The Email Client of Your Dreams

excellent
key review info
  • Application: DreamMail 4.4.1.0 Build 2007-07-15
  • Reviewed on:
  • Written by:
application features
  • Multi-accounts & Multi-users
  • (8 more, see all...)

Email service is an active component of our lives. That is a fact. Most people check their electronic messages at least once a day and some of them even have multiple accounts. For those that fall in the latter category logging in to the different accounts is a routine task, but which still requires some effort and is somewhat uncomfortable. Imagine having four or five email accounts with different passwords and logging in every couple of hours.

For those that fall in the latter category, the answer is an email client able to handle multiple accounts at once. But if some of those accounts are free email services provided by Yahoo! or Google, things get complicated as the majority of email clients do not handle these accounts.

And yet there are several solutions on the market. DreamMail is one of them that can handle the aforementioned situation quite well. It supports POP3, SMTP, eSMTP, Yahoo, Google and even RSS feeds. It is a comprehensive tool that can deal with all your messages in a very easy way, without giving too much trouble. And what is most interesting, because of its internal web browser it can display the web mail and you can even surf the Internet.

Installing the application is considerably easy and, at the end of the process, DreamMail kindly asks you to create a default user account. Other options available in the wizard are manually configuring multi-user information, load DreamMail backup data and choose to use previous DreamMail database. But these are just for those that are already familiar with the grounds of the software.

Creating a new account is as easy as in any other email client. If the account is for web mail, the application will detect the server settings automatically, making your job a lot easier. Before finishing the job you get to test the settings to see if they are working properly. In the case of errors, you can check the Other Options menu and change the properties for the server, mail copy, template or proxy. You should know that if the settings do not work during the test, the account is unusable.

DreamMail's interface is not too far from that of the habitual email clients on the market, as Microsoft Outlook or Thunderbird and the same divisions are made. In the left hand side, there are the accounts with the Inbox, Outbox, Sent, Trash, Draft and Junk Mail folders while in the right hand part the window displays the messages.

The application provides support for multiple accounts and each account can be configured differently. Some servers may require additional authentication, not just the account's name and password, so DreamMail allows you to add that information as well. A backup of the messages can be stored on the server or you can configure the application to delete them after a certain number of days.

According to the type of message you want to send, the program makes available a set of templates to be used as backgrounds for your text. There are 15 categories, each of them containing at least two templates, ranging from serious business type, birthday wishing or salutations to leisure-like ones as cartoons, moods or butterflies. You can choose a default template or you can select one from the expandable Compose button when sending a message.

Each account can be individually configured to be automatically checked at different time intervals. And you can set a default account for writing mail, replying or forwarding a message. All the defaults can be changed the moment you send a message.

With the default settings, DreamMail will receive most of your emails in the junk folder and this is not an appropriate thing to do when the message is from your fiancée, is it? The settings for message handling can be found in the options menu. Automatic message deleting, email receiving options, read, send or reply settings can help you in configuring the way the messages are automatically managed by the application. You can also set the program to require a read receipt so that you know for certain that the sent message has been noticed.

Junk Mail options permit configuring the junk folder protection level. The settings available will ensure that no received message will be sent to junk unless it really deserves that. The menu allows you to configure which messages to be deposited in there, but there is no guarantee that junk folder will shelter only useless messages and my recommendation is to send there only the messages coming from blacklisted addresses.

Regarding the security of your email, launching DreamMail can be protected by a password. The multiuser support makes the application highly functional in an environment where the computer is shared by multiple users. Each of the users can have access to their own accounts, not intruding on others. So all the users can share DreamMail the same way they are sharing a computer.

Also, if you want to enforce the protection of the account's folders, you can encrypt them with a password, too. This way, if a person gains unauthorized access to your accounts, s/he has to work a bit more to find out the password for the Inbox folder.

An email client without an address book? That's unheard of, and DreamMail is also equipped with this tool. You can search for a certain contact alphabetically by pressing the corresponding letter in the lower part of the page. The details for the contacts are numerous and fields like instant messenger ID/number, nickname, hobbies, birthday or name of the wife/husband are not omitted. You can even rate them so that you never forget how much you like that person.

Searching for a specific message is carried out quite smoothly and with accuracy due to the Search tool available in the program. The criteria you can use to get the right result include defining the From, To, Subject, Mail Content, Comments or Attachment Name fields. If these are too much you can always cut down some of the criteria by switching from Advanced Search.

Message filtering, a very useful option in an email client, is also present in DreamMail. You can add rules and edit them so that certain messages containing a specific Subject line should enforce a user defined action to the entire message. The user can choose to be alerted when a filter is applied and check out the outcome, or a user defined program can be ran.

The actions that can be set to take place when a message is compliant to one rule range from deleting the email from server, refrain from downloading it, moving or copying it to one folder of the account, automatically reply the message with one of the templates available or forwarding it to a user defined address.

To make sure that you do not forget some piece of information, DreamMail lets you write down temporary information on little notes. Making a new note is as easy as pressing Shift+F9 key combination. Each item will record the time and date of the writing making them easier to manage. Closing the note will not erase it so you can access it later on.

RSS feed support is another benefit provided by DreamMail. You can add as many feeds as you want. To make them easier to handle, the application supports creating folders and appending new channels to them. Viewing the feeds is extremely comfortable as in the upper part there are displayed the titles while in the lower you will find the summary and the web link to the full article.

The side panel also shelters the Web Mail button. This will open the web mail account in a web page and you can peruse the messages just as if you were in your default browser. Notice the address bar in the top right hand part of the screen? It has the same properties as its IE or Firefox equivalent. Simply type in web address and you will be swiftly redirected there. You won't have to enter the login details as DreamMails does this automatically for the most popular of the services.

However, if you read a new message in the Web Mail page, it will not cause DreamMail to stop alerting you. For the tray icon to stop blinking, you must read your message from the Inbox folder provided by the email client.

Highly customizable, DreamMail offers lots of useful features, all integrated in a nifty, easy to use interface. More advanced users can create filters for handling certain messages and news is brought directly into your email client with the use of the built-in RSS reader. And on top of all the features and options, the application also supports Web Mail accounts from Google and Yahoo as well as from MSN Hotmail.

The Good

DreamMail is extremely easy to use as it provides a familiar ground. The options available are exactly what every user with multiple email accounts longs for: fast account creation, easy handling, neat manipulation of the messages and all these for free.
And if you add to these its portable features, you've got yourself a sweet deal.

The Bad

DreamMail has a couple of shortcomings, and one of them is its interface. Despite the great looks, the application displays incomplete names of the options and there is nothing you can do about it.

If you can't find your way out of the options, don't look for a help file unless you are good with ideograms. There is no help in English and though the software is not difficult to handle, I think a tutorial explaining all the options would make it a complete project.

The Truth

All the shortcomings and mischiefs are eclipsed by the multitude of options that make the application highly flexible. Everything you need in an email client, you've got it. Importing mail data from Outlook Express or Foxmail will help you make the transition easier to handle. And the backup option sported by DreamMail will definitely give you confidence in using the application.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:


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user interface 4
features 5
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5


final rating 5
Editor's review
excellent
 
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