August 24, 2021, 8:06 am
Today, email clients have a lot on their shoulders. Gone are the days when email applications simply had to send and manage a few emails.
Of course, they should have awesome easy-to-use user interfaces, all auto-reply, auto-forward, redirect option ...
... s, the ability to manage multiple email addresses from one place, schedule messages, as well as tons of integration features. (address, calendar, cloud storage, online note-taking service integration, to name a few). Oh, and multiple access options (web-based, desktop, and mobile).
The question is: can an open source app maintained by community power like Thunderbird still be relevant today? The answer may surprise you.
Reasons to consider Thunderbird
Thunderbird is developed and maintained by a subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation and, as mentioned above, it is completely free and open source (which comes bundled with most Linux distributions).
At its core, it is a classic (local) email client that features a flexible tabbed GUI, with all the standard mail-related features such as filtering, searching, and archiving mail.
Another great aspect of Thunderbird is its ease of use. Simply provide a name, email address, and all required credentials, and Thunderbird will find the best configuration for you (such as choosing IMAP, SMTP, and SSL / TLS settings).
Even better, you can manage multiple accounts within one Thunderbird window.
That is all?
Fortunately, there are more things I like about Thunderbird. One of the main reasons Thunderbird can still hold its own in today's world is because of its customization options. Not only can you change the appearance of Thunderbird, but you can also greatly expand its power thanks to various plugins. You can find and install add-ons directly in Thunderbird, with no additional hassle.
Then there is something called Smart Folders. This makes it very easy for you to manage multiple accounts and even combine a number of folders into one (such as Inbox, Archive, and Sent).
The cherry on top
Lastly, probably the biggest reason Thunderbird is still valued today is security. Yes, it may not be as flexible as other email clients that share massive servers and work across all desktop and mobile platforms (and have web-based clients as well), but this provides much better overall security.
It's open source for starters, so anyone can check out the code and see if there are crawlers included (there aren't). Second, it has protection against phishing, automatic updates, and has the ability to automatically block suspicious messages.
What's up with the privacy? Well the beauty of having a local email client is that it stores all of your personal data (and we mean all of it) on your local drive.
Thunderbird is not perfect. It's certainly not the most flexible or flashy option out there. Thunderbird is the embodiment of what a robust and reliable email client should be.
It's super resource-friendly, has absolutely no bloat, it's secure and private, it's easy to set up, it works on Windows, macOS, and Linux in exactly the same way, and it's definitely one of the best at handling multiple accounts. (their number does not matter) at the same time.