Email is the most used method of communicating on the Internet and is here to stay forever despites new communication technologies like instant messaging and video calls. Everyone by now understands that desktop-based email clients that once used to be more than enough to manage emails have some limitations. Email clients are not appropriate for those always on the move and lack certain groupware features. A Webmail client for instance can provide the ultimate email experience if properly chosen and configured.
You might be already familiar with Webmail clients like Horde, RoundCube or Open Webmail, but they unfortunately do not bridge the gap between the functionality of a desktop email client and the typical Webmail interface. There is of course Google for Domains which somehow has everything properly defined, but security-conscious professionals will argue that emails should never be managed by a 3rd party provider. If you’re one of them and want total control over your emails, then 6zap is what you need.
6zap is a full-featured, open-source Webmail client that includes groupware capabilities like calendar, contacts, file storage and notes. It can be easily installed on your own server or deployed in the cloud on the Amazon Elastic Computer Cloud (EC2). Once installed, you can create email addresses (known as email aliases) for the different staff without your organization.
The Webmail sports an intuitive look and feel and is powered with some AJAX goodness like drag-and-drop. Its calendar mimics Google Calendars a lot; you can create multiple calendars and overlay them. Calendars and contacts can be shared among your other contacts. My favorite feature is its support of an offline mode. By installing Google Gears, you can use 6zap to read and reply to your email while not connected to the Internet. It unfortunately lacks support of email rules and a mobile version.
Overall, 6zap is an excellent Webmail solution and given that is open source it can be tweaked to fit any personal or organizational needs. If you are looking for other Webmail solutions to compare, just do a search on ‘webmail‘ in our directory.