Poll: Your primary e-mail retrieval method?

Most of us probably use e-mail one way or another at work. However, with cell phones, text messaging, and instant messaging having grown in popularity so much over the past few years, personal e-mail is easy to forget. Still, almost everyone out there has at least one personal e-mail address, even if it’s only used to gather spam and Amazon order confirmations.

That observation is what has led us to put together this week’s poll. In it, we ask how you usually go about collecting your personal e-mail. Do you generally rely solely on web-based e-mail like GMail, Yahoo Mail, or Hotmail; do you use traditional e-mail software in conjunction with your internet service provider’s mail server or another, third-party one; or do you use a Blackberry, iPhone, or other handheld device? Web-based e-mail is sure to be popular, but how does it compare with the alternatives among TR readers? Feel free to hit the poll, either further down on this page or on our front page, to vote and shed some light on the subject.

Our previous poll was about the best-looking PC games, and unsurprisingly, Crysis won hands-down with 51% of the vote. Other popular contenders were Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, BioShock, and Unreal Tournament 3. Half-Life 2: Episode Two and Team Fortress 2 were tied for fifth place, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl came dead last.

Comments closed
    • cheesyking
    • 12 years ago

    Email account is on my own home email server using postfix and courier.

    After setting up my own mail server I’m truly amazed at how quickly spammers descended on it! Within seconds of opening port 25 the logs starting showing “relay denied” errors for machines that looked like they were on far eastern DSL connections.

    • PetMiceRnice
    • 12 years ago

    I’ve been using Outleak Express for about 10 years now to fetch e-mail from my ISP. It’s easy and convenient and I’ve never had any problems. I do have a junk mail account on Yahoo which I give out to companies or people I’m not 100% comfortable with and it’s also good for what it is.

    • sativa
    • 12 years ago

    i have work email on my blackberry (we have a BES server) and my personal email on my blackberry via google’s gmail app.

    • packfan_dave
    • 12 years ago

    home/main personal email: my ISP account via Outlook/POP3 @home (or Outlook express/POP3 @ work)
    work: corporate account via Outlook/Exchange

    and I’ve got a couple of webmail accounts I use for various purposes.

    • fpsduck
    • 12 years ago

    @Office : POP3 via Outlook

    @Home : IMAP or POP3 (free email) via Outlook /
    Webmail (Yahoo, Hotmail, GMail, whatever) via FireFox

    • sigher
    • 12 years ago

    Nobody read email on a shell here with mutt and such?

      • bthylafh
      • 12 years ago

      See #10. I sometimes use mutt at work too, mainly to unfsck student email accounts that went over quota.

      • MagerValp
      • 12 years ago

      Yep, shell with VM under emacs.

      • sigher
      • 12 years ago

      I really like the convenience and speed at which you can delete spam in a shell with mutt, it’s even faster/smoother than pressing ‘all’ then ‘delete’ in the gmail spam folder.

        • indeego
        • 12 years ago

        Faster/better than: *a#

        Sweetg{

    • lucas1985
    • 12 years ago

    I pull my mail from various accounts using IMAP and POP3.
    My mail clients are Thunderbird and Mulberry (now Open Source)

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 12 years ago

    I use outlook for my hotmail, gmail, and my school e-mail. All stored locally on my laptop.
    I don’t know which option to vote for. I thought 1, but that’s not exactly accurate since I use a local client.

    • fantastic
    • 12 years ago

    Webmail and T-bird via POP at home. At work it’s Exchange <long digusted groan> via Outlook.

    • neon
    • 12 years ago

    Thunderbird to check several non-webmail accounts.

    All mail is pre-screened with MailWasher, so all spam (and viruses, if any) is deleted from the server, and never hits my inbox at all.

    Gmail for junk mail only – I’m not so comfortable with them data mining, marketing to, and keeping secret files on me and my correspondents. 😉

    • albundy
    • 12 years ago

    using several gmail accounts in outlook 2007. works like a charm. i killed off my hotmail accounts after too much hassle in forwarding emails to gmail, and outlook freezing up due to sync issues. hotmail really has nothing to offer these days.

    • oldDummy
    • 12 years ago

    lately I’ve been giving out my hotmail listing…

    • Tumbleweed
    • 12 years ago

    I can’t believe that many people use webmail – that’s scary if it’s Gmail. If Gmail wiggs out (as it has been known to do), you absolutely cannot get ahold of Google to get them to do anything about it. Hopefully they’ll bring it back automatically, but if they don’t, you’re pretty much fubar. I have Gmail forward to my ISP so I can check with a PC-based client, but I wouldn’t rely on it just sitting there, and can always give out my ISP email directly to my friends and family.

      • indeego
      • 12 years ago

      I’m freaking out here mang{

      • sigher
      • 12 years ago

      You know gmail supports POP and such, you can just get your gmail with any classical email client directly.

    • SecretMaster
    • 12 years ago

    I now have a $2100 email machine which is used to check my school email address, and my gmail account.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 12 years ago

      hahaha You don’t work for Microsoft anymore?

    • just brew it!
    • 12 years ago

    ISP account accessed via Seamonkey.

    • [SDG]Mantis
    • 12 years ago

    How about multiple e-mail accounts from various sources popped, via fetchmail, to a linux machine running a dovecot IMAP server which I access from PC, Mac, and Linux machines with Thunderbird? Linux box also runs spamassassin.

      • cygnus1
      • 12 years ago

      that sounds pretty interesting, might have to look into setting something like that up

    • BenBasson
    • 12 years ago

    I have the following craziness, which resulted in my vote of “other”:

    1) a webserver with two email addresses that I use (both forward traffic from whitelisted addresses and discard all else):
    – Paypal
    – Mozilla’s Bugzilla

    2) another webserver with a personal address that I use, standard POP access.

    3) an ISP email address that I’m moving away from, but still use, standard POP access.

    4) a Gmail account for my website contact address, I check this via IMAP.

    5) a university account that I check via IMAP

    This makes a grand total of four addresses that I actively check and two that forward to one of the above four.

    I use PopMan to check on my accounts (POP/IMAP system tray checker) and Thunderbird as my main client for all of them. On occasion, I use Gmail, Outlook2003 Web Access and my ISP’s webmail page when required, but I prefer not to, as with the exception of Gmail, they’re all hideous.

    • cygnus1
    • 12 years ago

    i got a couple of bitchin @email.com addresses almost a decade ago that are my primary addresses. have them setup to forward to ISP based pop3 accounts. that way if i change ISP’s i just redirect the forwarding.

    gmail kind of ticked me off, because even though i got an early invite my primary choices were already taken. and when i say whatever at Email.com, people often think i say Gmail.com

    • Buub
    • 12 years ago

    I run my own Exchange Server. I get my email via OWA primarily while away from home, though I also have it syncing with my PDA phone. At home, I use Outlook.

      • cygnus1
      • 12 years ago

      i’m was tempted to set that up myself, except comcast friggin blocks port 25 incoming. i’d have to pay for business service to unblock it

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 12 years ago

    Hotmail Live!

    • Prototyped
    • 12 years ago

    Several web-based services (GMail for Organization, Yahoo, Hotmail, GMX) accessed using a regular e-mail client. Two of them offer POP3, and I have scrapers for two others.

    • Meadows
    • 12 years ago

    I use a web-based e-mail account in tandem with a local e-mail client.
    Which is not an option.

    • excession
    • 12 years ago

    Third party paid-for mail provider and Thunderbird, via IMAP. When I’m out and about, same account via IMAP over 3G (UMTS/HSDPA) on my Sony Ericsson K850i.

    • nerdrage
    • 12 years ago

    Gmail is my primary (accessed via IMAP half the time). Also have Yahoo (for buying stuff), AIM(junk), university, work, and alumni email accounts. I didn’t even set up my ISP email account after my most recent move. Not worth the trouble now that Gmail works with IMAP.

    • TheEmrys
    • 12 years ago

    I use web-based e-mail with outlook express. Wish this were an option.

      • dmjifn
      • 12 years ago

      I don’t know if you are talking about OWA (Outlook Web Access) or not but, at work, that’s what I use exclusively. I think this counts as web-based email, despite coming off an Exchange server.

    • SpotTheCat
    • 12 years ago

    I use my school email for everything to do with school (which is most of what I do these days)

    and gmail via IMAP for business.

    • indeego
    • 12 years ago

    Used to use IMAP to my Treo, but that got annoying, as I get too much mail there. Now just work email goes to my Treo. So it’s just webmail based.

    I like Outlook for work, and gmail for personal. I doubt I’ll change either anytime soon, unless google wants to pay us to migrate over to their hosted serversg{<...<}g

    • bthylafh
    • 12 years ago

    Work email: Thunderbird via IMAP.
    Personal: Yahoo & Gmail, occasionally ISP email via mutt & POP3.

    • no51
    • 12 years ago

    Primarily, I use the email system provided with my website. Gmail is my secondary. I also have accounts with the other major web based mail but all i get through there is spam. Then there’s my school and work emails. Although I usually access said mailboxes with either outlook, opera and windows mail.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 12 years ago

    I own my own domain, and use Outlook 2k7 as my client.

      • sigher
      • 12 years ago

      Outlook? really? shop around is my advise

        • DrDillyBar
        • 12 years ago

        but why; owned it since Office97 really.

    • Mithent
    • 12 years ago

    I have 3 email accounts in use, two which I connect to via IMAP with SeaMonkey, and Gmail.

    At my university, there’s a horrible webmail client which probably hasn’t been touched since 1995 (bright cyan background, 16-colour icons etc.), but is used by probably 80% of people as their primary client, even though both POP and IMAP access is available. In fact, people generally refer to their university email address by the name of the webmail program.

      • wolfpackfan
      • 12 years ago

      squirrelmail, perchance?

        • Mithent
        • 12 years ago

        I was going to say no, but after looking at screenshots – yes, I believe it is a version of SquirrelMail (although it has another name).

        It serves a purpose and I do use it on occasion, but it surprises me that so many people use it as their regular ‘client’.

          • bthylafh
          • 12 years ago

          Newer versions of SM aren’t that bad for average users, but are horrid for PDAs.

    • nagashi
    • 12 years ago

    Company server -> evolution on my laptop via imap through an ssh tunnel. I recently converted to evolution from Thunderbird/Lightning, and Opera before that (circa 2004). Works nice, is secure and convenient. I’ve never understood webmail. Traditional email clients are so much faster/more convenient, and there’s no way in hell I’d feel safe having my email publicly accessible like that.

      • sigher
      • 12 years ago

      E-mail is only secure if it’s encrypted itself with PGP and such.
      Or if it’s only travelling within your LAN and nobody can get near it that isn’t completely reliable, or it’s mail only between your company and you and no outside addresses I guess.
      For the rest it travels all over the net and many people can read it, and many spooks will probably.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 12 years ago

    Mail retreiving Gmail on a MAC.

    • Materiel
    • 12 years ago

    Web-based e-mail services via a traditional e-mail client on a PC.

      • sigher
      • 12 years ago

      That made no sense, you either use webmail, that is you use the browser to look at your mail OR you use an email client that runs separate.
      You don’t ‘browse webmail with a traditional client’

        • bthylafh
        • 12 years ago

        You must be a joy to be around IRL.

        • jss21382
        • 12 years ago

        why not? hotmail and yahoo are web based email services that you can browse with an email client.

        If you look at the format of the poll there is no mention of what program you access your mail with, just provider and device, so you’re using a webmail service, regardless of the program you use to view it on your pc. Just as you’re using ISP provided mail whether you’re viewing it in your mail program or their web interface.

        • DrDillyBar
        • 12 years ago

        Or you have a corporate Exchange server where you can do all of the above, based on what you need at the time. webmail your mailbox, outlook your mailbox, both or just one.
        And I have an MSN address that I have programed into Outlook for checking. It’s about 5 minutes behind Live Messanger though.
        Gmail, ISP, Yahoo, Email.com all in hybernation.

    • Lurkmore
    • 12 years ago

    I use Gmail as my primary.

      • sigher
      • 12 years ago

      But how? By webpage or with an email client like outlook or thunderbird?
      I’m guessing you are one of the many who never heard of POP and IMAP though, so I’ll put you down as webmail.

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