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Vidya Srinivasa Rao | June 05, 2003 11:35 IST

Looking for POP3 email services? We feature the latest free programs

Short for post office protocol, this additional feature offered by many Web based email services, allows you to retrieve email from a mail server, using the email client of your choice. For example, if you use clients like Outlook Express, Eudora or Incredimail and want to use them to check your Yahoo! or Hotmail account, there's a way out, at no extra cost.

We review a couple of free and easy-to-use programs that help you deliver your Web based email to your desktop.


Hotmail Popper
Hotmail Popper is an application that allows you to check your Hotmail account email from your mail client. In addition, it also offers SMTP services that enables you to send mail using Hotmail's services.

It's completely free of charge and the file size is 1.8 MB.

To use this program:

  • Download Hotmail Popper.
  • Run this program; there is no interface as such, but a small icon, which sits in your system tray. Right click on this for options.
  • Change the Hotmail Popper configuration to suit your needs.
  • There are many options available, like timeout, delay, receive messages in folder other than the Inbox, automatically start when Windows starts, etc.
  • Read the instructions to set up Hotmail Popper with other mail clients like Netscape Communicator or Eudora.

This is application similar to Hotmail Popper, but provides free POP3 and SMTP for Yahoo! mail accounts. Yahoo no longer offers free POP3 services.

YahooPOPs! does not depend on Yahoo's POP/SMTP mail server. This is a free download and the program runs on all operation systems including Windows, Linux, Solaris and Mac OS.

Additional features of YahooPOPs! include proxy servers and secure connections. The download size for the latest version for Windows is 3.7 MB. For YahooPOPs! to function efficiently, you have to upgrade it whenever the version you are using gets outdated and fails to do its job (every three months or so).

Once you have installed it on your computer, go to Start >> Programs >> YahooPOPs! >> YahooPOPs Help for instructions on how to use it.

Another program that you can use to download Yahoo! mails to your email client is YoSucker. But this is an older program and does not offer as many features as YahooPOPs!

POP3 and SMTP: Definitions
POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) is a standard email protocol that allows you to retrieve your e-mail in a variety of ways with different programs. There are many uses for POP3, including checking your email in the program of your choice (Outlook Express, Eudora, Pine, Netscape Mail, etc), receiving email notifications, and setting up programs to handle your mail in different ways. Alternatively some Web based email offer IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) services to retrieve messages.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is the complement to POP3. If POP3 is for receiving e-mail, SMTP is for sending mail. Most email systems on the Web use this protocol to send messages. SMTP is generally used to send messages from a mail client to a mail server. You need to specify both the POP or IMAP server and the SMTP server when you configure your email application.

Like Hotmail, AOL (America Online) email accounts can be checked only on the Web or with AOL's own email client. If you like to use programs like MS Outlook, Incredimail with your AOL email, AOL2Pop will be useful.

This program acts as POP3 and SMTP standard mail interface for AOL email accounts. It coverts AOL mails into standard mail format and enables AOL users to retrieve their email into their favourite email client instead of using AOL's proprietary mail interface. This is not a free service. But, a 14-day free trial version is available online.

Read the system requirements and installation instructions before downloading the program.

Some features of AOL2Pop:

  • POP3 and SMTP access to AOL email.
  • Use your favorite email program to manage your mail, including Microsoft Outlook, Eudora and Incredimail.
  • Manage multiple email accounts at once, including non-AOL email boxes from other POP3 providers.
  • Completely independent of the AOL client (AOL does not have to be installed).
  • Create your own spam filters.
  • Sort and organise your email into different folders, synchronise and export your mail for archiving.

Additional information
Apart from these, there are also many other email services that offer free POP3 services. Some of them are: Offers free email with 10MB of storage space and both POP3 and IMAP-based access. Outgoing SMTP is also available, with a maximum of 15 recipients per outgoing email sent through the system. You can set up the service so that it automatically forwards all email to an external email account.

HotPop: HotPop offers a combined POP3/forwarding and web-based email service. At the free level, HotPop includes 10MB of storage for email messages, and the ability to specify up to 3 destination addresses to forward messages to. There is a limit of 500KB per email, and 1,000 incoming email messages per day.


Additional Resource:
'Own your own email id' by James S. Huggins 

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