A reader had this comment on my recent article about the pros of an email client:

“I’m sorry, but you still have not identified what an email client is or how a person acquires an email client. Please clarify!”

I’m sorry if I didn’t make myself clear. An email client is a program that allows you to download copies of your email messages to your computer. This is different from a web interface, where you open a browser to access your email from your email provider’s server.

Examples of an email client are the built-in Microsoft Mail app on your Windows PC, the built-in Mail app on a Mac computer, the Outlook email program that comes with Microsoft Office, and the free Thunderbird email client, and the old Windows Live Mail program.

If you have a Windows 10 PC, Mail is already installed. Outlook must be purchased as part of Office or separately, and you can download the Thunderbird email client for free at https://www.thunderbird.net/en-US/.

The interface of an email client doesn’t look much different than the web interface for Gmail.

The main difference is that an email client can download a copy of your message to your device. I hope that clears it up.