Postbox vs Mailbird- Reviews & Comparisons
Considering the importance of electronic correspondence in contemporary business and personal relationships, choosing the correct email client is arguably as important as choosing the correct email provider! There are many email clients out there, each one differentiating itself from the pack in certain ways, choosing the correct email client is usually a subjective decision based on your own personal needs as a customer.
In this comparison we will be looking at two similar clients, Postbox and Mailbird.
Postbox is a commercial email client based on Mozilla Thunderbird email client and is founded by the former Thunderird lead engineer, Scorr McGregor, and his partner Sherman Dickman who used to work as the director of product management at Mozilla Corporation. These days postbox doesn’t seem to be doing so well, they have discontinued support and their community has pretty much disbanded. Total users number in the tens of thousands, a miniscule amount when compared to larger more popular clients.
Since postbox is a branch of a Mozilla product, and not a Mozilla product proper, they are unable make the same updates that Mozilla has regarding add-ons as well as security updates.
Mailbird is made for windows 7,8, and 10 and is inspired by the Sparrow email client for OSx, it’s won several awards. Mailbird was originally created by Michael Olsen and Michael Bodekaer in response to their frustrations with various companies such as Postbox and Thunderbird which they felt were too slow, cluttered, and not user friendly. Originally released April 1st 2013 with Mailbird version 2.0 launched in March 2015, and it’s most recent stale release was august 10 2015.
In terms of general features both Mailbird and Postbox have conversation view, encryption, HTML support, image blocking, local spam filtering, phishing filtering, UTF-8, and Virtual folders. The only real distinguishing factor here is Mailbird has server side spam filtering as well as the other filtering options.
Next we’ll take a look at messaging features. Both clients have bottom-posts replies, message labeling, signatures, and spell check. Post box allows you to reformat received messages whereas Mailbird does not.
There are harsher requirements for Postbox than Thunderbird and it will end support for older systems quicker. It can import data and settings from a Thunderbird profile.
In terms of support features these two clients are almost evenly matched except for two very important differences. Both have customer support blogs, support email, a knowledge base, an online self-serve option and tips and hints.
Unlike Mailbird, Postbox comes with an owner’s manual and their customer support operates within normal business hours. Mailbird is more convenient because it offers 24/7 support as well as a wiki page to complement their other online self-help tips. Considering customers could be calling from all over the world it seems shortsighted for Postbox to only have normal support hours since they are only normal for people living in the American West.
Document support is another one of those features that could be a make or break for many users. Postbox only supports .txt native document formats whereas Mailbird supports .DOC, PDF,XLS, and others in addition to .txt files. Native image formats supported are similar with Mailbird again taking the lead. Both clients support BMP, GIF, JPEG, and PNG, Mailbird supports some other lesser known image formats as well.
As far as operating systems Mailbird is only available on windows devices after windows XP whereas Postbox can operate on Windows or Macs. Also, Postbox can import old accounts and emails from clients you’re using whereas Mailbird can’t. Postbox has great OS X support, it supports AppleScript, Growl, OS X lion style scrollbars, and trackpad/mighty mouse gestures. You can get a free version of Postbox called “Postbox Lite but it’s so stripped down as to leave it virtually useless outside of merely giving you a means of seeing how the client looks without paying, something you could easily do by getting a demo or watching an online tutorial.
Postbox does not have a strong user community like Mailbird does. The add-on support dropped to 16 with Postbox 3.0. Both Mailbird and Postbox have a Web 2.0 focus with integration with Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Gravatar, LinkedIn, Dropbox, and Twitter
In Postbox you can adjust the layout based on your preferences, there are two views: classic and vertical. We were, however, disappointed with the lack of a wide vie, but the available views were impressive in their own right and not too cluttered. The vertical view has double rows much like you’d see in the Outlook client. The Classic View is your standard three pane view with the email folders on the far left, the messages for the selected folder on the middle pane, and finally the message itself on the right pane. Unfortunately there are no add-ons made by Postbox or its community to alter add views to your client.
Mailbird has a simple minimalistic deign focused on speed and productivity options. Mailbird 1.0 was already pretty sleek but 2.0 which rolled out early in 2015 has taken it even further, really pushing the boundary of acceptable minimalism. Mailbird 2.0 has one colored panel on the left that consists of only symbols for social icons, your inbox folder, and exporting and bookmarking options. A similar tab is on the top, otherwise there’s a ton of white space when you first start out. When you add some email accounts you’ll see your messages in the middle panel and the message on the right, similar to Mailbird 1.0 but with a much more modern and sleeker interface.
Postbox costs $9.95.Mailbird Lite is free, Mailbird Pro costs $6 per year and a lifetime subscription to Mailbird Pro costs a onetime payment of $45.
Postbox customers hold a proprietary license. General features are conversation view, encryption, HTML support, image blocking, local spam filtering, UTF-8, and virtual folders. Message specific features are bottom posts replies, message labeling, the ability to reformat received messages, add signatures to messages, and text spell check.
Support features for postbox are the support blog, email options, FAQ page, a knowledge base, calling for help is restricted to their normal hours of operation, there is also an online self-serve, an owner’s manual that comes with purchase, and a tips and hints page on their website.
For authentication Postbox uses NTLM, regular login, SMTP, and SSL/TLS. Protocol is done through IMAP 4, NNTP, POP3, RSS Feeds, and SMTP. The user interface is GUI, a graphic user interface. TXT is the only document format supported. BMP, GIF, JPEG, and PNG are the image formats supported.
Finally, for Postbox deployment is on premise. You can use Postbox on Windows and Mac OS’s.
Mailbird users have a proprietary and subscription (SaaS) license. General features are conversation view, encryption of information, HTML support, image blocking, local spam filtering, server side spam filtering, UTF-8, and virtual folders. Mailbird’s message specific features are bottom-posts replies message labeling, signatures, and spell check.
Support for Mailbird is available 24/7. You can use the blog, email, forums, the help desk, the knowledge base, online self-serve, the wiki, or the tips and hints page if you have any trouble. Authentication is done via Digest-MD5, regular login, SMTP, and SSL/TLS. The protocols are IMAP 4, LDAP v2, LDAP v3, and SMTP. The user interface for Mailbird is GUI.
TXT, DOC, PDF,XLS, and other native document formats are supported by Mailbird. In addition, BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, and other native image formats are supported as well. Deployment is on premise as well and Mailbird is only available for the Windows OS.