Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Thunderbird and Setting Up Web Email Accounts...

Last week I posted a blog about how since most of us have more than one web-based email account, it would be a million dollar idea to come up with an easy way to login to all those email accounts at once and manage those accounts from a single piece of software. Well, Mozilla's Thunderbird doesn't make it easy, but at least it's possible, and once you have it set up your emailing world will become so much simpler. Trust me I've become hooked in only a few days.

Thunderbird is a free and open source alternative to Microsoft Outlook, plus it can also be used for subscribing to RSS feeds, podcasts, newsgroups, and has all types of encryption and security features to prevent network administrators from reading the messages you read and send. Here are some instructions for setting up Thunderbird to work with your Hotmail, Gmail, AOL, Yahoo, or any other web-based email accounts. It's a pain, but worth it.

1) Download and install Mozilla Thunderbird at: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/thunderbird

2) You will need to download XPI files to your computer for whichever web email service you use. Go to this website: http://webmail.mozdev.org/installation.html. Download the link for the WebMail extension, then download the other extensions you'll want to use such as Hotmail, Gmail, etc.

3) In Thunderbird, from the top menu bar click on Tools --> Extensions, and Install each of the extensions you just downloaded.

4) Restart Thunderbird.

5) In Thunderbird, click on Tools --> Account Settings, and add a new account. I prefer to skip the wizard and simply enter the following settings for that account after its been created:

My Hotmail Account --> Server Settings
Servername: localhost
Port: 110
Username: rdomanski@hotmail.com

Outgoing Server (SMTP)
Servername: localhost
Port: 25
Check the box for "Use Name and Password"
Username: rdomanski@hotmail.com

That should be everything. Now you can read and send messages from all of your email accounts in one central place. Consider Thunderbird your own personal "Mission Control".

Isn't it amazing what's possible when systems stay open and non-proprietary?
  

2 Comments:

At 1:17 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Hey-
I found your site while I was trying to figure out how to get my hotmail accounts to hook up with Thunderbird, and I'm still a bit confused. On Firefox, I can download the extensions you linked to, but it says that they aren't compatible with Firefox, so they can't be run. How do I get those extensions to link up with Thunderbird? I suppose I'm just altogether confused.

 
At 11:27 PM, Anonymous Ben Goerzen said...

hey just if you havent figured out what to do
there probably is an easier way
but what i did is i installed them with safari because it wont ask for them
saved them to my desktop
then continue as normally stated.

 

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