Can’t Install an App? Use a Web-Based Email Client Instead

Spike Team
By Spike Team, May 07, 2022, 6 min read

How people have used email has changed a lot in the history of personal computers. Initially, POP3 was the primary technology used, so people largely used a desktop email client that downloaded all of their emails. The downside of this solution was that you couldn’t access your email from other computers. To solve this problem, many services integrated a web-based email solution. Finding the best webmail solution can be challenging, though. Many services were full of ads and invasive trackers, so many people migrated back to desktop clients in the age of mobility.


There’s still a strong reason to use web-based solutions, though. The key strategy is finding the best solution that respects your privacy, lets you bring your own email account, and give you desktop app email features even if you’re using a web browser to access your email.



What is Webmail?

Webmail is an email solution that is accessible from any web browser – desktop or mobile. Email services can be compatible with desktop and mobile apps but also offer a web version. Many people prefer a desktop version of an app when working on their own devices in order to stay logged in and have their custom preferences configured each time they go to use their email.


Web-based email is very beneficial when you’re away from your primary computer that you control. If you frequently use public computers such as a library workstation or a shipping workstation at a local UPS or FedEx office, a web-based email solution will come in handy as you can quickly login, get the information you need, and then log back out. Once you log out, no one will be able to access your email account or its contents.


When you’re thinking a web-based email vs desktop email, it’s important to consider what features you need and which types of devices you have. If you frequently use a Mac at home and a PC for work, a web-based email client is beneficial because you can have the same experience on all of your devices.


Web-based technologies for email are very advanced today and can offer a desktop-class experience. With features like snooze and scheduled send, the best web-based email systems can offer a fully-featured email experience.



The Top 5 Free Web-Based Emails

There are hundreds of web-based email clients available today. Finding the best takes a lot of research, trials, and creating accounts. If you’re in a situation where you’d like to have access to your email on all of your devices without installing a desktop email client, you’ll find our guide extremely helpful in wading through the different web-based email solutions.


In our guide, we’ve listed the top five free web-based email solutions to help you access your email regardless of the type of device you are using.



1. Spike



Spike pioneered the conversational email approach, and it can do it in a desktop client, mobile client, or even a web-based client. Spike combines your email, calendar, group chat, and video chat needs into a single “platform”. We say platform when discussing Spike because it’s so much more than just a simple free web-based email client. It offers so much more while having the look and feel of a fast desktop client.


When using Spike, you can use any email account you’d like. You can bring your Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, iCloud, or any other supported IMAP solution without logging into separate accounts individually. Spike works great for personal email accounts, but it’s also extremely beneficial for business accounts as well. If you’re traveling and need to stop into a hotel business center to access your email, Spike is the best webmail client to use for free.


  • Works everywhere

  • Free to use

  • Adds in video conference to webmail

  • Adds collaboration tools into your Inbox


  • Might be confusing if used to a basic webmail client

Try Spike now for free webmail


Manage All Your Communication With A Free Webmail


2. Outlook



If you use or Microsoft 365, you’ll be quite familiar with Outlook the desktop application. Outlook is also available as a free web-based email client. Outlook brings what you’ve used on the desktop to the web browser. If you only use Outlook email with the local application, Outlook web email is a great option for accessing your email when away from your desktop or laptop.


Where Outlook falls a bit short is bringing in your other email clients. Outlook on the web can integrate into your Gmail account, but not Yahoo, iCloud, or other IMAP-based solutions. Outlook offers a nice calendar integration if you use Outlook email or Gmail.


  • Familiar experience

  • Integrates with Gmail


  • Doesn’t integrate with iCloud or Yahoo

  • Doesn’t add features like video or audio calling


3. Gmail



Gmail pioneered the modern webmail interface. When Google launched Gmail in 2004, it brought 1GB of storage for the first time to a web-based email client. It also pioneered the idea of tabbed messaging vs just looking at a sent/received message list. Over the years, it’s evolved to offer more options as well.


Gmail’s free webmail interface is fast, offers multiple keyboard shortcuts, and is easy to use. It fails because it’s complicated to bring in non-Google emails into the interface. You’ll be required to forward your emails to your Gmail address or set up Gmail to “fetch” the email. It will be slightly confusing for novice technology users.


  • Lots of free storage

  • Integrates into Google Drive nicely


  • Difficult to use with Yahoo and iCloud

  • Ads are based on your email contents


4. ProtonMail


ProtonMail proclaims itself as being the world’s largest secure email service. It offers end-to-end encryption and other robust security features to keep your email private. Even the company hosting your emails has no way of reading them as they are encrypted, so you can rest assured that no one can read them but the person that is supposed to read them.


ProtonMail is designed to focus on security first, then ease of use while offering power-user features like a built-in calendar, open-source code, and a modern design. So for those looking for the highest level of security on a web-based free email solution, consider ProtonMail. You’ll likely find that you need to upgrade to a paid account, though. ProtonMail is based in Switzerland.


  • Very secure (end-to-end encryption)

  • Built-in Calendar


  • Most features will require a paid plan


5. Yandex



Yandex is a popular free webmail client that is similar to Google as it focuses on offering a search engine along with email, calendar, and more. It’s a Russian-based organization and therefore primarily focuses on serving Russian customers.


In the wake of the Ukraine/Russia conflict, it’s difficult for users outside of Russia to access paid versions of the service today as many payment providers have cut off access. For users inside of Russia, it’s a very usable webmail solution that offers many free features.


  • Combines many Google-like tools into a single solution

  • Offers plenty of storage for free


  • Paid versions are difficult to access outside of Russia

Spike Team
Spike Team The Spike team posts about productivity, time management, and the future of email, messaging and collaboration.

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