Microsoft Outlook is a popular email service that is widely used by both individuals and multinational companies. But it is not a cheap email program. If you are looking for free alternatives to Microsoft Outlook, you have come to the right place. This article summarizes the best free alternatives available out there.
Webmail is simply a website that you can access to manage your emails. All email services, including Gmail and your ISP, provide webmail features. Each provider offers its own features. The highlight of webmail is there is no need for special software. You simply need to go the website and log in with your email id and password so you can use webmail anywhere in the world.
Claws Mail’s interface is similar to Outlook Express which was the precursor of Microsoft Outlook. Claws Mail offers all the functionalities of a modern email client. It supports both IMAP and POP protocols for email, has the capability to filter mail, and offers modern security, an integrated address book as well as color labels.
Other highlights of Claws Mail are its simple toolbar layout, and folder management features. On the flip side, this email client offers a few outdated options, and it can be difficult to set up a new account.
Windows Live Mail (WLM)
WLM can be described as Outlook minus a few features. It is great for individual home users. WLM integrates easily with other Windows Live products like Photo Gallery and Calendar. However, WLM is not the best tool for productivity as it does not include tagging or smart folders. Plus, it does not offer any templates.
WLM is ideal for those who want to use a basic email client for easy and quick access to their mail. It is recommended for its excellent search feature and spam filtering.
Windows 8 Mail App
Windows 8’s email application is called Mail. It links directly with the Calendar and People apps to provide easy access to your appointments and contacts. Mail has a sleek and beautiful full screen interface. It is also very easy to add an account to this app. Simply select your account type and log in with your email id and password.
A major drawback of Windows 8 Mail is that it supports only IMAP accounts and Microsoft email services like Live Mail and Hotmail. You cannot use email providers that support only POP accounts on this app. On the plus side, Windows 8 Mail is simple to navigate and has an excellent message preview feature.
Thunderbird is a product of Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox web browser. It has been designed as an alternative to Outlook. Thunderbird is an advanced email client that offers many features that are not present even in Outlook. For example, it has excellent privacy and security options to protect business email and personal data.
Thunderbird’s online store offers tons of free add-ons and themes that you can use to customize the program’s look and functionality. Another advantage is you can import emails from many different programs. Disadvantages are difficulty in configuring the client as well a high number of options which may not interest the layman user.
Mailbird has carved a good reputation for itself among both industry experts and layman users. It has a simple interface that is easy to use. Similar to Thunderbird, you can use Mailbird’s app store to add more features and customize this email client to your taste.
The drawbacks are similar to Windows 8 Mail, Mailbird supports only IMAP accounts. And, the free version features ads that can be a bother to some people.
Inky is a beautiful-looking email program that is becoming quite popular nowadays. It offers plenty of features, and supports both IMAP and POP accounts. Inky has automatic setup for many different email types. Advanced users can use Inky’s various filters to organize their emails. However, business users may not like the fact that this email program currently does not support Exchange email accounts.
Basic users can try webmail, or simple programs like Inky or Windows Live Mail. For advanced users, Mailbird or Thunderbird is recommended. As mentioned earlier, all the email programs described above are free, so download any one of them and give it a try.