When you use a Webmail service like Gmail®, Hotmail®, AOL®, etc., your emails are sitting on their servers. Even many corporate/private email systems are setup the same way. Whether they are hosting their own webmail or if they’re using Godaddy® or Gmail® for their own. Webmail allows you to access your emails through a standard web browser like Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari from the internet, usually with no applications or additional software required. All of the work is done by the server that is hosting the Webmail pages.
Email clients are another way to access emails. This is a program that is installed on your computer that will interact with the remote email servers to access your emails. Two common email clients are Outlook and Thunderbird. These clients usually access emails in one of two methods:
One method is that your client program simply downloads any new emails from the email server to your computer. The email client then allows you to read, reply, compose, delete, organize those emails. This method is called POP (Post Office Protocol).
The other method is where your client program interacts with the email server similar to your Webmail. The emails remain on the server, but your client obtains the lists of emails and allows you to go through them to read, reply, compose, delete, and organize. However, they remain on the email server.
Whether it’s through Webmail or through your email client like Outlook, with your emails on your email server, they can begin to pile up. Your webmail service usually has a size limit which you have to remain under (or perhaps upgrade to a paid premium service). Additionally, even if you don’t “see” all your emails, they are there, and the Webmail program or your email client has to sort through them to display emails or to allow you to organize them. This can make your email “experience” slow and clunky. You may have also seen emails disappear only to reappear a few moments later. Those emails are important, and you want to keep them. We hear all the time of emails being “lost” sitting on email servers like this (even the “Big Boys”), and there simply isn’t any recourse.
Enter WAM. With WAM, you can get those emails off the email server and onto your computer where it’s safe. The entire message, folder layout, and any file attachments are downloaded. WAM can automatically delete the message from the email server OR leave it there for you to delete yourself later. Don’t worry, WAM won’t spend time trying to download them again, it’ll keep track of messages it’s already downloaded.
You’ll have the peace of mind of having those old emails and the files on your computer where it’s safe. You can then back them up to a thumb drive or whatever backup solution you use for your computer. Your Webmail or email client will be faster, and more stable. It will reduce (if not eliminate entirely) disappearing emails by decreasing the number of emails it has to sort through and juggle.