Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Mozilla Thunderbird w/ GNU PGP

A few days ago Christi began having problems with her Webmail account. I wanted to get a good mail reader for her, and I have NEVER been impressed with OE. So I decided to try out Thunderbird from the good people over at Mozilla.
I downloaded installed and took a look and liked what I saw. It was VERY impressive for a free competitor to OE.

A few days passed and we began a MS Exchane trial at work. This trial took over my outlook and disabled my abilty to check my email at my other sites, and Knowing that I could not live my life with onoy 1 email address, I decided to download and trial Thunderbird for myself.

My analysis is 3.75 Stars. Here are 4 reasons why I think anyone using POP mail should move to Thunderbird.

1. Built In Junk Mail Filter - Intelligent engine, automatic whitelist of known addresses, very effective.

2. Message Filters - Move certain messages to certain folders automatically upon arrival. I am subscribed to several newsgroups, I put these messages in a newsgroup folder that allows me to read them when I have time, and keeps them from clogging my inbox. This option is where thunderbird lost 1/8 of a point for not allowing me to forward certain messages to my cell phone. Outlook has this ability.

3. GNU PG - PGP is an important tool. I believe that identity proof is a crucial item in todays world of spoofs and hoaxes. This tool allows for everyone to add the security of their unique identity to every email. Friends don't let friends email w/o PGP and GNU PG makes that available for free.

4. MS-Outlook Import - I have an exstensive Outlook history going back over 3 years worth of saved messages. All of my messages and folders moved over with ease and integrity. I did not use the address book function, but I assume it works just as well.

The other 1/8 point Thunderbird lost in my opinion came from the fact that there is no calender. Although I still have that option in my Exchane hijacked Outlook, if this was my only email client I would feel very inadequete without that functionality. They do get points for the fact that it is available as a plugin called Sunbird from the Mozilla site. It is in the EARLY beta stages and stabilty is probably questionable. I have not tried it yet.

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