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Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1.7

Mozilla Thunderbird Editor's Review

Mozilla Thunderbird represents the next generation of e-mail, RSS, blogs and newsgroup readers. It has a well designed user interface, which allows you to enjoy its features in a user-friendly manner. Several wizards can also help you configure accounts using a few easy to understand steps. Thunderbird supports multiple accounts, automatic e-mail checking, and message filtering.

If you need to write an e-mail, you can select which account to use when sending. It's possible to embed emoticons in your message just by clicking a button. Thunderbird has a built-in spell checker, which underlines words that contain spelling errors. Many dictionaries can be downloaded besides the English dictionary, which is installed by default.

Upon receiving an email you can configure Thunderbird to display a popup message or to play a WAV file. Thunderbird supports using security certificates for encrypting e-mail. If you choose to encrypt an e-mail message, you also need to select or create a security certificate. The person who receives the e-mail must also have that same certificate in order to be able to decrypt the message.

Just like MS Outlook, this application also has a built-in address book. You can use the address book to save your contacts' information and to easily select the recipient of an e-mail. Thunderbird supports auto-completing e-mail addresses based on the data recorded in the address book.

The junk e-mail (spam) filter works in conjunction with your e-mail server, automatically detecting unwanted e-mails. SpamAssasin and SpamPal (server-side junk protection applications) are supported by Thunderbird. You can set the application to only download the headers of e-mail messages. However, when you select an item from the list of received messages, you have the option to download the whole message.

I wanted to transfer all my Thunderbird settings, including my e-mails from one computer to another. In order to do this I searched the Internet, but I couldn't find any solution. Next, I had the bright idea of looking inside the Documents and Settings system folder. To my surprise, I found a Thunderbird folder over there (full path is: C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data\Thunderbird). Copying the "Thunderbird" folder from one computer to the other proved to be the solution for moving settings and e-mails. As a remark, I want to add that Mozilla Thunderbird has to be installed on the second computer. You just have to overwrite the folder on the remote computer.

Pluses: Mozilla Firebird has lots and lots of external plugins. Each plugin can be installed easily, expanding Firebird's feature set. The advantage of using plugins in an application is that you can install only the features you need, minimizing memory consumption. The easiest way to install a plugin (including dictionaries for spell-checking) is to access the Tools - Extensions menu and then click the "Install" button. Among the improvements in version 2.0 the security patches, message tagging, improved search abilities are really worth mentioning.

Drawbacks / flaws:

In conclusion: Mozilla Firebird is a fully-featured, free, reliable, and secure mail client, which can also act as a RSS reader. The application is also available for Mac OS and Linux. If you are fed up with Outlook's user interface and its bugs, you might want to try Mozilla Firebird.

version reviewed: 3.0.4

What's Required in Version 3.1.7 of Mozilla Thunderbird

Windows OS

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