The Email Client: a good alternative to Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.

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The Email Client is a totally free alternative to using Outlook, Eudora, Thunderbird and other email standalone client applications. It features a simple interface with powerful options, support for multiple email addresses, and handles POP, IMAP, and SMTP server configurations. It is available for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows and is a great option for those of us that want something simple and different.

Once installed, you’ll be setting up your various accounts in mere minutes. One of the nicest features about TEC is that much of the needed POP, IMAP and SMTP information fills itself in automatically during setup.

If you type in a Gmail address, for example, it auto-fills the sections for POP servers, etc. Not all of the information is accurate, however, so it’s worth checking it against the information your email service has.

Once you’ve filled in all the needed information, TEC takes you right to its main interface and offers to either begin communicating with servers, or to add another account. I was able to enter eight different email addresses, from various sources like Gmail, yahoo, and Hotmail, and it never mentioned a limit on how many I could have.

TEC screenshot 1TEC screenshot 2

TEC is a great way to centralize all your email. For those of us that have many different email accounts, this is an absolutely invaluable tool to make our lives easier in regards to electronic correspondence. It has multiple themes, skins, and templates pre-installed to make you feel at home if you’re used to using a different program, like outlook. Once everything is set up, TEC runs quietly in the background on your system tray and will send and receive email for all of your accounts at intervals you specify.

TEC screenshot 3TEC screenshot 4
The main interface for TEC is nicely laid out, with auto-hide features for each section, and should be easy and familiar for those who have used other programs like it. For those who haven’t, it doesn’t take long to get acquainted with the interface and feel comfortable with it, despite the lack of documentation. One user, referring to the interface, said, “This looks like what Outlook Express should have been,” and I was forced to agree. Users of Thunderbird and other free client programs will also find much in TEC to be happy about. Another user described it as, “Intuitive and fun to use, without headaches.” Transitioning to TEC from any of the other ‘free’ clients out there should be pretty painless for most of us, and the 100% free price tag along with the lack of pop up ads is a major plus in my book.

TEC is loaded with features and options to customize it and make it your own. I’ve included a short list of them here, taken from their website:

  • Full e-mail functionality for POP3 / IMAP / SMTP
  • Most common email features (attachments etc.)
  • SSL-encryption when provided by your mailserver
  • Editable contact list and address book
  • Support for embedded emoticons
  • Nice state of the art interface
  • Rules support
  • Signatures
  • Templates for emails (per account)
  • Tasks
  • Built-in Calendar
  • Customizable interface with  ribbon bar
  • Spam filter
  • Skins
  • English and German language support

TEC screenshot 5The only real complaints I have about TEC are the lack of documentation and support, as well as the fact that during installation and setup there is no taskbar access so you have to use Alt-Tab or minimize all your other windows if you want to switch between them. Once installed and your addresses are set up, however, there’s a handy system tray icon that can be left clicked to bring up the main interface, or right clicked to bring up a context and action menu so you can do things right from the system tray without switching windows if you so desire. Additionally, the spam filer did let a few unwanted messages through, but given that TEC is still in its toddler stages, I think they can be afforded a modicum of forgiveness and optimism about its future.

All in all, I found TEC to be a wonderful alternative to the other clients out there, and I plan on using it for a long time to come. There are new updates to its functionality all the time, as well, so there will be even more great options in the future. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a different, but easy, way to centralize their email.

Until next time, my friends.

Requires: Windows XP, Vista or 7

Get The Email Client here (or in here for German).