Sad to say, gmail occasionally has down time. Not sure what to do when that happens and you still need to access your email?
Typically, while web access may be down, access via imap or pop is still available. (What this means: You can still get your email while using software on your computer, even while gmail is ‘down.’)
Thunderbird (by Mozilla, the maker of Firefox) is a great (free) option, with lots of new features in every release.
Lifehacker has a great suggestion: use Thunderbird as “a dedicated offline email client, as well as a more convenient and powerful online inbox aggregator—allowing you to manage everything from your regular email accounts to Google Voice, Google Wave, and other non-email inboxes with a little setting up.”
Forget Outlook and Windows Live Mail. Hello Thunderbird.
Read more about this concept here:
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