Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird EN 24.0

Excellent mail client from the makers of Firefox

Thunderbird is a desktop email client, an alternative to Microsoft's Outlook, from the developers of Firefox. View full description

PROS

  • Free to use
  • Handles virtual identities
  • Lots of extensions
  • Easy to import contacts and mails
  • Support for Microsoft Exchange
  • Good learning spam filter
  • Strong encryption and support for certificates

CONS

  • Conversation style message view feature has to be downloaded seperately
  • Calendar needs to be downloaded seperately

Very good
8

Thunderbird is a desktop email client, an alternative to Microsoft's Outlook, from the developers of Firefox.

Thunderbird is Mozilla's award winning and free solution to manage your mail more efficiently. And there are many advantages of switching to it too. Unlike Mail for example, it can handle virtual identities and create on-the-fly addresses and it's widely regarded as having one of the best spam filters out there. Most recently, it's been updated with a slick tabbed interface to make managing your e-mail easier.

The fact that like Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird can be beefed up with all manner of extensions makes it an extremely competitive mail client. It's also now much faster and more stable than before due to the Gecko 5 engine.

Getting going

Setting up Mozilla Thunderbird is painless. You can quickly import your mail and contacts from your Outlook or Mail account and set up POP3, IMAP or SMTP accounts in a flash. To stay well organized, Mozilla Thunderbird offers filters to deliver your mail into separate folders and inboxes. And of course, there's a built-in spell checker to make sure that your mails are professionally crafted.

What makes Mozilla Thunderbird slightly more unusual is the fact that it comes with an integrated RSS reader. Nowadays, this is a little outdated because many people use a separate application - or even Firefox itself - to follow RSS feeds but it may be useful if you only want to mail and follow RSS feeds at the same time when composing mails.

Searching your mail

The search tool in Thunderbird is excellent and searches happen in real time as you type. Search results are displayed in a separate tab. Tabs in general are a very big part of Thunderbird and like Firefox, you can have multiple messages open in separate tabs. This is a fantastic feature of Thunderbird although does tempt you to have too many mails open at once. Archiving is also another handy feature for those that don't want to delete messages but want to clear space in their inbox.

So what about security? You might think an open-source mail client would inherently be less secure than a paid one but Thunderbird is surprisingly secure with a fairly bulletproof spam filter. The reason being is that Thunderbird is regularly updated and crafted by volunteers who's main interest is making a better product rather than profiting from an end-product. Security updates are regular but small so as not to slow-down Thunderbird.

Exchange support

One of the biggest selling points of Mozilla Thunderbird is that it offers Microsoft Exchange support, meaning it will appeal to Office users who previously discounted it.

On the downside, the app is lacking some finesse in certain areas. Thunderbird still doesn't have conversation style email views like in Gmail (although an extension to do this can be downloaded separately) and there aren't many options for managing attachments and photos. There's also no calendar but again, this can be downloaded separately in the form of "Lightning".

Overall, Thunderbird is an excellent free alternative to Microsoft Outlook.

Want to check out more apps and software? Discover the best email clients for business in our Solutions page.

Changes

  • Security fixes
  • An issue that caused occasional corruption in local folders after filtering is now fixed (815012)
  • An issue that caused deletion of drafts saved in IMAP folders whilst in offline mode is now fixed (805626)

Simple to use, powerful, and customizable, Thunderbird is a full-featured email application. Thunderbird supports IMAP and POP mail protocols, as well as HTML mail formatting. Easily import your existing email accounts and messages. Built-in RSS capabilities, powerful quick search, spell check as you type, global inbox, deleting attachments and advanced message filtering round out Thunderbird's modern feature set.

Each email you receive passes through Thunderbird's leading-edge junk mail filters. Each time you mark messages as spam, Thunderbird improves its filtering so you can spend more time reading the mail that matters. Thunderbird will also use your mail provider's spam filters to keep junk mail out of your inbox.

Thunderbird protects you from increasingly common email scams—also known as “phishing”—which try to fool you into handing over your passwords and other personal information. Thunderbird will tell you when it thinks a message might be a scam.
Advanced Security

Thunderbird provides enterprise and government grade security features including S/MIME, digital signing, message encryption, support for certificates and security devices. Attachments are never run without your express permission, protecting you from many worms and viruses.

The new Software Update feature makes it easy to get the latest security and feature updates to Thunderbird. Thunderbird automatically downloads these small updates in the background and prompts you when they are ready to be installed.

Select new button controls for your toolbars, install extensions to add new features, or change the look of your browser with themes—the way Thunderbird looks and works is under your control.

Mozilla Thunderbird

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Mozilla Thunderbird EN 24.0

— User reviews — about Mozilla Thunderbird

  • corcaigher

    by corcaigher

    "Someone is asleep at the wheel."

    Update to 38.2.0 has broken ability to open links in firefox browser. Seriously, how did you manage to break this? Do yo... More.

    reviewed on August 26, 2015

  • "Excellent program"

    It is one of the best I have been able to find in the free category. Easy to set up, and Lightning Calendar works seamle... More.

    reviewed on February 8, 2015

  • onlyrex

    by onlyrex

    "Didn't like"

    Didn't like. I've tried it on Linux and it was pretty slow to sync. The interface layout is very uncomfortable for readi... More.

    reviewed on January 8, 2015

  • TallPaul

    by TallPaul

    "Thunderbird is the hardest worker on my PC."

    I have to stay on Dial-up,and Thunderbird is the hardest worker on my PC. I have it set to go get mail from all kinds of... More.

    reviewed on December 3, 2013

  • vertigoback

    by vertigoback

    "Preferred email client"

    My preferred email client for 10 years now. It's stable, easy to use and powerful. More.

    reviewed on July 8, 2013

  • karen.karten

    by karen.karten

    "Mozilla Thunderbird"

    Stalls downloading, moving, opening email. Needs restarting after every task. More.

    reviewed on February 8, 2013