I am getting totally fed up with Windows Live Mail which I use because it was there when I moved to Windows 7 and I didn't want to pay for Outlook. But I never really liked it, just sort of put up with it. Now it's starting to work so slowly and erratically that I'm ready to bite the bullet and change even if it costs.

But to what? Any suggestions? What works well, will put all my mail accounts into one inbox without me needing a degree in programming and doesn't demand a state-of-the-art computer?

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I have always been happy with Thunderbird it's free to download and use and has good junk filters.

http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/

For a conventional email client I agree that Thunderbird takes a lot of beating. But have a close look at Gmail - it's different but easy to pick up and you can set all your different accounts to be integrated together. The attractions to me are, in no particular order:

• up to 7GB of mail storage - not on your computer

• can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection

• labels rather than mailboxes means that if you get a mail from friend Fred about surfing in Biarritz you don't need separate copies in your "friends", "surfing" and "travel" mailboxes - just tag the message with labels, automatically if you wish.

• quoted text in threads is hidden

•integrates well with other Google stuff, like Google Plus

It's easy to set up and try - why not give it a go? Start here

Thanks Claire and Ian. I do have a gmail account and switching everything to that account was something I'd thought about, as is Thunderbird. I shall now look into them more thoroughly. Thanks again. 

My worry about cloud based services is what happens when things go wrong. Not necessarily Planet Google going bang but what happens if you lose your Internet connection. One solution would be to use Gmail and Thunderbird together by using Thunderbird to receive/send from your Gmail account.  You can have one copy of all your mail on Gmail and the other stored locally.

Hi Steve,

If you set up an IMAP connection in Gmail to your email client, you can set a limit to the size of your IMAP folders of (say) 1000 messages. So you can use GMail normally, then you can move to the email client in the event of loss of internet connection. This gives you the equivalent of GMail Offline for your most recent messages and you can read mail and compile replies for transmission when your connection is restored.

That's one way of doing it but as I principally use 1 PC, I'll stick with using Thunderbird as my mail client on that and using Gmail when I'm using another device.

I agree with Claire, if you want an email reader outside of using a browser , then Thunderbird is an excellent choice.

I moved to just using Gmail through a browser a few years ago, and would personally not move back. The beauty is, it allows access from anywhere, with a secure password of course ;-) I recommend Lastpass.

You do need to remember with all on-line services that what you get for free from the supplier of said service can change  and they are going to be mining your data - legally - for better targeted advertising. I accept this compromise, and it has not caused me any issues thus far. Google do offer a paid for service which takes away the advertising and offers greater control.

Thanks Nick. 

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