Webmail typically refers to the method of accessing an email account. You do not need specialized software on your system to use webmail. Just two things are required – an active internet connection and the web browser program which can be found on all modern computers.
This means you can check your email account through webmail using any computer located anywhere in the world. Since it’s entirely web based, you are not tied to a specific machine!
The very concept of webmail is to provide access to your email accounts from any computer anywhere in the world (as long as it has a net connection). Webmail provides a web based interface for you to manage your email accounts and you don’t need to configure any software since everything is online!
Most web hosting companies allow you to access your email accounts using webmail. It is very simple to use, very similar to working on popular free email accounts such as Hotmail, Yahoo! or Gmail.
All your emails reside on the hard disk of the hosting server usually in a separate directory. Webmail software provide you an easy-to-use interface to read, write, delete and manage email messages. Webmail software is usually a suite of programs or scripts written in a server-side language that lets you gain access to an email account and perform routine tasks.
On Linux and Unix web servers, the webmail software scripts are usually written in Perl, Python or PHP and some of the popular ones are Horde, SquirrelMail, NeoMail and RoundCube. These webmail software can also be used on the Windows operating system as long as there is support for that server-side language. For instance, if PHP has been configured properly on a Windows server, any PHP based webmail software can be installed and run successfully.
As I mentioned above, webmail allows you to administer your email accounts from any computer. And this makes webmail is a very important application to have on your web hosting package. Trust me, I say this from experience. There may come an occasion when you need to read and/or reply to important email messages and you don’t have access to your system. Webmail comes to your rescue at times like these. You can simply log in at your email accounts from any computer (as long as it is connected to the Internet)
Your web hosting service should provide you the URL for webmail. It would typically be www.example.com/webmail.
When you load the webmail URL in a web browser (such as Internet Explorer or FireFox) will now be asked the username and password of the email account. Enter these log-in details and on success, you will be granted access to your email account.
Paul Buchheit is credited to have suggested Google's motto - "Don't be evil". He is also responsible for AdSense, the online advertising platform for the search engine giant. [more...]