11 Best Webmail Clients in 2023
So you just created your website or server, but you don’t have a webmail service. What next?
This is actually a common issue, since most hosting providers don’t offer a webmail service alongside their core web hosting services. You’ll usually need to pay extra for a webmail client, or integrate a free, open-source version on your own.
We want to help you kickstart this process. That’s why we analyzed the best webmail clients in 2023. Here’s what we found.
11 Best Email clients
Webmail clients can be very different from one another, based on the technology they’re built on (usually PHP or AJAX), whether they’re open source or not, what customization options they offer, what advanced features are on display, and how easy they are to integrate.
So we took all of this into account when researching and testing the best webmail services of 2023. The apps we’ll suggest below are the best email clients you can use in 2023.
1. WPX Webmail
WPX recently updated their mail service, which is available at no extra charge to all hosting clients of the company. This is rare among hosting providers, but is the new webmail client worth your time?
The service comes with extra spam protection, and better email filtering than before. Plus, it has a modern user interface, which makes the service very easy to use. It also has an improved performance, and lower loading times, so you won’t have to sit around waiting for your inbox to refresh.
The new version also comes with multiple format support for importing and exporting emails, as well as creating signatures and automatic replies. Plus, if you had a WPX email client account before, you don’t need to set anything up. You can just login with your old credentials.
You can find out more about the updated WPX email client here.
Roundcube is a popular PHP webmail client that can work with either a MySQL or Postgres database, and it has pretty much anything you need to set-up a reliable email interface.
For starters, it has support for MIME and HTML messages, threaded message listing, the ability to manage multiple accounts, support for ACL, unlimited users and messages, and it’s easy to edit mails with CSS or XHTML.
Roundcube is open-source, which makes it pretty secure. And if you need enhanced protection for your communications, Roundcube has support for PGP encryption.
What we like most are Roundcube’s search capabilities. It has a find-as-you-type address book integration, and built-in caching for fast mailbox access. If you need a free, open-source PHP based webmail client, there’s probably no better choice.
Thunderbird is Mozilla’s free and robust webmail client. It’s not as customizable as Roundcube, but you can still modify a lot of its features to fit your needs. You get access to a ton of extensions and add-ons that can enhance your experience, your privacy, or the security of your webmail client.
And in the end, Thunderbird is an open-source project, so there’s a lot you can do with the source code to tweak the platform to your needs.
But that’s not Thunderbird’s strength. The app actually comes pre-loaded with a ton of useful features and settings, as well as a pretty attractive interface. If you don’t want to personalize your email client too much, Thunderbird is ready to go right out of the box.
Horde is a PHP-based email client that supports IMAP. You’ll usually find it as an add-on from a lot of web hosting providers. That’s better than web hosting providers offering no webmail client. But it’s important to note that third-party tools will never work as seamlessly as a built-in webmail service like WPX has.
Regardless, Horde is a good option. It actually does a bit more than simple webmail management. Horde is advertised as a groupware open-source webmail software, because it can read, organize, and send webmail, as well as organize schedules, calendars, contacts, and even notes.
You can download the Horde groupware tools, which is a fully-fleshed, corporate level collaboration suite. But if you want something lighter, focused solely on webmail, you can get the (still feature-rich) Horde Groupware Webmail Edition.
Cypht is a modular email client that doubles as a news reader. It’s also not dependent on the platform you use. You can add multiple email accounts to the mail app. This makes it really easy to read all of your mail from one place.
Like most entries on this list, Cypht is free and open-source. So it’s pretty secure, and it’s easy to experiment with. Out the box, Cypht supports IMAP and SMTP accounts, as well as HTML and Markdown formatting for your emails.
And it’s pretty flexible beyond that. It has a simple interface translation system that doesn’t use .po or gettext files, plus authentication is flexible and it works with IMAP and LDAP. Best of all, the work is done in modules, so you can customize the app’s features however you want by just adding or removing modules.
And to help you stay on top of current events, Cypht lets you add an RSS feed to your main webmail interface.
Atmail is a fully-fleshed email service that works in the cloud, and offers a great user experience. Unlike most entries on this list, Atmail is not free, and it’s more done-for-you. The UX is white-labeled, with a lot of features already built-in, like lazy loading, multiple languages support, device-responsive user interface, and multiple account integration.
If you need a fast and stable solution, Atmail is one of the best email clients you can get. But it’s not free. Their website doesn’t feature clear pricing, you’ll need to contact sales to get the deets. But Getapp reports an average cost of $1 per user, per year, which is not too bad considering what you get. Plus, you can try a free demo of the program to figure out if it’s right for your business before committing to anything.
Rainloop is a simple web-based client with a modern and intuitive user interface, and support for IMAP and SMTP protocols.
The client is not revolutionary. But if you need a lightweight service, it’s one of the best email clients. It’s very fast and easy to install, it has a simple interface, minimal resource requirements, and quality of life tweaks like auto-completion of email addresses.
On top of it all, you don’t need a database to use Rainloop. Direct access to the mail server is used.
And that’s not to say you sacrifice all customizability or safety with Rainloop. You can still tweak your experience with some plugins, and Rainloop supports OpenPGP encryption for enhanced security. All of this makes Rainloop one of the best free email clients.
Zimbra is an Ajax-based email client that’s open-source, and extremely popular. It works both on-prem, and in the cloud, and you can try it for free before committing to any plan.
Zimbra offers a ton of functionalities, from a simple web-based email client, to calendar and scheduling features, or advanced search capabilities. And if you want more than the simple open-source software, you can get an enhanced version of Zimbra (currently version 10, Daffodil) which is a scalable and flexible corporate email solution.
Like Atmail, Zimbra doesn’t feature any prices on their site. You’ll need to get a quote from them if you want to use the enhanced webmail client. But from what other users report online, Zimbra can cost you around $3 for 30GB of storage each month.
If you’re looking for a barebones email client that’s stable and easy to deploy, Squirrelmail is one of the best options on the market. It’s PHP-based, supporting both IMAP and SMTP protocols.
Besides the basic reading and sending emails functionality, Squirrelmail also offers support for an address book, UI customization, and even PGP encryption. It won’t blow you away with an amazing suite. But if you’re looking for something free, open-source, and lightweight, Squirrelmail is one of the best email clients out there.
Unlike most entries on this list, Mailr is built on Ruby. It’s a utility to send emails from R, and it’s extremely customizable. While Mailr is not as easy to install as most entries on this list, tech-savvy people with some experience using CLIs shouldn’t have a problem setting Mailr up.
The client is compatible with both IMAP and SMTP protocols, and it works with HTML and Markdown formatting. There’s not a lot to talk about Mailr, honestly. It’s a very simple webmail utility that’s great if you prefer something built on Ruby.
11. Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft Outlook probably needs no introduction at this point – it’s Microsoft’s flagship email client, part of the Office Suite, and used by millions of people worldwide. And as you can guess, it’s lower on our list because of its price. You can only get it as part of the Microsoft Office Suite, the cheapest plan for that costing $69.99/year.
There is a free version of Outlook available. But if you want to configure webmail in Microsoft Outlook, you’ll need the Premium version. Not to mention, the free version doesn’t have all the crucial security features, and it displays ads whenever you use the Outlook app. If you want to use one of the best desktop email clients, you’ll need to pay up.
So while Microsoft Outlook can be a decent solution for larger organizations, we don’t recommend it if you’re looking for a lightweight, open-source client for a small site.
The Best Email Client For You
WPX’s email client is the best choice in our book. It’s stable, easy to navigate, and it comes prepackaged with a ton of security, privacy, and anti-spam features. Not to mention, it recently got a major update, and it’s free with all WPX web hosting plans.
But if you’re looking for something else, Roundcube, Thunderbird, and Horde are all great options. To find the best email clients for you, just browse our list and look for the functionalities you need in a trusty webmail client.