Webmail Clients for a Dedicated Server

If you plan on using your dedicated server to resell hosting accounts, or if you need to have access to webmail on your server, you will need to install at least one webmail client. There are many open source webmail clients that are currently available and we will review the top three. Chances are, you may have used one of these before and not know it. Many companies take these open source webmail clients and modify the templates to suit their needs.

First, why do you need webmail? Webmail can be very useful for a variety of different reasons. If you need a place to store your mail that is not on your computer, it can be very useful to have these emails stored on your server.

Many people that do not have a lot of available disk space on their computers appreciate this option with webmail. With virus concerns, many people prefer not to download mail to their email client on their computer. Using webmail allows them to first clear any messages, checking for unsafe attachments, before downloading the files to their local machine.

Squirrel Mail is one of the most popular open source webmail clients. It is very easy to use and offers a variety of features. You can customize how many mail messages will display on each page, set up folders to sort and store incoming mail, as well as use junk mail filters. Squirrel Mail is commonly used and modified by a large variety of companies. The interface is very easy to understand and is helpful for clients that are not familiar with using webmail. If you just need a simple application for checking email on your server, Squirrel Mail is extremely useful.

NeoMail is gaining in popularity and allows users to fully customize their mail views. However, it is more difficult to use and can be confusing for many people. Instead of automatically deleting messages, and removing them from the Inbox, NeoMail keeps them there, and strikes a line through them. You have to go through two processes to actually move the emails to the trash. While this can be useful in correcting deletion mistakes, it is not really that difficult to retrieve deleted mail from the trash folder.

Horde is also gaining in popularity as a webmail client. But, much like NeoMail, it is still more difficult to use than Squirrel Mail. You can modify your mail views, set up your account preferences and handle everything from the web based email control panel.

Since these three webmail clients are open source, it means that you are free to install them on your server, even if your hosting company does not provide them. You can try them out and see which one works for you.

Your server will usually allow you to give your customers a URL where they can access their webmail, just like many popular free webmail services. This will usually be their domain name, with a port number at the end, similar to: yourcompanyname.com:2045

They will be able to log-in using this port and access their webmail through the client you have selected. It is also possible to install several different webmail clients on your server so that they will have a choice for the client that works for them as well.

If you are interested in any of these webmail clients, you can find them listed at Sourceforge.net.

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Posted on 12/15/05 8:16 PM

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