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GeekBuddy what's an email client?

Geekbuddy, what's an email client? I want to use Comodo SecureEmail with my Yahoo! and Hotmail accounts. I downloaded the software, but I it keeps telling me I need an email certificate. So then the guys at work said I needed an email client if I wanted to install a certificate. I just shut up, because I didn't want to say that I don't know what an email client is. What's an email client? --Ed in Jersey City

Some people don't even need to encrypt their emails--their technical language is so hard to understand. I hope this explanation is easier to understand. With Yahoo! and Hotmail you're using web-based email services. All the storage and most of the processing takes place "in the cloud," meaning that Yahoo! and Microsoft store them for you. We call that kind of service webmail.

Webmail is convenient. It's very easy to set up, and you can log in from anywhere and see all your messages.

Webmail is not set up to allow you to run an application like Comodo SecureEmail. For one thing, as you know, with webmail you can't install a digital certificate, which contains the "keys" that you need to scramble email messages so that nobody else can read them.

However, you can manage your email accounts with a client, which is software that accesses a server via a network. In other words, if you have an email client, it contacts Yahoo! and Hotmail for you.

I like the explanation at, brought to you by the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team.

And if you go to's home page, notice how you can sign up for security bulletins. They have one set of bulletins for your technical "friends" at work, and one for the rest of us.