One can of course use Web mail, which may or may not be available from your service provider. We use T-Mobile as our mobile service provider, so we have the additional option of using their Web mail facility to access both our business and private accounts. While this does work, we find that it is not as satisfactory as using an e-mail client.
However, due to a happy confluence of hardware and software, this is now a moot point for us. RIT Labs has released a version of The Bat! called Voyager, which is intended to be installed on flash drives. Simultaneously, the cost of flash memory has fallen to the point where one can buy a four gigabyte USB or SD memory card for under $100 (Sony Memory Sticks still cost more). We chose to get a USB device, since we deemed it more likely that we would find a USB port than an SD slot.
Installation of Voyager was straightforward, and when you open the program it looks exactly like the regular desktop version. It does, however, require a password to open, because it encrypts the data on the off chance that the device might get lost or stolen.
With Voyager installed on the USB device (along with our most critical data in encrypted form, and some of our favorite CDs), we headed off to Phoenix for the Arizona Bar Association annual meeting. In our Phoenix office we plugged the USB device into a free machine and started Voyager. Both versions of the Bat! include a feature to look at headers on the server, and delete them without downloading. While not quite as automated as using MailWasher (ÆGIS June 2002 and May 2003), it works very well, and allowed us to delete the huge amount of chaff and download the small amount of wheat.
At the conference, the Bar Association had provided laptops connected to the Internet, so from time to time we would saunter over to a laptop, put in the USB device, and check our mail. When we returned to Gotham, it was straightforward to synchronize The Bat! (now the target) with Voyager (now the source).
If you travel, have access to computers with Internet connections, and want to be able to read your e-mail without schlepping a laptop, we recommend you give serious consideration to Voyager.