Email programs are another way to access the same email accounts you can access in a browser (like Gmail), but provide extra features.
Reading tenses like this (from Email Self-Defense – a guide to fighting surveillance with GnuPG encryption) makes me feeling old. When I got on the net
- webmail didn’t existed
- most people got email from their univerity or from their ISP,
- gratis email provider almost were non-existent
- people used POP3 since they were billed by the time they stayed online. IMAP usage arrived several years later
- SSH were embryonal. Yes, people, the default were no encryption
Under many POV these days are better days even accounting for the several problems plaguing the net.