The term Webmail (or Web-based e-mail) is used to describe two things. One use of the word is to describe a Webmail client: an email client implemented as a web application accessed via a web browser. This article focuses in this use of the term. The other use of the word is to describe an email service offered through a web site (a webmail provider) such as Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, and AOL Mail.
Practically every webmail provider offers email access using a webmail client, and many of them also offer email access by a desktop email client using standard email protocols, while many internet service providers provide a webmail client as part of the email service included in their internet service package. As with any web application, webmail's main advantage over the use of a desktop email client is the ability to send and receive email wherever there's a web browser. Its main disadvantage is the need to be connected to the internet while using it (Gmail offers offline use of its webmail client through the installation of Gears.