SnapMail 5.0

After installation, SnapMail automatically displays a list of users on your network. If your company has multiple sites (or multiple network segments within a site), you can configure SnapMail on one computer in each area to function as a server, relaying messages to other locations and queuing messages for users when they’re offline. Although users can set up remote access to their messages, SnapMail does not easily accommodate changing IP addresses, so the technique doesn’t work well for travellers.

It’s easy to pick up the basics of SnapMail without consulting the manual, although in a few respects the user interface is slightly odd. For example, SnapMail makes no real distinction between a message’s subject and its body; the subject is merely the first line of the message. But on the whole, the interface is significantly better than earlier versions.

SnapMail also offers: the ability to schedule messages for later delivery; drag-and-drop file transfer across platforms; pop-up alerts, called Snaps, to which you can send pre-written responses (SnapBacks); templates for new messages; and return receipts so you can tell if the recipient got the message. In addition, an administrator can send to any or all users options, such as groups, templates, and networking settings. For security, this requires a slightly unusual process, in which the administrator must enter the organisation’s registration code for SnapMail, but it works well and helps to maintain uniformity among many users.

Strangely, SnapMail 5.0 has fewer features than version 3, which ran under Mac OS 9. It no longer supports real-time voice and text chats (now offered in a separate product SnapTalk), styled text, or the ability to save drafts. It’s also no longer possible to connect SnapMail to a gateway to enable messages to travel to and from the internet. If you must exchange messages with the outside world, you’ll do a lot of copying and pasting between SnapMail and your regular email program. The company says it expects to provide better integration with conventional email programs in the future and also that a Universal version is in the works.

OUR VERDICT

SnapMail 5.0 offers secure, simple inter-office messaging and file transfer. If you’re looking for a no-frills internal messaging system, this fits the bill. But be prepared use an entirely different system for communicating with people on the outside.

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