Difference Wiki

Email vs. Webmail: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on June 4, 2024
Email is a method of exchanging digital messages; webmail is a service that lets users access their email via a web browser.

Key Differences

Email is a broad term that refers to the electronic transmission of information in the form of messages, documents, or other data between people using electronic devices. On the other hand, webmail is a specific service offered by many providers that allows users to send, receive, and manage their email using a web browser.
Both email and webmail facilitate digital communication, but their approach is different. While email is a general protocol and can be accessed through various platforms and applications, webmail is exclusively browser-based, requiring internet access and a browser to function.
Email clients, both desktop and mobile, are applications that let users manage multiple email accounts from different providers. In contrast, webmail is typically tied to a single email provider, offering an online portal where users can check their messages.
Security can be a consideration for both email and webmail. Traditional email clients might store data on the user's device, which could be vulnerable if the device is compromised. Webmail, being browser-based, can be susceptible to web-specific threats, though many providers implement strong security measures to protect user data.
The choice between using an email client or webmail often comes down to user preference and needs. Some prefer the convenience and features of dedicated email applications, while others appreciate the accessibility and simplicity of logging into webmail from any device with a browser.

Comparison Chart


Electronic message transmission system
Service to access email via a web browser


Accessed via email clients or webmail


Through multiple platforms and devices
Any device with a browser and internet


Often on the device, unless IMAP is used
Primarily on the provider's servers

Typical Use

Business communication, personal use
Quick access, users without dedicated clients

Email and Webmail Definitions


Digital messages sent electronically between users.
I received an important email from my manager today.


Online service to check and send emails via browsers.
When traveling, I use webmail to access my messages.


Transmission of information over the internet.
My email inbox is overflowing with unread messages.


Platform to manage email online.
Without any email app, I rely on webmail to check my correspondence.


Electronic correspondence between individuals.
She checks her email first thing every morning.


Browser-based email interface.
Gmail's webmail interface is user-friendly and intuitive.


Digital alternative to postal mail.
I prefer receiving bills through email instead of physical mail.


Internet service offering email accessibility.
When my phone died, I used a public computer to access my webmail.


Method of communication using electronic devices.
Please send me the details via email.


Web-accessible email portal.
Some prefer webmail because it's accessible from any computer with internet.


A system for sending and receiving messages electronically over a computer network.


A service providing the ability to read and send email at a website.


A message or messages sent or received by such a system.


A service for sending, receiving, and/or storing email, usually on a remote web server, in such a way that it is accessible through a web browser.
Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and Gmail are well-known webmail services.


To send (someone) an email
I'll email you when I know my schedule.


The email thus stored.
I'm going to check my webmail.


How can I access webmail?

Webmail can be accessed by logging into an email provider's website using a web browser.

Do I need a specific application to use webmail?

No, webmail only requires a web browser and an internet connection.

What is email used for?

Email is used for sending and receiving digital messages electronically.

Can I access my email account without webmail?

Yes, you can use desktop or mobile email clients to access your email.

How do email clients differ from webmail?

Email clients are applications that manage your email, while webmail is accessed through a browser.

Are webmail services typically free?

Many providers offer free webmail services, but some might have premium features for a fee.

Can I have multiple email addresses with one webmail provider?

Yes, many providers allow users to have multiple email addresses or aliases.

Can I use both email clients and webmail for the same account?

Yes, many email accounts can be accessed both ways.

Can I customize my email settings in webmail?

Yes, most webmail services allow users to customize settings and appearance.

Do all email providers offer webmail?

Most modern email providers offer webmail, but not all.

How are emails stored in webmail?

They're typically stored on the email provider's servers.

How do I know if my email is encrypted?

Both email clients and webmail may offer encryption, but it's best to check with the provider or in the service's settings.

Can I access webmail without an internet connection?

No, webmail requires an active internet connection.

How can I organize my emails in webmail?

Most webmail services offer folders, labels, or categories for organization.

Which is more user-friendly: email clients or webmail?

It's subjective; some users prefer the features of email clients, while others like the simplicity of webmail.

Do I need to download anything to use webmail?

No, webmail is accessed directly through a web browser.

Is email limited to text messages?

No, email can also include attachments, images, and hyperlinks.

Which is more secure: email clients or webmail?

Both can be secure, but it depends on provider security measures and user practices.

Is there a limit to the size of emails?

Both email clients and webmail typically have size limits, set by the email provider.

Is webmail the same as my email address?

No, webmail is the service, while the email address is your unique identifier within that service.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons