View Full Version : Thunderbird email

01-30-2009, 10:46 AM
I've been using Thunderbird as my email client for about a month now. It looks great, though still has a few functionality shortcomings compared to Outlook and Eudora - the two applications that I've used in the past.

I was a Eudora user for years, but finally ditched it because of its poor management of signatures and skimpy reply headers. I switched to Outlook - reluctantly, because I had never liked it. Then I tried Thunderbird and took to it immediately, mainly because it's extremely user-friendly and just so simple and refreshing in its design.

I've customized it a bit with some add-ons, and am waiting for further improvements with the new 3.0 release due this quarter.

Anyone else use Tbird? Love it? Hate it? Neutral to it?

01-30-2009, 12:43 PM
I tried it for a while, but didn't really get to know the program all that well. I switched to Gmail due to problems with my e-mail address when I moved, and now run everything to there.

I will say I liked Thunderbird better than Outlook.

01-30-2009, 01:55 PM
I started with Outlook Express before my eyes got opened to Mozilla and its software (including Thunderbird).

As I found that I needed calendar features, I moved to Outlook. The folders started getting weighed down, my computer slowed and slowly I decided another tool was needed in place. Plus there were good ideas Outlook was just ignoring.

So, I moved to Thunderbird, and enjoy the add-ins, themes and other functionality. During configuration, there was an option to configure Gmail Accounts! It had the smtp and pop settings already configure, I just needed my login and password.

Outlook would never make my life that easy!

Thunderbird for me all the way!

01-30-2009, 03:07 PM
I've used Thunderbird for at least 3 years now. Outlook keeps things in registry that makes backup difficult. TB, is all in a folder you can copy. I cut over because of the free spam filter essentially. It works pretty good and in comparison to Nortons spam filter is great.

I find that the set up is a little less automatic than Outlook. But it is more versitle. You have to go and find the add ins you need and set each account up individually which is a bit of a pain. I certainly wouldn't go back to Outlook though.

Harold Mansfield
01-30-2009, 03:48 PM
I have been using Thunderbird for about 3 years now. I like the options in Outlook, but the amount of processor that it takes up is not worth it on my personal PC.

I think Outlook is great in an office that communicates with a lot of people and clients, but for me..it's just a resource hog and I can't deal with it.

I'm pretty simple. I just need to get and answer emails.

01-30-2009, 05:32 PM
I've been using Thunderbird since it's release. I've always found it to work for me. Yes a calendar is missing, but Mozilla makes a standalone calendar application called Sunbird (http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/sunbird/) and they make an extension for Thunderbird call Lightning (http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/lightning/index.html).

I've used Sunbird before, though I'm using iCal now. Lightning I just discovered when I went to grab the link for Sunbird, but I suspect it's exactly what you need if you're wanting a calendar in Thunderbird.

Check the FAQ on the left side of either of the links above for details.

01-30-2009, 06:52 PM
Great to know there are so many Thunderbird fans. Yes, setting up Gmail with Thunderbird is an unbelievably simple operation!

Thanks for the calendar apps, Van. If I ever get around to using an electronic calendar, now I know where to find one.

01-30-2009, 06:57 PM
Hopefully the calendars work. Sunbird is a standalone application and it always met my calendar needs, which are admittedly limited. I have no idea how Lightning works, but I assume it does what everyone wants. Looks like it's still a work in progress so it may still be a little glitchy, but I would expect that to change before long.

01-31-2009, 10:00 AM
There is also an extension with Thunderbird that will sync your calendars with Google Calendar. Which is a nice features for those who like the feature set Google provides. ... i dont remember the addins name at the moment.

01-31-2009, 06:29 PM
I did use Thunderbird, for a little while on one my email accounts to try and keep the mail separate, in the end though i drifted back to Outlook, i suppose i just prefer outlook even though i know outlook is slower and such, i seem to have a preference for the usability in one application.

02-01-2009, 09:36 AM
After you all talking about it, and having a good client who talks about it, I installed it the other day.

I've got probably 40 email accounts that Outlook checks every 10 minutes, and while the install picked them all up it did not get the login and send information, which means editing each one.

And there is no SMTP fields in each account, somewhere I get a glimpse of a master SMTP, but can't find it anywhere and using Help is no help, since it is the entire Mozilla package help and I could find nothing there on what I needed.

So, I'm back to Outlook. Not enough hours in the day to spend a bunch on something that may, or may not, be worthwhile.

02-01-2009, 10:29 AM
Pete I'm not sure any program would pick up all the login information. I would think that it would be a security issue to pass that information from one program to another. You could always try just setting up one or two accounts in Thunderbird to see if you like it. On the other hand if you're happy with Outlook there's no reason to switch. In the end, both do mostly the same things.

With the SMTP, Thunderbird sends all outgoing mail through one server. Your mail will show as whichever account you're using, but it will technically all go out through one server so it only gets set on that one server. I'd like to see each account have the choice of going through its own server, but the ability isn't there. You can set up several outgoing mail servers and switch between them, but unfortunately you can still only use one at a time.

02-01-2009, 06:17 PM
Setting up the accounts is both a plus and a minus. I agree its a pain. I only have about 10 email accounts and its still a pain. It does give you more account specific control though. I haven't used Outlook in at least three years, so my comparison is old, but at that time Outlook had no spam filter and things like your address book were stored in registry. That made backing up a pain unless you had a backup program.With Thunderbird, there is a folder you can copy for backup or moving everything to a different computer. The spam filter works quite well as well.

02-02-2009, 12:12 AM
One nice thing about Thunderbird is you can store your mailboxes on an external drive on your network and be able to access your email from all your computers. Or if your computer dies you plug your new one into the network and your mail is still there.

Dan Furman
02-02-2009, 01:09 AM
Tried T-bird a few years back, and found it a little "off" in terms of how it looked/worked. Can't explain it, but it didn't feel like a solid program. I'm a big multiple folders / multple tiers drag and drop guy for almost any type of program, and if drag and drop doesn't feel fluid [and the version of T-Bird I used didn't], then I don't like the program. Outlook may be a bit of a resource hog, but I like it much better.

I liked Outlook Express the best out of all e-mail clients. But Outlook's business contact manager is pretty cool, and was the reason I made the switch.

02-02-2009, 02:51 AM
How along ago did you use it Dan. It might have still been before it was a ready for prime time product. Not suggesting you should try again and switch. Just curious.

I use Thunderbird mostly because anytime I can get away with not using a Microsoft product that will typically be the route I go. I've never needed much in an email program. The calendars aren't a selling point for me. Thunderbird works. I open it and my email is there. I send an email and it gets delivered. The rest has never been all that necessary to me.

02-02-2009, 06:01 AM
Additionally, I have a ton of folders. I don't use sub folders though, never tried that in Outlook or TB. Drag and drop certainly works though. I highlight every post from the prior month and drag it to a different folder (now its the 2009 folder)

I'd see the negatives as the set up is more cumbersome as well as any plug ins. The positive is the spam filter is great and free, and with the plug ins it does everything that Outlook can do. Less likely to get hacked as well.

Dan Furman
02-02-2009, 11:13 AM
How along ago did you use it Dan. It might have still been before it was a ready for prime time product. Not suggesting you should try again and switch. Just curious.

Easily five years ago. Maybe longer. It likely has improved.

I don't need "much" from e-mail, but the biz contact manager is a nice way to keep contacts organized.

02-02-2009, 05:06 PM
It's probably the 5 years ago thing then. The folders and drag and drop are definitely there. But again no reason to switch if you're happy with Outlook. I think the calendar plugin I linked to above may offer the contact manager functionality. With a few plugins you could probably have it set up how you want.

But if you're happy with what you're using now there's really no reason to spend the time setting up a new program. If for someone reason you do decide to stop using Outlook and look for something else Thunderbird will probably work for you.

02-02-2009, 07:57 PM
I've used Outlook Express exclusively since my first computer in 1988. Can anyone say "XT?" :) :) Used Outlook on a couple work computers in the past and never quite got the hang of it--probably more than I needed at the time.

Because I LOVE Firefox, I've been wanting to give TBird a try. I've been hesitant, but after reading this, I may give it a try. If it'll lighten the load on my computer and leave me with one few MS programs, I'll be happy.

Thanks, everyone.

02-02-2009, 08:12 PM
Let us know what you think of Thunderbird if you give it a try. It'll be interesting to see how you compare it to Outlook Express.

02-04-2009, 02:21 PM
Let us know what you think of Thunderbird if you give it a try. It'll be interesting to see how you compare it to Outlook Express.

Ive used Outlook, Outlook Express and now Thunderbird. This was not for business, so no IMAP use or anything of that nature.

As far as features base, Outlook was great. It had calendars, came preinstalled on my pc and setting up is your average process. Outlook Express and Thunderbird felt similar at their base.

My opinon now is Thunderbird can trump any email client avaliable. For the features missing, someone has made a plug-in to compensate. Yet, I am also curious how others have liked other email clients.

Eudora looks interesting and has some "built in" plug-ins.

02-05-2009, 06:28 PM
Wow I just made this switch due to my desktop computer crashingn so now I use my laptop. I installed tbird on there and I am happy with it.

Like most said here it doesn't have all the bells of outlook but imo it gets the job done for free as well.

Tbird handles all my email accounts with ease I did have a few problems when setting them up but I fixed them with the help.

I moved cause I was a big ff fan so I knew I should like this as well. I hope yall that did use it a while ago but don't no more give it another goal because I had a seamless Move from outlook.

02-06-2009, 11:56 AM
Like most said here it doesn't have all the bells of outlook but imo it gets the job done for free as well.

In most cases missing features can be added by using the addins everyone loves!

02-06-2009, 12:12 PM
Which goes back to my original point. It is more current and full featured, but a bigger pain to set up. Outlook or Outlook express come preinstalled with windows office and windows respectively. The plus side is moving it from computer to computer is a breeze. Outlook and IE is a real pain if you want to keep all your address book and other functions.

02-06-2009, 01:54 PM
One negative to having everything preinstalled is you have to deal with the process eating features and bugs regardless if you plan on using them or not. The idea behind something like Thunderbird is the application is built with a smaller footprint and made to work better at its core. Then you customize it to your desire by adding the features you actually want.

Of course that comes with the price of having to spend more time setting things up for your needs. Personally I like customizing things for the way I'll use them. I enjoy spending the extra time since it also means learning more how the application works. Others prefer to have the application work right out of the box and have things preinstalled for them.

No right or wrong in the above. More of a different strokes for different folks thing.

02-09-2009, 08:24 PM
Tbird 3.0 will allow each message to have its own tab, or so I gather. This means if you have several messages open, they won't all be stacked in a single icon on the taskbar, but will have individual tabs as in FF.

I have my business account and a Gmail account in Tbird. Each uses a different server for outgoing mail. But yes, I can see how trying to set up 40 accounts would be more trouble than it's worth.

Eudora was a pleasure to use. Its new release is based on the Tbird platform. In fact, when I upgraded from Eudora 7.1 to 8, it took over my existing Tbird application and knocked out the few emails I had in there. This was before I had started using Tbird to any great extent, so no major harm done, but lesson learned.