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What is an Email Client?

An application that runs on a personal computer or workstation and enables you to send, receive and organize e-mail. It's called a client because e-mail systems are based on a client-server architecture. Mail is sent from many clients to a central server, which re-routes the mail to its intended destination.

An email client or an email program lets you compose, send, receive and manage email messages. There are tons of free and commercial email clients in the market and I am sure you would be familiar or would have at least heard of Outlook Express, Outlook, Thunderbird... No? Well, that's where this article will help you.

Why do I need an email client?

There are different types of email accounts such as those provided by online services likeGmail, or the one offered by your Internet Service Provider (I.S.P. like Comcast), or those from your web site and office.

You don't need an email client if you are satisfied with accessing a webmail account (like Gmail or Hotmail) using a web browser. But if you have several email accounts that you check at regularly or want the ease of reading your email even without a net connection, an email program is way to go.

Imagine the convenience of checking both your Gmail and Hotmail email addresses at one place - no need to open two browser windows! Additionally, email management is also an integral feature of any decent client that can help you organize messages into folders. Message rules, found in several popular email programs, can automatically have incoming emails segregated into specified folders, deleted or even replied to!

So how to email clients work?

In order to send and receive messages, the only thing an email client requires is that you have those email accounts configured in the program. For instance, in Windows Live Mail, the latest email client from Microsoft, you can setup Hotmail, configure Gmail and add and setup web site email accounts in a couple of minutes - you can find detailed step by step instructions on this web site, simply click on the link above.

Once email accounts have been configured, you can start composing, sending out and receiving emails. Since messages from all accounts arrive at one place, you don't have additional programs, like web browsers, cluttering your work space.

Most email programs come with their own bells and whistles allowing you to dress up your email messages using stationery and pictures, apply fancy signatures to emails you compose or reply to, add smilies and much more.

How do I get an email program?

There are several in the market and you can find one you like from the list of email clients. If you are working on Windows, chances are, you already have an email program that came pre-installed with the operating system. This default email program was Outlook Expressfor Windows 98 and Windows XP and Windows Mail for Windows Vista. However, Microsoft has stopped the development and support for these "older" email clients and releasedWindows Live Mail software that offers a lot more including Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo!Mail set up, an automated Junk email filter, a blogging tool, an RSS reader, a photo-email utility that lets you send large photographs and images without clogging the inbox of your recipients and much more. To get help and step by step detailed instructions, refer theWindows Live Mail help for download and installation.

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