Software Review: Eudora 5.0 E-mail

By J. A. Hitchcock
as it appeared in the November/December 2000 issue of Link-UP

I’ve used Eudora ever since it came out years ago. I started with Eudora Lite, then moved up to their Pro version and was pretty happy with the program. It allowed me to get e-mail from three different POP accounts I had (called “Personalities), I could filter incoming messages, set up different address books, color code incoming messages, set incoming messages so that they went to certain folders and much more. Then, a few months ago, Eudora changed. I received an e-mail from the Eudora folks letting me know that now Eudora was free.

I was pleasantly surprised and went to the site at and found that the free version really meant free, as long as you didn’t mind looking at ads. This was called “Sponsored” mode. Or I could go back to using Light. I decided to stick with the Paid version and happily e-mailed away.

Recently, I got a new e-mail from the Eudora folks that Version 5.0 was out. I was happy and went to the site to download the upgrade/patch from Version 4.32, which I already had on my computer to Version 5.0. After downloading and installing, I got a rude awakening - I was automatically placed in free “Sponsored” mode and a message informed me that I had to pay $29.95 to get the 5.0 upgrade. This was not cool. I’d been a loyal Eudora customer for years now. I don’t mind paying for an upgrade, but the amount was higher than I expected. Eudora soon changed this to a free download for 4.3X customers through the end of November, so I did that. . .and quickly, too.

However, while I was in the free “Sponsored” mode, I have to admit that the ads weren’t that distracting. They were in the lower left corner of the program in a square about 2"x2". They changed every once in a while, but truthfully weren’t that bad. So if you’re looking for a free e-mail program that has a lot of “bells and whistles” and is probably the best e-mail program on the market, you really should get Eudora 5.0.

One thing I do not like about Version 5.0 is the MoodWatch feature. Eudora calls this a “fun new feature” but I call it being way too politically correct. If you turn on MoodWatch, these cartoon “jalapeno peppers” appear in a column next to certain messages. This means the message is “hot” depending on how many jalapenos appear, warning you about flame content in outgoing and incoming e-mails. If you don’t know what flame content is, this means there is probably something that could possibly get you into trouble or get you angry. If you write an e-mail and click on SEND and the content is questionable, a warning window will pop-up asking you if you if you really want to send it. Personally, if you’re writing messages that are that bad, you should be smart enough not to send them in the first place. I think MoodWatch should be scrapped next time around.

Another thing I don’t like is the E-mail Usage Stats request that pops up every once in a while when using Eudora. According to the web site, this “offers personal and interesting insight to a user's day-to-day email activity and patterns. ,” but to me it infringes on my privacy, even if I don’t have to respond to this message or can send it without my personal info. There should be a way to turn this off entirely.

Other than those two complaints, I love using Eudora, it’s made my e-mail life much simpler and it can make yours simpler, too. And bonus - you can use it, whether you have a PC or a Mac! Now you just have to decide if you want the Light version (less features but no ads), Free Sponsored version (mini ads that aren’t so bad) or the Paid version (for $39.95).

Also available: EIS (Eudora Internet Suite) 1.1 for the PalmOS for free when in Sponsored or Paid mode or purchase it for $29.95. This software allows you to Manage incoming and outgoing email; synchronize email directly between Eudora® for the Palm OS and your desktop Windows® email client; browse the Web without going through a proxy server

J.A. Hitchcock is a regular contributor to Compute Me. Visit her web site at

Return to the Compute Me Reviews main page.