3 Differences Between a Mail Client and Webmail

what is webmail

In the 21st century, it is necessary to have at least one personal email address. If you are a small business owner, that need increases even more as research shows that potential customers trust email addresses linked to your domain name. Yoursite makes this easy for you because every domain registration allows you to create personalized emails.

But before we go into domain webmail and the differences between both, let us answer the common question “what is webmail?”

What Is Webmail?

The average person will be familiar with webmail, since most of us tend to turn to one of the major free providers, such as Google or Yahoo, for our personal email. But what is it?

Webmail is short for web-based electronic mail. This means that an Internet connection will be needed because you access your mail via the World Wide Web. Clearly, there are several advantages to this, but we will talk more about that, and some of the disadvantages, later.

Domain-based Webmail

Earlier we said that when you sign up or register a domain with Yoursite, you are able to set up customized email addresses. This is of importance mainly for persons who operate businesses or those who require a more personal approach to their email addresses.

Domain-based webmail means that your email address is ‘at’ your registered domain name. For example, if your registered domain is ‘www.mywebsite.com’, then you can have an email address called ‘[email protected]’ or maybe ‘[email protected]’.

Another great advantage of webmail is the ability to marry popular webmail services to your personalized business email. An example of this would be having an email address called ‘[email protected]’ that uses Gmail’s interface. You can follow the instructions here to set up custom email addresses.

What Is a Mail Client?

A mail client is a dedicated mail software that is designed to help you access your electronic mail. You will need to download software onto your electronic device before you can access your mail, since mail clients do not rely on Internet connection.

Microsoft Outlook is one of the most popular mail clients and comes with numerous advantages, which we will look at below.  

3 Differences between a Webmail and a Mail Client

1. How to access your mail

Access is perhaps the most obvious difference between a webmail and a mail client. The Internet and a web browser are needed to access webmail, whereas mail clients use installed software to grant you access.

Access can also be looked at literally. Accessing your webmail has no hardware limitations once the device can be connected to the Internet and has a web browser. This means that you have options when checking your webmail as it relates location and device. On the other hand, if the mail client software is not installed on the device being used to access emails, then you will not be able to gain access.

2. Email Storage

Because mail clients are built around installed software, they can store emails on a specific device. But do not think this limits you to the one device. You are able to download the mail client software on more than one device, and the mail client will sync the devices. One of the many advantages of Microsoft Outlook is the ability to sync your desktop with your mobile phone, for example.

The benefit of this is seen when Internet access is not possible, or if there is a catastrophe involving the webmail provider’s servers. In the case of the latter, there would be difficulty retrieving lost email since webmail is stored virtually on servers completely under the control of the webmail provider. But if the reverse is true, then the very idea of remote storage would guarantee the integrity of the emails.

Finally, as a result of the storage location, you may find that the amount of storage space allocated to your email account may be limited, or inadequately provides for your needs when using webmail. However, there is usually the option to upgrade or purchase additional storage.

3. Security & Privacy

That leads us to security and privacy concerns. Considering that more and more effort is being placed in protecting electronic correspondences while in transit, an example being end-to-end encryption, the real issue, therefore, lies with how we access and store the email.

Most financial institutions ask if access is being gained on a public computer when we want to access our online banking portal, because of the risk of our personal information becoming compromised. Using public Wi-Fi to access webmail equally leaves us open to hackers and other nefarious actions, since public Wi-Fi usually lacks basic security protocols.

If for example, your devices are stolen, there is some amount of relief knowing that a password is required to gain access to our webmail, which is not the case with mail clients. Mail client emails are usually readily presented once the application is opened.


What differentiates webmail from mail clients boils down to how you access your email, where emails are stored, and security vulnerabilities. Each comes with its advantages, but also has some drawbacks. So now that you know the difference between a webmail and a mail client, you can decide which better caters to your needs.

And if you haven’t already, begin creating your website for your small business, and let Yoursite help you. Remember that all Yoursite domain registrations, site builder and WordPress hosting sign ups come with email accounts that you can customize.