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What is Webmail?

What is Webmail

Webmail is a cloud-based service or Web-based email system that allows you to access and use your email from almost anywhere through an internet connection. Unlike Thunderbird or Microsoft Outlook, it does not need software installation. It is a kind of service, which is provided by certain companies and ISPs (Internet service providers).

Especially, these kinds of server-based email systems are more popular for younger users. As with Microsoft Outlook, where emails are stored on-site in the hardware storage drive and logging into a connection with the server is needed to get email; so, in this situation, these services provide an appropriate option to email services.

For people who frequently away from their computers and use multiple devices, Webmail is a great solution for those people. Gmail, Hotmail, and other mainstream providers are the common examples of webmail from Yahoo!, which offer huge amounts of storage, and almost all are free.

They are very calm to set up and use. Although experts have pointed out, these models have advantages and limitations. With client-side email, users do not need an internet connection to review old emails as they can be archived directly on the computer. However, with webmail, you always need an internet connection to review mails as they are available via the dedicated servers over a network connection. Like some resident systems, webmail systems do not need communications protocols; that is one of another benefit of webmail. Some of the less tech-savvy users are frustrated by mail delivery failures while using continue resident or non-webmail systems, but a webmail product helps to prevent that issue.

Why is webmail so popular?

Webmail accounts allow users to send, reply, read, organize their email into saving attachments and folders without the need of installing or using an email application software like Microsoft Outlook. The webmail service provides you a web page for accessing your email account and holds all of your emails on their computer systems and storage systems.

Some popular webmail services

In modern times, many webmail services are available for users, which are not software-based. Below, a list contains some the free webmail services.

  • Gmail: Gmail is a type of Webmail, a free Web-based e-mail service that allows users a gigabyte of storage for messages or other data. It is a very popular email service developed by Google. There are 1.5 billion active users of Gmail by October 2019.
  • Yahoo! Mail: It is a web and cloud-based messaging solution that is launched by the American company Yahoo! on 8 October 1997. You can connect with your email with one-tap access to your inbox with the help of Yahoo! Mail, and it had 225 million users by January 2020. You can use to create Yahoo account by using this link -
  • com: It is a free web-based e-mail service that allows you to send and receive e-mail on your computer. Somewhat, it is like Google's Gmail service but something different in terms of linking desktop Outlook data. Outlook has two types of versions: Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Outlook Express. To create an Outlook account, you can use this link
  • ProtonMail: Unlike Gmail and, it uses client-side encryption to protect user data and email content, which is founded in 2013. To create a ProtonMail account, use this link -
  • Zoho: It holds a lot of potential for businesses, which is the first of the lesser-known free email accounts for making a list. It is an email service that very user-friendliness. It provides an easier way to accomplish all of your daily tasks by integrating with Google Drive, cloud-based file managers, Box.
  • GMX Mail: GMX Mail is a free advertising-supported email service that may be accessed via POP3 and IMAP4 protocols as well as through webmail. It is provided by GMX (Global Mail eXchange) in Germany in 1997 that offers 65GB of storage.

Are all webmail accounts the same?

Commonly, they are also known as IMAP accounts, as most webmail accounts use IMAP. With a web browser, all webmail accounts cannot be used. IMAP short for Internet Message Access Protocol, which is a kind of email account service. On the email service's computers, this kind of email protocol keeps a master copy of all emails; therefore, it is used by numerous webmail accounts. Without the need for software running the email service, any email account can be accessed by webmail over the internet using a Web browser.

Microsoft Exchange is not IMAP, which is used in business and government as it is a common application. However, a webmail option is included in the Microsoft Exchange, known as OWA (Outlook Web Access).

Advantages of Webmail

As Webmail allows you to access and use your email through an internet connection; it offers various you benefit. Some are discussed below:


One of the most important advantages of webmail is convenience, which is beneficial at the time when you travel frequently and work from remote locations. With the help of using an internet connection, you can access and use it through any computer. Public access terminals like libraries and hotels are included in it. No matter where you access your account because all your messages will be stored centrally; hence, you can review all your messages.


Usually, big providers provide basic webmail services free of cost. Also, some premium services are also offered by some providers.

Retain Your Address

Another benefit of webmail is that you do not need to change your old email address, even if you have changed Internet providers. That allows you to restore your old contacts, and when your contacts are trying to get in touch with you, they do not need to worry about all of your contacts remembering your latest address.

Large Storage

One of the biggest advantages of webmail is storage capacity. It means the storage in gigabytes or unlimited storage is offered by big webmail providers that allows you to save a large number of messages as well as large attachments. Therefore, freeing up space for other things, you do not require to keep all that data on your own computer.

Disadvantages of Webmail

Although webmail offers users the multiple benefits, it also has some limitations; which are discussed below:

Personal Name

You may be unable to create an address on webmail using the name you had in mind or your own name as it has a large customer base. Whenever you try to create an address on webmail with your own name, it may be this name has taken by another one. Therefore, you cannot address using your own name. You can create an address with a memorable and simple email address that is available. Also, using webmail for business purpose may be a disadvantage because it is considered by many people that the webmail addresses is unprofessional.


From advertisers, webmail providers have to get their revenue as you are using the service for free of cost. That means you are not allowed to carry personalized advertising, something traditional email services, and even you will have to put up with banners.

More Spam

Because of spammers' large customer base, they tend to target webmail services more as compared to traditional providers. Therefore, the spammer can find your address and bombard you even if you are cautious not to sign up for commercial services.

No Offline Working

Although broadband becomes more appropriate in terms of reliability, both are required to connect your device with the network to write, send messages, and as well as review messages. This means you will be unable to look at old emails if you are not connected to the internet, and even you cannot download your latest messages. Thus, a message cannot be composed offline and then connect and send it.

History of Webmail

In 1993, Web Mail was implemented for the first time as a test of the HTTP protocol stack and developed by Phillip Hallam-Baker at CERN, but its development was not continue. However, working webmail applications were produced by several people in the next two years.

Søren Vejrum's "WWW Mail", Remy Wetzels' "WebMail" and Luca Manunza's "WebMail," these were three implementations of webmail in Europe. Søren Vejrum's "WWW Mail" was released on February 28, 1995, which was whitened at the time he was studying and working at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. Remy Wetzels' "WebMail" was released in early January 1995 while he was studying for the DSE at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherland. Later 'Webex' was written by Matt Mankins and Lotus cc: Mail written by Bill Fitler that he demonstrated publicly at Lotusphere on January 24, 1995.

On 8 August 1995, at the University of Miami, Matt Mankins released his "Webex" application source code in a post to comp.mail.misc under the supervision of Dr. Burt Rosenberg. However, at the School of Construction, it was used as the main email application.

The development of Bill Fitler's webmail implementation was continued as a commercial product, which was announced and released for the World Wide Web 1.0 by Lotus in the fall of 1995 as cc: Mail. Later the name of Webex has changed to EMUmail within DotShop. And, before the sale to AccuRev in 2001, it would be sold to companies like UPS and Rackspace. Hotmail and Four11's RocketMail became very popular after they launched in 1996 as free services.

In the 1990s, progress increased in the field of webmail, and it became very easy to have access to webmail by the 2000s because:

  • Web hosting providers like Verio and internet providers like EarthLink started to include webmail into their service providing.
  • Many large corporations and universities began providing webmail in terms of accessing email to their user communities.
  • In order to as a free service to the general public, webmail service providers like Hotmail and RocketMail emerged in 1996 and rapidly became popular.

In some cases, webmail application software is obtained from software companies as part of an integrated mail server package. Netscape Messaging Server is an early example. In the 2010s, the sale of webmail application software has continued in the market.

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