For most Internet users, the brand Zoho means an online Office-like productivity suite but recently AdventNet, the company that developers Zoho, has added a brand new product to their kitty. It’s a web-based email program similar to Hotmail or Gmail and is called Zoho Mail. <b1>
It’s obviously tough for a relatively small player like Zoho to compete with biggies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. To attract people, they have thrown in some features that aren’t available in most other web mail programs.
For starters, Zoho Mail offers unlimited storage so you can now save all those emails with large video attachments without having to worry about exhausting the space limit ever. Gmail on the other hand offers 7 GB of free space.
Other popular email service providers in India like Rediff and Indiatimes too offer unlimited storage but what I liked about Zoho is that it neither inserts advertising in your mail nor in their web interface. Google shows contextual advertising in Gmail based on the content of your email message and though it’s all automated, some privacy advocates aren’t too happy with ads in Gmail.
Now another big plus in Zoho is offline access. You can read and reply to your email in the browser even while you are not connected to the Internet. That means you will always have access to emails whether you are on the road or inside an airplane where there’s no connection. This is made possible through Google Gears which is a Google technology but, surprisingly, not available for Gmail users yet.
Zoho Mail offers POP support too which, in simple English, means that you can download and read emails in any desktop mail software like Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird, etc. But unlike Gmail, there’s no IMAP support so if you delete a mail in Outlook, it’s not deleted automatically from your Zoho Mail account.
There’s also an auto-forward filter so you can use Zoho Mail without switching from your existing mail account.