Should You Use Gmail With Thunderbird? Truth Revealed.

Gmail is a one-stop approach to email, so why would you want to use Mozzila’s Thunderbird email client? Depending on your needs, it might be a great way to deal with your daily email load.

Thunderbird offers certain benefits that Gmail as a standalone client cannot. Using Thunderbird as your email client and Gmail as the provider can offer the best of both worlds. Determining how you will use your email client will help decide which option is best for you.

Thunderbird is a tried and true free open-source platform. It can offer you enhanced security and customization features. It is a great tool that can help organize and streamline your email use.

Before choosing an email client, you should access your email needs.

How To Figure Out Which Service You Should Use?

Both Gmail and Thunderbird offer a similar experience. There are, however, some differences that can determine which one is best for your use.To figure out which service will work for you, as yourself these questions:

  • How much storage do you need? Gmail offers 15gb for free for use in your Gmail and Drive accounts. Additional storage can be purchased. Is this enough for you or your business?
  • Do you need offline functionality? Thunderbird offers a great option for offline use. Gmail offers something similar but not as useful in some cases. How often will you need to access offline emails?
  • Will you be using multiple accounts? Gmail allows you to connect only to other Gmail accounts for a streamlined inbox. Are you using more than one email provider?
  • How Important is privacy? Do you need to be able to encrypt your messages? How important are anti-phishing features?
  • Is customization important? Do you like using a lot of add-ons to better organize and customize your experience? If so, then Gmail’s client might not be your best fit.
  • Do you need improved search functions? Some search functions are better than others. If you have a large load of emails to work through, this may be more important than you think.

These questions will help you decide which client is best.Gmail has become a popular option when choosing an email client. It offers a ton of features and combines a client with a provider. Google’s webmail platform has created a streamline and tested service that is dependable for personal and business use.

Thunderbird is a standalone email client that can be used in conjunction with the provider side of Gmail. It can also support other providers like:

  • AOL Mail - Purchased by Verizon in 2015, this classic provider still offers features like unlimited storage.
  • ProtonMail - If you are privacy-minded, this email service offers enhanced security through encryption and other features.
  • GMX Mail -  This provider offers 65gb of storage and large attachment file size.
  • - If you are looking for custom email domains, offers 200 for free. This is great for small businesses and freelancers.

Thunderbird offers the capability to use all these providers. You can even have each account open using the tab feature that is similar to the one popular in Firefox.Thunderbird’s security and offline capabilities outperform Gmail on many levels.

This is why many decide to switch from Gmail’s webmail platform. This may not be essential to you. For a lot of people, Gmail works more than adequately for their needs.

To better understand which client is best for you, let’s explore what these services are.

What is the Difference Between an Email Client and an Email Provider?

An email client is software you use to access your email. It offers a remote server to store emails it has received. Email clients, like Thunderbird or Outlook, rely on email protocols to access the internet and refresh your inbox.

Email clients mostly offer you the platform to access your email in an organized way. They contain features like search or smart tags that create a smooth management experience.An email provider is the source of this protocol. It “provides” these protocols to the email client.There are several email protocols:

  • POP3 - Post Office Protocol. This protocol downloads emails on to your local server.
  • IMAP - Internet Message Access Protocol. IMAP allows for all of your emails to stay online as you manage them.
  • Exchange - Similar to IMAP, just Microsoft’s version. 

Each protocol has its benefits as well. Determining which one is right for you will depend on your business and how you use your email. Some protocols are better suited for use over multiple accounts.

Others offer offline functionality that may be important for you.Most email providers are also webmail providers. This means they offer a standalone service where you can access an online-based client to manage your email.

Gmail is an example of webmail.

What Are the Benefits of Using Thunderbird?Gmail is a great client and provider that can offer you a whole lot when it comes to email. If you are looking for something more organized and multi-functional, Thunderbird may be able to fill in those gaps.Here are some benefits of using Thunderbird as your email client.

  • Adaptable junk mail settings - Thunderbird allows you to customize what funnels into your spam folder. Every time you mark an email as junk, it teaches Thunderbird’s smart filters to better fit you.
  • Privacy - Thunderbird offers offline email encryption. It also provides several layers of defense against phishing and remote images.
  • Storage - If you are worried about storage Thunderbird can support remote server functionality. This means you can keep a personal offline email server with extra storage and safety.
  • Open-Source - Not only does this mean it’s free, but it also means Thunderbird supports customization through a robust selection of third-party extensions.
  • Offline Viewing - Sometimes, you don’t have access to the internet. In these times, Thunderbird can save all your emails for offline management. Your replies will be saved and sent the next time the platform connects.

What are the Benefits of Using Gmail?

Gmail, as a webmail provider, can still offer some things that Thunderbird cannot. While there are a lot of similarities between the two platforms, Gmail has a few standout features.

Number one being its impressive search function.As you would guess from the web behemoth, Google has developed a highly customizable and usable search function for its email client.

Search across a whole selection of filters to find the emails you need quicker.

This feature alone has users hooked on Gmail as a client instead of other services. While Mozilla’s client offers smart search features, it does not quite hit the same bar as Gmail’s search.

If you are an avid user of Google Docs, you might be inclined to stick within the Google family.

This keeps all the integration and connectivity of Docs and Drive within Gmail.

How Do You Set Up Gmail With Thunderbird?

One of the best parts about Thunderbird is how easy it is to connect your Gmail account or other email accounts.

Since this client is designed with these providers in mind, it is painless and convenient to add new accounts.

First, you need to make sure you have the IMAP protocol enabled in your Gmail settings.

This needs to be done through Gmail’s online email client.

Do this by clicking the settings icon in the top right of the webmail interface.

Once you enable IMAP, you are ready to go.From here, you just need to access Thunderbird’s new account setup dialog.

It is accessible through the main File tab in the platform.

This will take you step by step through the process of connecting Gmail to your Thunderbird’s Inbox. The full tutorial is Here.Now you should have access to all the great Thunderbird features while still using your Gmail address for correspondence.

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