Scenario 2: Setting Up Thunderbird for the First Time, No Previous Mail Client Used on Your Machine

Consult the "New Account Setup" section to learn how to set up your account in Thunderbird.

Information You Should Have on Hand

If you are setting up Thunderbird for the first time, you need a base set of information to set up your account. Examples of the format are shown in Table 10-1. If you don't have this information, you need to contact your Internet service provider (ISP).

Table 10-1. Information Needed to Set Up a Mail Account.



Email address:,

Name of Incoming Mail Server

Name of Outgoing Mail Server (could also be the same as incoming)

Type of Server (IMAP or POP)

IMAP or POP (see "A Pop and IMAP Primer" below for an explanation of these protocols)

User or Login Name


A POP and IMAP Primer

You may have seen this terminology but might not understand what the acronyms stand for or which mail protocol is the better one for your needs. Now is as good a time as any to demystify POP and IMAP so you can decide which one would better suit your needs. (Many of you will not be able to use IMAP because it is more commonly used in the corporate world, but some of you may have the ability to use both.) Much of the decision to use POP or IMAP will also be determined by the speed of the connection you may have (dial-up versus broadband) as well as how many locations you check mail from.

IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. In the IMAP world, the server manages all your mail. When you download new messages from your mail server, it only sends a list of the headers to your email application. When you are ready to read the message, the message body gets downloaded from the server. If you decide to delete the message, it is deleted from the server. The great thing about IMAP is that you can store messages locally as well, but the primary function of IMAP is to use the server to house your mail. The downside? Users all over the country have a tendency to think servers can handle saving all of their mail, and thus may go over quota. So if you think you want to be a mail pack rat, IMAP is perfect for you as long as your Internet service provider offers that option and your server can handle your mail quota.

POP stands for Post Office Protocol. The POP strategy employs your local computer as your mail manager, rather than a server. If your account is set up with POP, your mail is downloaded from the server and then deleted. POP is configured to recognize only an Inbox on the server and won't recognize other mailboxes unless you set them up locally. POP does afford you the opportunity to leave your mail on the server, but this may result in more confusion than it is worth if you check mail from multiple locations, because each location may have a different variation of your inbox if you are using POP at these locations.

If you have the choice, which protocol is best for you? It really depends on your appetite. What do you plan on cookin' up with your protocol? Here are some different scenarios of when it might be beneficial to use IMAP and POP or just POP. OK, everyone, grab your aprons, and let's see what's cookin':

IMAP Recipe: Hobo IMAP


1 generous helping of broadband

1 computer that allows you to install software

Imagine you are a hobo, always finding yourself at different locations, but always within reach of a broadband connection. You have a computer that allows you to install software so that you can configure a mail client

You might have a situation where you need to check your mail from more than one location (say office and home), but the primary location you check it is the office. You decide that you want to see only new mail at your home location. In this scenario, it might be wise to use POP at your office and IMAP at home.

POP Recipes

Here are some recipes for POP that you might find helpful:

Stay-at-Home POP


1 computer that you never lose sight of

In this scenario, you primarily use one computer to manage your mail. In this case, POP might be the better choice for you.

Split-Personality POP


2 locations

All your Inbox messages

You like to work from both office and home, and you want both locations to contain all your Inbox messages. Both machines need to have the "leave mail on server" preference turned on.

Important Considerations

Using POP? Thunderbird checks the default account for mail on startup, even if you uncheck the box in the Account Setup Wizard that says "Download Messages Now." If you are using POP as your default account, it might be wise not to be connected to the Internet when you are setting up Thunderbird. That way, you prevent mail from being deleted from your server and then having to go back and import these messages to your previous mail application in the event that you decide to forgo using Thunderbird.

    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage (Garage Series)
    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage
    ISBN: 0131870041
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2003
    Pages: 185

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