Most open source email software can perform all the basic email functions, but there are other features needed if one is looking for a fully functional email program. With open source email software, the user should look for programs with expansive user communities, because this is where most of the small upgrades and technical support will come from. The ability to make multiple accounts will be useful, even if only one user intends to use the program. Calendars and event lists will help the user organize his or her life and can help others work with the user. Hacking can be a problem with email programs, so the software email software also must have security features.
A person looking for the best open source email software should look for software with an active user community, such as forums and websites, to help the user if there are any problems. Open source developers do not make money — at least, not much — on such programs, so they rarely can dedicate themselves to providing technical support. Other users will typically fill this technical support void. In addition, because the email software is open source and other developers can work with its source code, these users may create small upgrades, such as modules or features that enhance the original build.
Many users create multiple email accounts, and open source email software should be able to support this. If several people use the same computer, this will allow everyone to create a separate account. If just one person is using the computer, then he or she can make accounts for different purposes. For example, the user can make a work account, an email account for friends and another for family.
Not only does open source email software allow users to keep up with messages, but many users also rely on the program to organize their lives. To this end, the email software should have a calendar and events list, so the user can write down what he or she needs to do on a certain day. This also allows other people to check the calendar, if the access levels are set for public viewing, so events can be coordinated between friends or co-workers.
Hacking can present a major problem for open source email software users, because hackers can change the person’s password or destroy the user’s reputation by sending spam to friends and workers. To prevent this, the program should come with encryption and security features. While this does not guarantee safety, it does decrease risk.