Top 10 USA Email Programs

Mozilla Thunderbird

An adjunct to Firefox, this little gem is quick and compact.Tabbed email is the Next Big Thing. Over 1000 add-ons are available from the Thunderbird home page. It's open source. Download it here.

Coolest features: The RSS feed reader and the SPAM filter.

Mail.Yahoo.com

It's not just for Yahoo any more. The good folks at Yahoo allow you to hook into your other email accounts and manage incoming mail from the slick Yahoo Mail interface. The search feature alone makes it worth the price.

Create a free account here.

Coolest feature: It's free.

Gmail

The first free online email to offer unlimited strorage, Gmail interlocks and interweaves with other gfeatures such as Google Calendar, Google Reader, and Google Documents. Everyone already knows where to find it.

The coolest feature: the ability to forward your incoming gmail to your desktop client, like Outlook or Exchange Server.

Microsoft Exchange Server

Behold the immense behemoth sitting astride the email horizon. The Swiss Army Knife of email programs. Don't try to understand it. Don't even think about hardening it. Simply create hundreds of accounts and turn loose your users. When it works, it rocks.

Coolest features: Exchange Server seamlessly melds with Active Directory and it will talk to most mobile devices.

Incredimail

it's the email client that's not only useful, it's incredible. Actually it's closer to fun and playful. And free. Cute and playful features abound. Doll up your email with graphics, backgrounds, and emoticons. Probably not the best tool in a professional environment (unless you're a circus clown), it still makes sending and receiving spam much more enjoyable. Download it here.

Coolest features: it's free and it's visually engaging.

Gaggle.Net

The aptly named Gaggle works hard to protect users from the Internet and each other. Teachers and parents can create rules to limit usage, enforce filtering, and create social networks with some level of supervision. It's not free, but your kids' safety is worth something, right? Check it out here.

Coolest feature: A centralized point of control makes the Internet reasonably safe for young emailers.

Eudora

Eudora comes in both Mac and Windows versions. They're both free, but there's a rather hefty "Read me" file that comes with the installation program. Eudora has been around for many years; the current Release Notes file is dated 2006. Download the program here.

Coolest feature: You can configure songs from your downloaded music to play when you receive email.

Opera

These days the fashionable thing to do is develop an email program and an Internet browser. The two are somewhat related, but functionally very different. For whatever reason, Mozilla gives us Firefox (browser) and Thunderbird (email) while the Opera corporation gives us an email client and a browser both called Opera.

Coolest feature: mail presorter with some artificial intelligence. It learns by watching what you do with your mail.

SmarterMail

SmarterMail Enterprise is a web-based email client commonly provided by web hosting companies. Being completely web-based, it will run on most mainstream web browsers, regardless of the operating system. Users with administrative permissions can create accounts and configure mailboxes. Download a free copy here.

Coolest features: totally web-based and includes a server 'back-end' as well.

Outlook Express

It's free and it looks like Outlook. Never mind that it's an evil product from Evil Microsoft. Ignore that fact that it's intended to be a gateway product to full-blown Outlook, which costs real money.

Coolest features: it comes free with Windows and it looks like real Outlook.

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