The best email client for Linux, Windows and macOS isn't Outlook

2 weeks ago 7
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In businesses and homes, email is inactive a necessity for communication. But which email lawsuit is the champion to use? You mightiness beryllium amazed to find retired that it's not Microsoft Outlook.

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Image: GettyImages/photoschmidt

I trust connected email. In fact, it's my superior method of connection with the extracurricular world. While astir radical are engaged connected Slack and different chat platforms, I inactive similar email. Why? For 1 thing, I clasp a integer way of my communication. I tin hunt done email threads to travel conversations with a azygous idiosyncratic (or aggregate persons) with ease. Another crushed is that I've been utilizing email since the precocious '90s, truthful it's a precise comfy and acquainted format. 

SEE: Electronic connection policy  (TechRepublic Premium)

Does that mean I disregard chat and different types of connection platforms? Not astatine all. But for my superior method of connection with clients, editors and publishers, it's email each the way. It's easy, accelerated and ever there. I don't person to interest astir whether oregon not a recipient is online; they'll get the connection 1 mode oregon another.

But determination is simply a flimsy problem. Which email lawsuit to use? There are rather a ample fig of apps disposable connected each platform, and not each app is disposable for each operating system. You person Apple Mail for macOS, Outlook for Windows and macOS, Evolution for Linux, and a big of different possibilities. And for the longest time, everyone conscionable assumed Microsoft Outlook was the azygous champion email lawsuit connected the planet. 

For anyone who's had to troubleshoot Outlook problems, you cognize conscionable however atrocious that lawsuit tin get erstwhile it's successful a fussy mood. I've experienced Outlook problems truthful bad, the lone mode to lick the occupation was a implicit reinstall of the OS. Granted, that concern was not normal, but it is precise indicative of what tin spell incorrect with that peculiar email client. And though Apple Mail is simply a precise bully email application, its macOS-only regulation is problematic. I volition spell truthful acold arsenic to accidental if Apple Mail was disposable for Linux, macOS and Windows, it would astir apt upwind up astatine the precise apical of this list.

SEE: The champion browser for Linux, Windows and Mac isn't Google Chrome successful 2021 (TechRepublic)

That, however, is not the case.

With that said, is determination a azygous email exertion that tin assertion the champion email lawsuit for each 3 of the main desktop operating systems? There is, and it volition astonishment you which lawsuit has risen to the top. Why the surprise? Mostly due to the fact that everyone had beauteous overmuch written this exertion disconnected erstwhile the founding institution looked to beryllium jettisoning the software. That didn't happen, and the email lawsuit enjoyed a spot of a renaissance, which led to it being 1 of the cleanest, astir reliable email clients available. That lawsuit is Thunderbird.

Whoa! What astir the cloud?

I get it, galore of you opt to spell the unreality oregon SaaS way for email. You person Gmail, Microsoft 365 and truthful galore different cloud- oregon SaaS-based email services, and you're contented viewing them via a web browser. That's the way truthful galore radical take. But it tin get a spot unwieldy—especially erstwhile you're already prone to having excessively galore tabs unfastened successful your browser.  Good news: Thunderbird tin grip the likes of Gmail and Office 365.

And that's conscionable 1 of the reasons Thunderbird gets this nod: Because of its flexibility and extendability. You see, Thunderbird isn't conscionable constricted to POP and IMAP. With this open-source email client, you tin link to:

  • Gmail
  • Exchange
  • Office 365
  • iCloud
  • and more

Those services unsocial screen a precise wide range. Of course, with immoderate of the above, you bash person to leap done definite hoops to marque it enactment (such arsenic enabling IMAP oregon utilizing app passwords), but the constituent is, it works. And works rather well. 

But wherefore switch?

You're astir apt already heavy invested successful your existent email application. You've been utilizing it for years and it (for the astir part) serves you well. Or you mostly presumption your email from wrong a web browser. But if you're similar me, you person galore email accounts you show passim the day. I person to support way of 4 superior email accounts, and the thought of having to hop betwixt browser tabs to presumption them each makes maine privation to unopen down and crook my backmost connected connection altogether. To that end, I trust connected Thunderbird to corral those email accounts into a single, easy-to-use interface.

But what astir the calendar? 

One happening astir Outlook is that it's an all-in-one groupware suite. It's email, calendar, contacts, todo, java maker, toothbrush and veggie crisper. But let's beryllium honest, the bulk of radical usage Outlook for 2 things: Email and Calendar. And the bulk of location users astir apt lone usage Outlook for email.

Guess what? Thunderbird has a built-in Calendar diagnostic that tin link to your calendar of choice. Even better, Thunderbird has conscionable astir each diagnostic you could deliberation of:

  • Tabbed interface.
  • Built-in encryption.
  • Highly customizable.
  • Do not way and distant contented blocking.
  • Powerful add-ons.
  • Themable.
  • One-click code book.
  • Attachment reminder.
  • Quick filter toolbar.
  • Powerful search.
  • Message archiving.
  • Large files management.
  • Smart folders.
  • Remote representation blocking.
  • Phishing protection.
  • Automated updated.
  • Built-in junk filters.

It's each astir show and ratio

The 2 superior reasons I database Thunderbird arsenic the champion email lawsuit for each platforms boils down to show and efficiency. Of each the email clients I've ever utilized (and I've utilized a figurative metric ton of them), Thunderbird offers the champion premix of performance, ratio and features. And fixed however engaged beingness tin be, show and ratio are key. 

The basal layout of Thunderbird brushes disconnected immoderate disorder and makes it incredibly elemental to read, constitute and negociate email. There's zero learning curve to this client, and its usage is arsenic elemental arsenic it gets. On apical of that, adjacent with a monolithic magnitude of email successful your account, Thunderbird performs incredibly well. I've experienced Outlook choke connected what Thunderbird easy manages. My existent Thunderbird lawsuit (running connected some Pop!_OS and macOS) has archives dating backmost to 2009 and it shows nary motion of slowing down oregon hesitancy. I cannot retrieve the past clip I had a occupation with Thunderbird.

On the contrary, the past clip I had to enactment with Outlook, I often had to woody with PST and OST files. If those files weren't cared for, fed good and burped frequently, Outlook would get fussy and garbage to bash what it was told. All the while, Thunderbird keeps chugging on.

My time has go insanely busy. The tools I usage indispensable enactment and enactment well. Between web browsers and email clients, I don't person clip to woody with breakdowns and corrupt files. That's wherefore Thunderbird is the email lawsuit I find is champion suited for Linux, macOS and Windows. It's not perfect, but betwixt it and the competition, selecting Thunderbird arsenic my default is an implicit no-brainer.

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