidth
- Pre-downloaded emails can be viewed offline
- When you track multiple email accounts, reverting to a mail writes the proper ‘From’ email address on it automatically
- You can back up your mail database as many times as you wish and store it on your computer
- You can back up and store large email database files on the cloud for free
Cons of Email Clients
- You can use it only if you have Windows, Linux or Mac OS
- Installation and configuration of the email client is time-consuming
- Synchronization between multiple computers and devices can be troublesome
- Not so simple to use
- It is not worth installing a desktop email client to track one email account
Webmail is one of the types of email accounts that you can use mainly from the internet. Therefore it exists on the cloud instead of your computer. You can manage your emails right from your internet browser rather than fetching your email from an installed application.
Webmail is one of the best email accounts that can be operated using a standard web browser. It differs with email service available via a specialized email client software.
Several internet service providers provide webmail as part of their internet service package. At the same time, many web hosting providers also issue webmail as a part of their hosting package.
Examples of Webmail include Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and AOL. If you want to access your webmail from a mail app on your mobile device, rather than your desktop web browser, your webmail provider can use the email protocols explained below.
Below are the pros and cons of Webmail:
Pros of Webmail
- You can use it for free of cost
- No need to install any app on your computer and learn how it works
- No installation is required because cloud applications are provided in the browser
- As it is a web-based email client, you are not tied to any platform such as Windows, Linux or Mac
- You can use cloud-based email service on all devices without any dispute or synchronization issue
- There is no need to update cloud applications as they are updated automatically by the provider
- You can log in to your web-based email account from anywhere using any device
- No need to download or save email data on your computer
Cons of Webmail
- Webmail does not provide the advanced features like snoozing emails, scheduling them to be sent later, etc.
- An internet connection is a must. If you can’t connect for any reason, your email is not accessible to you
- It is time-consuming and not so easy or convenient to click through new browser tabs and switch back and forth
- When you use a browser, you may feel tempted to browse the websites under the other tabs
- You may fail to notice an essential email if you close the tab in your inbox
- You can’t work with multiple email accounts in one tab
Email protocols are the frameworks that fetch your email for you. They can be used to retrieve email client accounts on the web, and bring webmail accounts on a mobile app. There are multiple protocols involved in email accounts. Each of these protocols performs a sort of different functionality.
The primarily used protocols are- IMAP, POP3, and Exchange. These are a few types of email accounts one would come across while using an email client. The protocol details can be acquired through the server settings built on the email client being used.
POP3 – Email Protocols
POP3 stands for Post Office Protocol (version 3), consisting of mailboxes for email systems so that a user can fetch email from the central location where the email is stored. Also, we have POP3 mailboxes assigned to us.
We can receive the email @ of our domain name, which is allowed by the POP3 account, as it confirms that we have mailboxes on the server to receive and send emails on that account. In this way, POP3 allows users to access mailboxes and download messages on their computers.
To set up the best email accounts like POP3 for your web address, your domain must be hosted on a server, which has name servers. POP3 allows a client to fetch mail using a TCP or IP connection; it does not send an email, which is done using SMTP or some other method.
Those devices like laptops or mobile, which do not have a constant network connection, can benefit from POP, by holding their mail into its post box, until they can recover it.
Below are the pros and cons of POP3:
Pros of POP3
- It is easy to set up
- It gives access to users to have mailboxes on a server with their domain name
- Users can access mailboxes and download messages to their computers in a simple standard way
- Internet connection is not required once the mail messages are delivered to the client PC
- Almost all email clients are supporting POP3
Cons of POP3
- No message syncing is provided
- Once the email is downloaded to a device, it vanishes from the server
- No contact, calendar, or data synchronization is done
- Since messages are downloaded to their mailboxes, the user will be able to view the messages from a PC only.
IMAP – Email Protocols
IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. Dissimilar to POP, IMAP talks back and forth with the mail server. For instance, if you download a new email in Outlook on your computer, it will also get downloaded to your mobile phone. If you open a message on your iPad, it will show as read on your laptop too. Moving emails from one folder to another is also synchronized.
IMAP is distinct from other mail systems in that messages are controlled directly on the email server, rather than downloaded to the user’s local machine first. This enables the user to use mail from a variety of locations and machines.
This process makes IMAP one of the best email accounts than other primary email accounts in use. IMAP is excellent at synchronizing; it also takes more processing power and can be liable for more mistakes.
Below are the pros and cons of IMAP:
Pros of IMAP
- Complete message synchronization is done
- It supports several devices and clients
- Flags and to-do items are also synchronized
- Messages saved on the server are downloaded to every new account
- When you delete or sent an email, all other devices will be updated accordingly
- The Email client is not required to access the mails on web
- Switching from one device to another does not require downloading all messages again, as they are controlled remotely
Cons of IMAP
- Issues can arise regarding synchronization
- If several people are using the same email account, message synchronization can make confusion
- All email providers do not support it
- Without internet connectivity, you won’t be able to view the content of recent emails
- It takes more time to check emails in IMAP than POP because every time your mail client is loading, it has to cross-check that the emails on your device are the same ones that are displayed online.
Microsoft Exchange – Email Protocols
The types of email accounts like Exchange operate on a Microsoft Exchange Server or use Office 365, which enables Exchange Server to send the email. Microsoft Exchange performs as the base to a centralized system for your emails, messages, calendars, and tasks. At the same time, Outlook is a desktop email client that is in synchronization with the Exchange Server.
The Exchange protocol enables the users to synchronize emails, contacts, calendars, and multiple features between email clients and services. The exchange runs smoothly on Windows Server operating systems. It’s easily accessible using Office 365 as ‘Hosted Exchange’ at a cheap per mailbox, per month cost. In essence, it can also be set-up locally on servers if needed.
Below are the pros and cons of Microsoft Exchange:
Pros of Microsoft Exchange
- Messages are also saved on the server
- All mobile email clients support exchange
- Contacts, calendars, and data are all synchronized
- It aids with the timeframe of planning meeting locations and for easy reservation without having to coordinate with different people
- The exchange allows for the creation of shared mailboxes
- It is an outstanding tool for directing users’ primary source of communication
Cons of Microsoft Exchange
- Synchronizing problems can occur
- Permissions for users on other calendars should be a little bit improved
- Mail discovery could also use a repair of its current process
- The online version for Exchange Outlook 365 should also be fixed up
Even though more than 80% of email is spam today, this type of communication is still one of the most widely used forms of communication in the world. It can be challenging to select the best email account for your needs. An email is a place where professionals spend a good portion of their day. It’s where you communicate with clients and management or your team.
There are no types of email accounts on this list that will disappoint you. The choice comes down to your requirements, the look and feel you like in an inbox, and how important security is to you.
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