If using Apache, you can have the archive in a location that is
protected via a local .htaccess/.htpasswd to prevent wandering users
reading your mail. This way you can do secure checking of your mail
via the web while you are away to see if anything important has arrived
that needs your attention.
This is something that I've been doing for a while, and it works
quite well. The implementation of a search engine makes it even
more valuable for searching past incoming/outgoing messages.
Just to pick nits, I feel I should mention that a .htaccess/.htpasswd
file doesn't make a connection secure (and I don't think that Earl
meant to imply that it did) -- what it does is restrict access to
the email, not encrypt the authentication process or the session.
I personally authenticate to a "secure" web server via SSL so that
we can use the same password database (via Kerberos) without
having to worry about unencrypted passwords flying across the