System Upgrade - Thunderbird email
Sept 10,2006

Thunderbird is a free email reader.

By default



It was actually very easy, just download and run Thunderbird.


In order to use any email program, you must specify The details vary (considerably) and you will probably have to try several things before it actually works. Generally, you will be given 2 url's - one POP3 and one SMTP.

Notice that the POP3 and SMTP URLs do not need to be the same ... it just depends.

Each server will have its own login ID and password.

Most email programs allow you to configure several POP3 addresses, but only one SMTP address.


POP3 - Post Office Protocol, version 3 - is a protocol used to read email. To read mail, your email client (in this case Thunderbird) needs the URL of the POP3 server (Thunderbird allows several).

Typically, the "username" must be the fully qualified email address

Note: AOL does not use POP3 - that means that you can NOT get email using a standard program.


SMTP - Simple Mail Transfer Protocol - is a format used to send email. An SMTP server receives emails sent from your email client (in this case Thunderbird) and sends them to the server (URL) specified in the address(es).

To send email

I have had problems with the username - a simple username typically does not work - you normally also need to include your URL, such as Notice that this is NOT the same URL as the SMTP URL. Also notice that the "at sign" (@) and URL were a required part of the "username" (this is the part that was NOT clear).

Playing with the Configuration

Warning: The provided help places many of these options in different locations - yet another reason not to use this application.


By default, external images are blocked and internal (MIME encoded) images are not. Displaying external images is very bad because spammers use images to identify your address as valid and to verify that the email was read - an appropriately named image will makes this very easy. Of particular concern are hidden images (usually 1 pixel by one pixel) - they are the same color as the background and so small that most people will not notice them.

The following option (set by default) only blocks remote images

(By the way, the provided help places this option in a different location.)

There is a possibility that some images may be included inside the email message. Supposedly, displaying those will NOT tell the spammer that you actually exist. However, it is possible that the imbedded images might be offensive (porn, massacres, ads, whatever) and I want to absolutely block ALL images until I explicitly allow them.

You can verify that the images are internal by using

You can disable images by selecting

This still uses the internal html formatting ... but does not display any images :) (the default is Original HTML)

Author: Robert Clemenzi -
URL: http:// / user / clemenzi / technical / Upgrades / Thunderbird_email.html