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What is Thunderbird? I don't understand concept. Is it an email provider like Yahoo? Why doesn't it just create new email address for me?

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Why does Thunderbird ask for my "email address and password" ? I thought this would be a new email entirely. Please explain. I just want an alternative email to yahoo or gmail.

Why does Thunderbird ask for my "email address and password" ? I thought this would be a new email entirely. Please explain. I just want an alternative email to yahoo or gmail.

Chosen solution

Thunderbird is a computer program and is produced in versions for Windows, Mac os and Linux. This, for me, is one of its attractions as I can use the same program at work on Windows and at home on Linux.

Tablets and phones don't, in general, offer full Windows. So on your mobile devices you'll need to set up their own email clients. Android is Google biased and will nag you to get a Gmail address, and offers a built-in Gmail client. For other email services you'll probably need to find the alternative general purpose Android email client. It's called "email" .

Apple have their own email client, but I don't and won't use Apple, so I can't comment on that.

Whatever you use, you should look for an option to use IMAP on all of your devices, including Thunderbird, to get maximum visibility of your email regardless of which device you're using.

There is no "Thunderbird website" for email.  ;-)

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Zenos 2265 solutions 12258 answers

Helpful Reply

Oh boy!

Thunderbird is an email client. It talks to one or more email servers and gets your messages from them.

We who use it usually do so because we don't like using a website to do email. Doing email via a website is usually called "webmail".

Say I have, for whatever reasons, email accounts with yahoo, gmail, hotmail and my ISP. If I use webmail, that's four different websites I have to visit. Each with its own particular layout and tools. Four different sets of rules and procedures you have to learn. And they keep changing, Gmail has periodic and irritating makeovers and IMHO an abysmal UI. Hotmail/Windows Live Mail/Live Mail/Outlook.com all essentially refer to the same underlying service but eternally being revamped to look new. Yahoo have a poor reputation for doing silly idiosyncratic things that break regular email systems.

You can instead set up each of these accounts in an email client such as Thunderbird. All your accounts in one place, with a consistent set of tools and procedures that work for all four accounts. One set of rules and procedures for you to learn. You could add another 10 email accounts and it's fundamentally just more of the same. Nothing new to learn.

Oh, and no adverts. And you can copy and paste from a message in one account to a message being written for a different account. Drag and drop messages between accounts. Manage and file your email correspondence.

If you only have and only ever intend to have just one email account, then maybe webmail is all you need. If you wish to access your email from just about any internet-connected computer then webmail has certain advantages; you wouldn't want to install Thunderbird on someone else's computer and leave behind your correspondence.

When I say "Thunderbird", it's just one of various so called email clients. They all have similar characteristics, essentially managing multiple email accounts in one place. What I have said above would equally well apply to The Bat, Eudora, Claws, Outlook, Windows Live Mail (or whatever it's called this month), Incredimail, Evolution, Kmail, etc etc.

Email clients are not email providers. To get an email account and address, you need to apply to an email provider; most ISPs offer free email as part of the service. Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook are by contrast email providers who offer you an account, an address, a server, and a webpage in which to work with an account. By and large they are not too interested in email clients; there's no money in it for them. Why would you pay them for a dedicated email client when there are so many free ones? And if you use an email client, you won't see their adverts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_client https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_email_clients

Oh boy! Thunderbird is an email client. It talks to one or more email servers and gets your messages from them. We who use it usually do so because we don't like using a website to do email. Doing email via a website is usually called "webmail". Say I have, for whatever reasons, email accounts with yahoo, gmail, hotmail and my ISP. If I use webmail, that's four different websites I have to visit. Each with its own particular layout and tools. Four different sets of rules and procedures you have to learn. And they keep changing, Gmail has periodic and irritating makeovers and IMHO an abysmal UI. Hotmail/Windows Live Mail/Live Mail/Outlook.com all essentially refer to the same underlying service but eternally being revamped to look new. Yahoo have a poor reputation for doing silly idiosyncratic things that break regular email systems. You can instead set up each of these accounts in an email client such as Thunderbird. All your accounts in one place, with a consistent set of tools and procedures that work for all four accounts. One set of rules and procedures for you to learn. You could add another 10 email accounts and it's fundamentally just more of the same. Nothing new to learn. Oh, and no adverts. And you can copy and paste from a message in one account to a message being written for a different account. Drag and drop messages between accounts. Manage and file your email correspondence. If you only have and only ever intend to have just one email account, then maybe webmail is all you need. If you wish to access your email from just about any internet-connected computer then webmail has certain advantages; you wouldn't want to install Thunderbird on someone else's computer and leave behind your correspondence. When I say "Thunderbird", it's just one of various so called email clients. They all have similar characteristics, essentially managing multiple email accounts in one place. What I have said above would equally well apply to The Bat, Eudora, Claws, Outlook, Windows Live Mail (or whatever it's called this month), Incredimail, Evolution, Kmail, etc etc. Email clients are not email providers. To get an email account and address, you need to apply to an email provider; most ISPs offer free email as part of the service. Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook are by contrast email providers who offer you an account, an address, a server, and a webpage in which to work with an account. By and large they are not too interested in email clients; there's no money in it for them. Why would you pay them for a dedicated email client when there are so many free ones? And if you use an email client, you won't see their adverts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_client https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_email_clients

Modified by Zenos

Question owner

Thanks so much for the very detailed and informative response! I think I understand the concept now.

I'm still unclear on how I would access my email. I want to be able to check my email from my tablet, laptop, phone, etc, either from my home or when I am traveling. Will I still be able to do that? It sounds like you don't access your email by going to the Thunderbird website and logging in. How does this work? This is new territory for me but I want to learn. Thanks.

Thanks so much for the very detailed and informative response! I think I understand the concept now. I'm still unclear on how I would access my email. I want to be able to check my email from my tablet, laptop, phone, etc, either from my home or when I am traveling. Will I still be able to do that? It sounds like you don't access your email by going to the Thunderbird website and logging in. How does this work? This is new territory for me but I want to learn. Thanks.
James
  • Moderator
1593 solutions 11223 answers

Most email services offer a form of webmail service that is viewed in a web browser such as Firefox.

Thunderbird is a desktop application that is for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. There is no version of Thunderbird for iOS and Android. It is not a website.

http://www.techopedia.com/definition/1656/email-client

Most email services offer a form of webmail service that is viewed in a web browser such as Firefox. Thunderbird is a desktop application that is for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. There is no version of Thunderbird for iOS and Android. It is not a website. http://www.techopedia.com/definition/1656/email-client
Zenos 2265 solutions 12258 answers

Chosen Solution

Thunderbird is a computer program and is produced in versions for Windows, Mac os and Linux. This, for me, is one of its attractions as I can use the same program at work on Windows and at home on Linux.

Tablets and phones don't, in general, offer full Windows. So on your mobile devices you'll need to set up their own email clients. Android is Google biased and will nag you to get a Gmail address, and offers a built-in Gmail client. For other email services you'll probably need to find the alternative general purpose Android email client. It's called "email" .

Apple have their own email client, but I don't and won't use Apple, so I can't comment on that.

Whatever you use, you should look for an option to use IMAP on all of your devices, including Thunderbird, to get maximum visibility of your email regardless of which device you're using.

There is no "Thunderbird website" for email.  ;-)

Thunderbird is a computer program and is produced in versions for Windows, Mac os and Linux. This, for me, is one of its attractions as I can use the same program at work on Windows and at home on Linux. Tablets and phones don't, in general, offer full Windows. So on your mobile devices you'll need to set up their own email clients. Android is Google biased and will nag you to get a Gmail address, and offers a built-in Gmail client. For other email services you'll probably need to find the alternative general purpose Android email client. It's called "email" . Apple have their own email client, but I don't and won't use Apple, so I can't comment on that. Whatever you use, you should look for an option to use IMAP on all of your devices, including Thunderbird, to get maximum visibility of your email regardless of which device you're using. There is no "Thunderbird website" for email. ;-)

Question owner

Thanks to James and Zenos for their help. Much appreciated! One last question to see if I understand correctly. If I use Thunderbird at home to access my Yahoo or Gmail email, can I still access my Yahoo or Gmail emails using other email clients too? In other words, am I restricted to using only one email client for each email service, like Yahoo?

Thanks to James and Zenos for their help. Much appreciated! One last question to see if I understand correctly. If I use Thunderbird at home to access my Yahoo or Gmail email, can I still access my Yahoo or Gmail emails using other email clients too? In other words, am I restricted to using only one email client for each email service, like Yahoo?
Zenos 2265 solutions 12258 answers

Helpful Reply

Yes you can use whatever mix of email clients that suits your needs. In fact, since you can't run Thunderbird on iOS or on Android, you're obliged to use whatever email client that's available.

However, you do need to use IMAP to ensure that your messages all remain visible to all of your devices. Pretty much all smartphones and tablets will default to IMAP anyway, since such devices generally have severely limited storage capacity and you wouldn't want to fill what little there is with email messages.

Yahoo were notable for being slow to offer IMAP. They certainly wouldn't be my first choice for email.

Yes you can use whatever mix of email clients that suits your needs. In fact, since you can't run Thunderbird on iOS or on Android, you're obliged to use whatever email client that's available. However, you do need to use IMAP to ensure that your messages all remain visible to all of your devices. Pretty much all smartphones and tablets will default to IMAP anyway, since such devices generally have severely limited storage capacity and you wouldn't want to fill what little there is with email messages. Yahoo were notable for being slow to offer IMAP. They certainly wouldn't be my first choice for email.

Question owner

Thanks so much, Zenos. I appreciate all of your help and information. I have really learned a lot. Can't help asking what would be your first choice for email. In any case, I will be sure to check for IMAP. Thanks again. You've been very patient with this novice.

Thanks so much, Zenos. I appreciate all of your help and information. I have really learned a lot. Can't help asking what would be your first choice for email. In any case, I will be sure to check for IMAP. Thanks again. You've been very patient with this novice.