Gmail and Thunderbird

Whether you already have a personal webmail account or now, you might want to try Gmail and Tunderbird. Gmail provides 1000 MB of email storage, and the best web interface for email I’ve ever seen. Thunderbird is an email application from the Mozilla Foundation that’s loaded with great features. Combining the two creates an unbeatable email solution.

If you’d like to try it out for yourself, here’s how to do it:

1) Create an email account on Gmail.
Gmail accounts are by invitation only, so you’ll have to ask someone who already has an account to invite you if you don’t have one. I have plenty of invitations, so just email me if you want one.

2) Enable POP access.
Gmail allows you to check your email over POP (an email protocol) for free. To enable it:
2.1) Sign in to your gmail account.
2.2) Click the Settings link at the top of the page.
2.3) Click the Forwarding and POP link to change to that tab.
2.4) Select “Enable POP only for mail that arrives from now on”.
2.5) Set how you want to happen when you download email. I recommend “archive Gmail’s copy”.
2.6) Click Save Changes.

3) Install Thunderbird if you don’t have it.
If you aren’t already using Thunderbird, download it here and save it to your Desktop. Once the installer has finished downloading, just run it by single clicking or double clicking (depending on your Windows settings).

4) Configure Thunderbird.
The first time you run Thunderbird, it’ll ask you to create a new account. If you already have Thunderbird, you’ll need to open it up and go to File->New->Account to create a new account. Once you’re in the New Account wizard do the following:
4.1) Select “Email Account” from the types of accounts to create and click Next.
4.2) On the Identity screen, enter your full name in the “Your Name” field, and your gmail address in the “Email Address” field, then click Next.
4.3) On the Server Information screen, select POP as the type of incoming email server, enter “pop.gmail.com” (without the quotes) as the address for your incoming server, check the box for Use Global Inbox, and click Next.
4.4) On the User Names screen, enter your full gmail address as your username. For example “username@gmail.com”. If you don’t already have an SMTP address (outgoing account), you can user your gmail address as your Outgoing user name. Once all of this is set up click Next.

4.5) On the Account Name screen, enter your gmail address as your account name (this should be the default), then click Next.
4.6) Verify your settings and click Finish.
4.7) Go back into your account settings by clicking Tools->Account Settings on the Thunderbird menu.
4.8) Select Server Settings under your gmail account, and check the following boxes: Use Secure Connection (SSL), Check for messages at startup, Check for new messages every 10 minutes, and Automatically download new messages.
4.9) If you’re using gmail for your outgoing (SMTP) account, click on Outgoing Server (SMTP) on the list on the left. The server name should be smtp.gmail.com, the port should be changed to 587, and Use secure connection should be set to TLS.
4.10) Click OK to Save these Account Settings.
4.11) Click the Get Mail toolbar icon to check your email. You’ll have to enter your gmail password at this point.

If you had any problems configuring Thunderbird, or if you’d like to use Gmail with a different email client, sign in to gmail, and go to the POP client configuration list. There you’ll find directions with pictures on how to configure your email client. As of today, they don’t have directions for Thunderbird 1.0, so check out the directions for Thunderbird 0.x; it’s almost exactly the same.

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