Being greedy, I wanted a program to fulfill the following requirements:
Small footprint – No MS type bloaty programs thank you!
Taskbar – Icon notification in the system tray.
No popups! – There’s nothing more infuriating than a program that pops up messages from the taskbar/system tray (e.g. Windows XP!!!).
Multiple accounts – I have a number of POP3 email accounts via ISP’s and domains, so needed to be able to check them all.
Webmail – I also use GMail, Yahoo and Hotmail and wanted a program to check those for me too.
Cost – I prefer free or OSS software (obviously!), but don’t mind paying for something worthwhile or donating if I keep a program longer than 30 days.
Anything else was a bonus really, but they were the bare minimum requirements.
After a lot of fannying around looking through a number of sites, I came across PoP Peeper, which you can grab from www.poppeeper.com/. This tiny app managed to fill all my requirements and more besides.
It sits happily in the system tray checking email as often as you set it to do so. You can set up multiple accounts (as per my requirement above), including POP3 and web based email systems, assigning a specific colour to each account. Very nice touch that! Each account can be individually, or collectively password protected. So, if you have to share the PC with other people who you don’t want snooping, you can set a password to prevent anyone from even opening the program if you like. The security is very well implemented.
When an email comes in, you have a choice of how to have the program notify you (or not). I chose to have the icon in the taskbar change, along with a flashing colour according to which account the mail arrived at. You can also have a popup appear, Pop Peeper open or your normal email client open automatically if you wish.
Pop Peeper is capable of displaying any emails that arrive, without you having to open your normal client and can be used to reply. You can hide emails flagged as read and set the flags for emails to be deleted from the server when Pop Peeper next checks the account.
All in all, this is a very nicely designed application. After using it for the past few weeks, I can say it has been 100% reliable, takes up a tiny amount of resources (1.4Mb RAM when minimised to system tray) and does everything I could possibly wish for. It’s so nice not to have to open Thunderbird and my web browser with multiple pages every time I want to check email.
I’d highly recommend this program. I’ll be making a well deserved donation to the author within the next week or two.