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WebMail - Access Proprietary Web-based Email Addresses in Open-source Thunderbird Software

People who know me are well aware that I am very paranoid. I’m paranoid of identity thieves, stalkers, gangsters, criminals, etc. I mean, I’m paranoid of being left alone on the passenger side with the car running and the doors unlocked (remember Oprah?).

I’m also paranoid of being “pwned” by a company. I don’t like the idea of any part of my existence to depend on anything (except of course God). If something in my life is compromised, I don’t want to be greatly affected. I want to be independent. For example, if the prices at American Eagle get too expensive (and they already are) or if they close shop, I can switch to another comparable brand like Gap, Old Navy, or Buckle. I don’t want to depend wholly on the American Eagle brand. The same thing applies to computers. I switched to the Wordpress blogging platform because it was open source; I will never be charged. You wouldn’t believe how long it took to serve my RSS feeds with the Feedburner because that would mean chaining myself to their domain name. I finally gave in when Feedburner provided the service that let me use my own domain name instead of theirs.

I don’t even want to be at the mercy of any email company. Really, the primary reason why I bought internet domain names was because I did not want to continue using any Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail domain name. What if they started to charge me for usage? So now, all of my email addresses either end in @art-app.com or @barizo.com.


webmail.jpgSadly, there are some people who cannot break away from their email addresses like I did. They want to but they think, “What if somebody contacts me using my old email address?” My suggestion is to open an email account with your own domain name and start using it. You can continue checking the messages from your old account but just not as frequently. That is exactly what I do. I check all of my email addresses in Mozilla Thunderbird. Rarely do I get an email in one of my “shackled” Yahoo or Hotmail email account. And when I do, like my IMAP and POP email addresses, those messages arrive in Thunderbird.

How is it that I can check web-based HTTP protocol email address in a POP/IMAP based email client? I remember when Microsoft used to allow users to check Hotmail accounts with Outlook Express and Yahoo used to provide free POP3 servers for their users. Now it isn’t so. Last year I wrote about YPOPs!, a program that allows you to check Yahoo mail just like a POP3 account. Now, you can check most other web-based email accounts as well with the WebMail Thunderbird Extension. From the website,

“The Webmail extension integrates web site based email accounts in to Mozilla Thunderbird, this allows Thunderbird to download and to send emails using the web site. Currently Yahoo, Hotmail, Lycos (Europe), MailDotCom, Gmail, Libero, and AOL domains are supported.”

When using the WebMail extension, web-based email accounts function just like POP3 email accounts. Try it and leave a comment about your experience!


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