« Best UI Intro *Ever* - nontroppo's Wonderful World of Visual Tutorials | Main | What Happened to Oprah 1.0? - Chicken Suits and Freedonia »

April 26, 2005

WebMail is for Intellectual Midgets

I suppose this isn't strictly an Opera post, but well.

I'm always a bit surprised when I see large numbers of people complaining about how GMail doesn't work properly in Opera - obviously now fixed (not for me though, since Proxo's filters are fucking it up somehow). I would have thought the most important thing about GMail is that it offers POP3 access - as well as free SMTP, which to be fair is something I actually find could be of great use.

But to use it primarily through the browser? I'm sorry, but Opera has a perfectly respectable e-mail client - and really any e-mail client is going to offer so much more flexibility and speed and power than the poky web interfaces available. And with GMail's storage/options, your mail can still be accessible remotely via the web interface when you must. I'd be pimping more for M2, but I still prefer Outlook - especially with the new(ish) vertical views and less restrictive html blocking that I've yet to find in any other mail client.

Can someone tell me really why anyone would use web based mail other than because they can't figure out how to configure a client or they're away from their primary work machine? If you have a GMail account, move today - you'll no longer get ads and smtp is free. First you enable POP, then you set up your mail client. The instructions are pretty generic, so if you're using M2, I'm sure you'll be able to figure it out. The important thing is to enable secure SMTP and use the right ports. Personally I still think Outlook Express is a viable enough e-mail client, and it comes with Windows.

If you already have an smtp account, say via your ISP, but you still want an agnostic mail service so you can move ISPs without losing your e-mail address, try Fastmail.fm, who offer free IMAP (my protocal of choice) - I've been using them for years now, and if nothing else, they're small enough that people aren't keen enough to use dictionary spam attacks on it. Using them I've been spam free, except when I deserved it. Actually nowadays since I have proper hosting here at fallingbeam.org, I just use the unlimited mail accounts available. I doubt I'd be moving web hosts (ICDSoft is pretty good), so I feel pretty secure, and I can get whatever names I want, and if spam comes, I can just remove the account. SMTP has been a bit flaky in the past, but I tend to use these mainly as incoming boxes.

And of course most ISPs offer mail services - but as I said I prefer to be able to move ISPs and not have to fret about my e-mail addresses.

Posted by subtitles at April 26, 2005 12:36 PM | Opera Boggling

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


I have never used my ISP's email or the webmail that comes installed with my site. I have always been a big fan of interfaces and popularity of the email server that I use to host my site. I switched from hotmail to yahoo, and then to gmail. Perfectly sane :)

Posted by: Oliver at April 27, 2005 12:01 AM