Why not have the best of both worlds?
by darrenforster99 - 7/20/12 2:06 AM
There are quite a number of good reasons to have web based e-mails vs e-mails on Outlook.
1. All your e-mails are backed up on large corporation servers - Far less risk of e-mails disappearing from say hard drive failure, or security being compromised by virus attack. Of course that's not to say it doesn't happen, it's just a lot less likely.
2. All your e-mails are available online at any computer system, tablet, or smartphone you can get your hands on, even going into the library or something.
3. It doesn't take up that much space on your hard drive as it's all stored on line.
Of course there are some bad points.
1. If someone manages to obtain or guess your password they can then gain access to and see all your e-mails online. In the case of them being on your computer if someone was to gain your username and password for that then the only thing they could see would be the most recent e-mails that have been sent to you.
2. It uses data whenever you go in and view and e-mail. Not too bad if your on an unlimited data usage plan, but if you've got limited data usage or are charged per megabyte (like some mobile networks do) you can quickly rack up a huge bill.
3. It uses bandwidth each time you want to read your e-mail. Again not too bad if your on a super-fast broadband connection (well here I have 2mbps connection and I find that more than ample enough for accessing my e-mails), but if your on a slower connection (like maybe 56k dial-up) then you may see speed issues, or if your sharing your internet with a number of other devices at the same time.
Alternatively there are a few ways you can have the best of both worlds. You can have it that you have both your e-mail as webmail and going through the internet and there are two ways to do this.
The easiest way is to setup your e-mail system, like Outlook, to connect to the e-mail server through IMAP rather than POP3. The settings differ depending on who you use for your e-mail, and in Gmail there is an option to enable IMAP. IMAP is far better than POP3 as it connects to your e-mail server the same way as POP3 but it downloads all your online folders and messages, so if you've got filters in place that will send emails to various folders, or you file certain e-mails in various folders, IMAP creates the folder structure online, whilst still allowing you to view your e-mails through Outlook. The good thing with this is that when you login to your online e-mail account you will find that any e-mails you've filed away in various folders on Outlook will mirror exactly what is on your webmail account so you will know where everything is (this is as long as you create the folders within the main account folder - e.g. in the case of something like Gmail the "Gmail" folder). In addition to this any e-mails you may have already downloaded via Outlook, if you use drag and drop you can drag and drop them onto the account folder, and they will be uploaded back into webmail, so even if you change you can easily put your existing e-mails into webmail with very little trouble.
You can use an IMAP connection with many e-mail clients out there such as Outlook, iPhones, Android, Windows Mobile/Phone, Blackberry, iPads, Tablets, webmail, etc and they'll all recreate the same folder layout as each other which is really good if you use e-mails on numerous devices.
The other option is to still use POP3, but in POP3 there is an option to leave the messages on the server. You need to click Tools and then Account Settings and go into the Advanced Tab to change these settings. If you tick the box in Outlook to "leave a copy of messages on the server" and "remove messages from server when deleted" then Outlook will leave your messages on the webmail account until you delete them from outlook (or until you delete them from the webmail - the only problem with this is that if you delete them from webmail you also need to go back and delete them from Outlook as well. If you use the IMAP route above then it will sync both Outlook and webmail at the same time and the message will be gone from both).