AnneH If you are using Internet Explorer then once you have the new window open with the BT Mail webmail interface go to:
Tools: Internet Options and then on the "General" tab click the "Use Current" button underneath the Home Page box
If you are using the Firefox browser then go to:
Tools: Options and on click on the "General" icon then click "Use Current Page" button underneath the Home Page box
If you want to make BT.Com your homepage click on this link http://home.bt.com/
Once the page has opened go to the menu at the top of the page and click on "Tools" then scroll down to "Internet Options" click on it. A box will open. You will see a box named "Home Page" this will have the address of the BT page you have opened. Now click on the button "Use Current" Click "Apply" then "OK".
Hi again Guru
This looks interesting - can you run me through the pros and cons? Main concern I have is losing BTs virus protection - will this system still allow me to access emails safely?
You wouldn't lose BT virus protection. Both the webmail and e-mail program are viewing the same system/folders on the BT mail servers. You will see the same Spam folder either way and will also connect securely using either method. Additional security software on a PC (such as BTNetprotect Plus) will usually integrate with the e-mail program and also check e-mails for viruses, though you can turn off this extra level of checking and just rely on the BT mail servers to check things if you want to keep things simple.
If you set up an e-mail program then it is best to use the IMAP protocol to access your accounts. This way any changes you make either via the e-mail program or webmail will be synchronised with the other. I would expect that an e-mail program will default to IMAP when adding a BT account on it.
The pros and cons are probably too many to list here. Try searching on Google for something like 'webmail vs e-mail client program', or you could create a new thread and see what people think. In general though an e-mail program is the more powerful, faster, more configurable way to do things, and webmail is the more basic, slower, simple way. Most people with a fair bit of computing experience, or who work in large companies, will use an e-mail program on a daily basis as it can be set up to automatically check for e-mails at regular intervals in the background. It will then notify the user when new mail has arrived.
I should have added that you are not limited to one or the other. You can still use webmail on the same PC or on any other PC at any time even if you have set up an e-mail program on your PC. In fact using webmail to check things are synchronised is useful at times.
As mentioned earlier they both provide views of the same underlying server-side data, though an e-mail program additionally allows you to store data locally on your PC if you want to.
Here are the five default server-side folders viewed through both BT webmail and Thunderbird.
The quickest way to get an understanding of how things work is probably just to install a program like Thunderbird and give it a go. If it turns out that you don't want to use it then you can always just uninstall it (being careful of course not to lose any locally stored data).