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Imap Setup For Thunderbird


JonnyTCH
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I had to stop using previous versions of thunderbird because the IMAP performance was so terrible. However, I gave it another shot with the release of .5 this week. I was able to set up the account using the wizard. No special settings were required at all. It just worked. And I must say, the IMAP improvents are very noticable.

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Well, I don't use IMAP, so I can't help you with that. Sorry :)

 

But I do have a question for you guys: why do you use IMAP instead of POP3? I'm asking this because I never used IMAP and from what I know, the major (only?) difference (excluding the differences in the protocol, of course) is that while with POP3 you always download e-mails to your local system, with IMAP the e-mails are mostly kept on the server, being downloaded only if you want to. That means all the operations you do, you do them directly on the server. Like if you were using SquirrelMail or another wbmail package.

 

Am I right? Are there any more differences? What motivates you to use IMAP instead of POP3?

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This is a good article describing the capabilities and advantages of IMAP over POP3, besides being a newer and more powerful protocol:

 

http://www.imap.org/papers/imap.vs.pop.brief.html

 

One great benefit of IMAP is the ability to access multiple mailboxes from a single client. For example, though I don't yet have IMAP mail set up here at TCH, I use a pseudo version of it by accessing my mail files directly on my server via Pine (they're in the flat mbox format). However, the only other two ways of accessing my mail are via Web mail and POP3 download. That is, let's say I'm logged into a different server via SSH and want to access my mail via Pine on server 2 without establishing a new SSH connection to my own mail server. This is where IMAP comes in. Without it, I cannot access my mail via Pine on server 2.

 

I use Pine is the following way, which leverages other IMAP mail accounts that I have:

 

1) I access the mail on my own server.

2) I access a secondary mail account that I have with Fastmail, which is fully IMAP compatible.

3) I access a tertiary mail account also with Fastmail.

 

In other words, through a single client application (Pine) I can quickly and easily toggle between three different mailboxes, in addition to the mail archives I store on my server (not IMAP). I can even save messages between accounts.

 

IMAP also allows multiple clients to access a single mailbox concurrently. This is good when you access the same mail account from more than one computer. Otherwise the mailbox will lock and not update dynamically (you have to log out and back in to take back control of the session). IMAP is also good so that you can access your mail from any computer at any time; your mail does not get downloaded to one machine.

 

-Gabe

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Thanks for the nice explanation, Gabe! :)

 

I think I'll try to set it up in Evolution and give it a try.

 

Not sure if I'll benefit that much from it, since I access my e-mail mainly from my home computer and I like having my e-mail accessible on my PC but... maybe I'll convert myself :)

 

Thanks again :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

To all who are interested, I upgraded to Thunderbird version .5 and now can use the IMAP protocol. The speed is noticeable with this newer version.

 

I usually forget to check for recent releases of Thunderbird. Thanks DVDerek.

 

To TCH-Raul – I don’t have a great answer (like gadeanderson) to why I use IMAP over POP3. I just find it easier for my style.

 

 

JonnyTCH

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