Thunderbird 1.5 aka Thunderbird Reloaded

excellent
key review info
application features
  • Adaptive Junk Mail Controls
  • (9 more, see all...)

Mozilla is a very well known vendor for products like Mozilla Firefox, then because of the very mature Mozilla Suite (all-in-one Internet application suite) and last but not least because of the Thunderbird e-mail client. Their products are characterized by ease of use, combined with functionality. In this review will see if the mail client can rise to the quality of the web browser.

What is Thunderbird all about?

First of all it is a full-featured, easy to use and in the same time powerful e-mail client. When I first started Thunderbird, after a very long time, the first thing that stroke me was the option to setup accounts for RSS and Newsgroup. Even though this is not a rare, being a user of KMail, I was nicely surprised. It is very easy to setup an RSS account with the Linux Software Reviews :) . When it comes to how the main window changed from version 1.0 to version 1.5 you can't only some subtle differences. Mainly, it has some improvements regarding the behavior of the main window when it is resized. The milestone improvements regard the addition of an automated updates, a spellcheck as you type, Kerberos authentication, new autocomplete sort features and Mozilla suggests they also included a phishing detector that tells you when it thinks a message might be a scam. This new features brought Thunderbird in the line with other top e-mail clients.

Despite the fact that in other clients configuration is more advanced, Thunderbird excels at simplicity and ease of use. The message filters are very easy to comprehend and when managing large volumes of mail they can really come in handy. This client also supports filters for spam. And guess what? They are easy to use. If you see some junk mail you should right click it and mark it as junk. Each time you mark messages as spam, Thunderbird improves its filtering. You also have the possibility to disable the adaptive junk mail filter and you can also use mail headers set by SpamPall or SpamAssasin. This is great because this way you can spend more time reading the mail that matters.

Because Thunderbird is designed to make the experience with e-mail more personal and user friendly it also supports themes. Themes install very easy and you can make Thunderbird look like a well known mail client from Windows, from Mac OS and even like KMail. On I can't think of other e-mail client that makes the migration so easy. Besides a bunch of themes, there are also available over 170 extensions for Thunderbird. With extensions you can add mouse gestures support, dictionary search, a tool that can switch between multiple proxy configurations and a lot more. Just imagine how powerful can become this light e-mail client.

When it comes to security Thunderbird doesn't make a fool of itself because it's featureas include S/MIME, digital signing, message encryption, support for certificates and security devices. Most of the people never use this, but for those of you who don't need very fancy security I think Thunderbird does the job.

This mail client also has a built in address book in which, of course, you can easily import address book entries. What I like about this one is that autocomplete results by how often you send e-mail to each recipient. Because printed material is still part of every day's life, you can print a single card or the entire address book.

The Good

The best thing about Thunderbird is that combines both ease of use with usability and functionality in a seamless way that only the modern Mozilla products can accomplish.

The Bad

In this version of Thunderbird are two annoying issues that hold this client down. The program doesn't remain in the tray to check my mail from once in a while and another easily fixable issue is that it's nice icon isn't displayed in the taskbar or in the upper frame border. The first thing obliges you to manually open the program to check e-mail and feeds and the second makes the program a little harder to distinguish in the taskbar.

The Truth

Thunderbird has reached to the level of the best mail clients out there and I guess that at this moment is only a matter of personal preference of what mail client you use. The combination between Firefox and Thunderbird will really make the Internet experience more pleasant.

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user interface 5
features 4
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5


final rating 5
Editor's review
excellent
 
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