The best free email clients for Windows 2016: The ultimate Outlook alternatives

You might imagine that the desktop email client is almost completely dead in 2016, but you’d be wrong. Whether you’re frustrated by Gmail, enraged by, or just plain sick of Windows 10’s execrably bad in-built mail app, there are several great desktop email clients available for free. 

The best free email clients for Windows 2016: The ultimate Outlook alternatives

Why should you consider moving to a desktop email client?

There are lots of reasons why people prefer desktop mail clients. One major difference is that you can synchronise your email while you’re within reach of a Wi-Fi network or an Ethernet cable, and then read, sort through and reply to your emails offline. If you’ve got a long-distance commute, or have limited access to the internet, then this is something of a boon.

Those of us with multiple email accounts have another good reason to move to a desktop client: if you want to keep a personal or work email account entirely separate to make it easier to manage, then using a separate mail client can make life much easier. There’s no worrying whether you’ve replied to an email from the wrong email address by mistake, and no need to clutter your personal webmail with business emails.

There are other benefits, too, depending on which desktop client you choose. Some include the ability to use digital signing and encryption (such as the open-source GnuPg standard) to keep your email correspondence safe and secure. Others, meanwhile, make it easy to keep your emails backed up – something that is still something of a pain on webmail clients such as Gmail – so that your business, or even just your everyday correspondence, doesn’t disappear in the event of data loss.

Which free desktop email client should I download?

It really depends what you’re looking for, but this list should cover all the possible bases – whether you’re after a highly customisable Outlook clone (eM Client), an email-wrangling powerhouse (Thunderbird) or an ultra-minimalist take on the modern desktop email client (Nylas N1), you’ll find something here that fits the bill. Click the menu below to check out the first of the three.

Continues on page 2: eM Client – The Outlook replacement

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