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Outlook Express vs Thunderbird - An Editorial

Outlook Express

Outlook Express is a companion email client application for Internet Explorer. Unlike Internet Explorer, you do have the option of not installing this application or removing it if it is already installed.

Early versions of Outlook Express were very basic and along with Outlook, it's bigger cousin, were and still are the source of many of the email borne viruses that were prevalent only a couple of years ago.
Outlook Express Version 6 (in XP's Service Pack 2) has many more capabilities making it a much more secure program for email retrieval.

Thunderbird

Created by the same people who brought us the Firefox browser, Thunderbird provides a secure means for accessing your email.

Block Remote images in HTML email (IE6sp2 also)
Spammers send emails via many different means and they do not know if an email address actually exists until they get a request for an image request that was encoded into the message. When previewing html based emails from an unknown sender (possible spam), the simple act of the retrieval of an image required in the display of the message may, unknown to the user, be confirming the receipt of the email and opening up the flood-gates for a torrent of more spam.

Message Filtering Rules (IE6sp2 also)
Everyone has had the experience of sorting out their email into folders for later reading. Message filters enable automatic handling of many different emails.

Junk Mail Filter
Thunderbird can learn what is considered spam by you as well as using it's own methods. Eventually, you will find that very little spam will get through.

Anti-Phishing Protection
Stops those pesky bank impersonators from trying to fool you into giving up your banking details, credit card info or even you identity.

Spelling Checker (IE6sp2 also if you have a MS Program that supports spell checking eg MS Word)
There are multiple language dictionary extensions (inlcuding Australian) available for download.

News and RSS Feed reader
Get notifications of news group and RSS articles. Treat them like emails and preview without actually going to the site with a browser.

Extensibility
Mozilla has implemented an extensions feature into Thunderbird which adds functionality to their applications. Developers can create an extension which can extend or enhance such things as duplicate removal etc.


Conclusion - An Opinion
Unfortunately, it is too easy to "turn-off" some of the security features in many of these email clients, not just Outlook Express. A few clicks in the options section can undo all the protection these programs are capable of providing. Outlook Express has improved by leaps and bounds but there are other more powerful offerings and Thunderbird should be first stop if you want to use open source supported software. Like Firefox, Thunderbird is undergoing constant change and is supported by a dedicated team of developers

Get Thunderbird

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