Email freeware is software that allows a user to send and receive email for free. Email freeware differs from shareware or proprietary software in that developers do not charge for use of the software. Since freeware is often comparable to proprietary programs and offers the same features, many users prefer to use it as an alternative to software that would require purchasing or licensing fees.
The features of email freeware can vary from program to program. Some email freeware programs act as all-in-one suites that allow a user to use both basic and advanced emailing functions. Other freeware programs may only offer specialized functions like mailing list, security, contact management or anti-spam services. Freeware email can also act as a bridge across many different email inboxes, accessing mail from Post Office Protocol (POP) accounts. Some users download email freeware to backup their primary email database and client.
A benefit of using email freeware is that the program itself is often open source. Open source programs allow developers and third-parties to modify code and regularly add new features to the program. In addition to being free to use, users may enjoy adding these features to customize their user experience. For example, a user may install a spellchecker, calendar or highlighting feature to help create and organize his emails. A user may also install related features like a Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication (RSS) reader to his program so that he can access personalized information all in one place.
Freeware email programs may also be able to work in conjunction with existing proprietary email software on a user's computer. The freeware program may be able to be integrated with the proprietary software and function seamlessly alongside it. This may appeal to users who want one-touch access to specific email functions like notifications. Those who are interested in notifiers can download a freeware email program that alerts users when new messages arrive in their inboxes. Some notification programs may even allow users to read, compose and delete email without the need to access the main email client.
One email freeware program can be vastly different in form and function from the next. For this reason, those interested in using freeware email programs should research all options to find a program that boasts preferred features and functions. Identifying an email program that's tailored to a user's specific needs can help save computer memory and spare a user from the headache of conflicting programs.