Best Email Software

Composing a message

At work, at school, and at home, the best email software helps you keep in touch with the important people in your life. Whether you check your email once a day or once a minute, you want a reliable and easy-to-use email client. Check out the following programs to find the best fit for your online communication needs.

1. Mozilla Thunderbird

As an open-source program with numerous extensions, themes, and controls, Thunderbird is easily customized, and its features place it among the best email software. PC World gave Thunderbird 4 out of 5 stars, impressed by the program's speed, interface, and functionality. In addition to the standard spam filters most email programs offer, Thunderbird has anti-phishing safeguards to help users avoid identity theft.

Website: Mozilla Thunderbird

Price: Free

2. Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook is a complete office communication solution, offering calendars and to-do lists, comprehensive searches, and a streamlined interface. PC Magazine gave Outlook a 4.5 out of 5, calling it the best email software for business users. CNET.com gave it a 7.8 out of 10, touting its messaging and scheduling capabilities. However, it's a more complex program than most casual users need. It's also expensive, especially with so many free options available.

Website: Microsoft Outlook

Price: $109.95 for the standalone program and $399 as part of the Microsoft Office suite

3. Eudora

In a review of Eudora 7, CNET.com editors gave this email software a 7.3, earning it the designation of "very good." CNET editors were especially impressed with the paid version's powerful search capabilities. In a review of Eudora 6, the latest version available for Mac users, PC Magazine highlighted its easy-to-use interface. The program has recently gone open source, leaving future upgrades in the hands of users.

Website: Eudora

Price: Free

4. Opera Mail

Integrate your email software and your web browser with Opera. Opera Mail also allows you to subscribe to newsgroups and RSS and Atom feeds for a convenient all-in-one user experience. Filtering capabilities prove useful for everything from avoiding junk mail to creating targeted folders for your email correspondence.

Website: Opera Mail

Price: Free

5. Microsoft Outlook Express

Despite the similar name, Outlook Express is a vastly different program from Outlook. Included with Internet Explorer, Outlook Express is a basic, but highly functional, email program. In a PC Magazine review, it earned a 3 out of 5, with the editor making special note of the program's encryption options, newsgroup monitoring features, and email blocking.

Website: Microsoft Outlook Express

Price: Free

6. Pegasus Mail

While PC Magazine's editor did not appreciate Pegasus, giving it a 2 out of 5, users countered that review with an average score of 4.5. The no-frills interface that PC Magazine viewed as a negative may be just what others are looking for. Create accounts for multiple users, take advantage of filters to organize and reduce spam, and preview POP3 emails before downloading. Pegasus has been around for 17 years making it a nostalgic favorite for some users, but recent funding problems may stall future development.

Website: Pegasus Mail

Price: Free

Best Email Software