Accessing your email anywhere theres Internet access
By Roy Linker Associate Editor
Suppose like me, you are in a profession where you are on
thre road or at a
clients site more than you are at your own desk. Like most businesses today email is its life blood.
What do you do to keep current with your email throughout the day?
HIGH END / HIGH TECH SOLUTION
If money is no object, and you dont mind adding another
gadget to you ensemble, you might consider some sort of wireless solution.
These include a Laptop with a wireless modem, a PDA with wireless
communications like the Palm VIIx or a dedicated email pager like the
device to name just a few. Aside from having to carry them around, they have a couple
other downsides, cost being number one, and coverage area being the other.
Even when you are in an area with coverage signal strengths can be
weakened or blocked by environmental factors.
I recently purchased a Palm VIIx and had it connected to PalmNet.
During the two (2) days I had it I wasnt able to reliable send and
receive messages or browse the web. When
I did have a connection it was well below recommended strength levels, and it
was VERY SLOW.
In my humble opinion
not the way to go!
MIDDLE OF THE ROAD SOLUTION
This assumes you have a Laptop, Hand Computer of Palm of
some sort already and a modem. You
still have to carry it around with you but as long as you have your own dial-up
account you can plug in and get you mail where ever you can find an analog
.or digital phone with a converter.
This is a little better than the first option but you still
have to lug additional equipment around with you.
SIMPLE LOW END SOLUTION
These solutions are all Website based, that permit you to
access your email as long as you can use a computer with Internet connectivity
and an up to date browser.
All of these solutions require NOTHING be installed on the
system you access them with! Just
input the URL and youre ready to get or for that matter send email.
For all of these services its a good idea to know
your email address, password for the account, and finally the name of your POP3
server. Im aware that almost
everyone knows there user name but the password and POP3 Server may have been
entered once at setup time and forgotten. Make
up a little cheat sheet with this information, and keep it in your wallet for
emergencies. In most cases these
services will access your account with just your email address and password but
there are times when you have to go into greater depth and input the POP3
server. Once youve done this, it
If all you want to do is send and receive email from a POP
account with no bells and whistles MAIL2WEB is your answer.
At the entry screen input your email address and password, and within a
minute or so (depending on Internet traffic) youll have a copy of the mail
currently residing in your account on your mail server.
You can now read, reply, author new messages and one added perk delete an
email completely from the server so you wont have to deal wit it again when
you get back to the office.
$10 Annual Fee
WEBBOX has more features than MAIL2WEB.
You get 20MB of storage, can send and receive email, store and organize
your messages, build a contact list and bookmark list, and have a web accessible
calendar at your finger tips. All
of this for this for less than a dollar a month.
Your can create and apply filters, create a signature file and do just
about everything you do at your desktop system. WHAT A DEAL!
Unlike many FREE services with similar functions, there are no banners or
other annoyingly intrusive advertisements.
This is a KILLER APP which is powerful though simple to
use, and economical.
FREE POP MAIL SERVICES
These are usually made available by major Internet portals
like Excite, Yahoo (WWW.YAHOO.COM ) , MSN (WWW.MSN.COM
), etc. They provide a wide range of features (more than you might
ever want or use) designed to keep you on their site and exposed to the barrage
of advertisements. The core of
these services are equivalent to WEBBOX and dont require anything thing to be
installed on the system to access them. In
many cases however, there are installable components like MSN Messenger and
Yahoo pager. These instant access
applications can be very useful but when you are opportunistically getting on
the net from a borrowed system, not too practical.
To get around this, AOL (WWW.AOL.COM
)and their Instant messenger have a version called AIM Express which is an
entirely web based version of Instant Messenger.
It runs a little slower than the installed version but its an
These portals usually require you to sign up for yet
another email account (like you need or want it).
I didnt want one but you have no choice in the matter.
I never use the email accounts these services provide but without fail, I
receive a dozen or so emails a day, mostly spam, and most of there content is
suspect. I used ton use the portal
based email systems when I was out of the office until they became so jammed
that you couldnt even log in. It you did get in, they were worse than a snail.
The heavy subscription to these services have made them unreliable tools
for the serious professional.
With the Internet being
ubiquitous, where ever you are you can usually find an Internet connected system
more easily than you can find a pay phone.
With the expenditure of little (WEBBOX) or no money (MAIL2WEB), you can
access your POP mail anywhere.
There is no need to purchase new gadgets at high ticket
prices and questionable reliability to stay in touch with your business.