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Its ease of use and ease of storage. Setting up a mail client and getting it to download everything isnt a 1 click operation.

However, clicking "download backup now" is a very easy 1 click operation, and I can just store that zip file wherever I want. Done.

Backups are only as useful as the 'restore' strategy. If I had a zip of all my email somewhere I wouldn't really know what to do with it (and it'd be obsolete pretty quickly).

I mainly use Gmail via IMAP (and the web version when I need to set up filters). Therefore, I'm intrigued that folks seem to be interested in a 1-click-download kind of solution.

I guess installing an email client is a hassle. But in Outlook and Thunderbird (at least), it really is that easy. You just put in your email address and password and it will start downloading automatically.

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