CNET Editors' review
Using Mozilla's own code, Postbox rivals Thunderbird for alternative desktop e-mail clients. Or at least, it wants to. Make no mistake, Postbox introduces some innovations that Mozilla could learn from. Much as Songbird changes Firefox's tune for audiophiles, Postbox takes desktop e-mail hard toward Web 2.0, with fast links to upload contacts to Facebook and pictures to Picasa.
Click on an e-mail, and the preview pane not only shows the text, but extracts all links, images, other attachments, and contacts into a Compose Sidebar for easy management. From there, you can upload to Twitter, FriendFeed, MySpace, Delicious, and Google. Postbox is also obsessed with tabs, so that each new mail can open traditionally or in a tab of its own. Searches get their own tabs, too. Postbox will ask you to import e-mail, contacts, and other messaging data from Thunderbird, Outlook, Google, and Yahoo when it starts. Two other innovations are worth highlighting: you can globally extract attachments, links, images, or contacts into a single tab, and there's a remix of Thunderbird's Labels feature. Called Topics, it automatically searches across folders for messages with the same tag. This can't be done without extra effort in Thunderbird.
Postbox gained Thunderbird's extensibility in beta 13, but it's currently limited. There's heavy customization is limited, although Postbox does now have it's own slightly-buggy version of Thunderbird's Lightning calendar plug-in. There's also support for the Provider for Google Calendar plug-in. All the add-on talk may be a major interest for some, or much ado about nothing, but the beta won't be free for much longer: Postbox plans to go premium in the fall of 2009.
Postbox helps you make the most of your email, offering powerful new ways to find, use, and view email messages and content, organize your work life, and get stuff done. Postbox works behind the scenes to catalog everything in your email. It features native Gmail label support, dedicated view for "Important" labels, send and archive functions, support for Gmail keyboard shortcuts, and convert detected dates to Google Calendar events.
What's new in this version: Version 3.0.4 has added ability to drag and drop an eml file into the message list pane to copy a message into a folder and fixed an issue with the new account setup wizard when trying to create a POP3 account.
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All versions:3.5 stars
out of 13 votes
Current version:0 stars Be the first to review this product
My rating:Write review
"Buggy, Aging Badly"
Version: Postbox 3.0.8
All your email addresses in one place
Alternative to Outlook
No tech support
I had been such a fan of this product that it's sad for me to say Postbox is not as good as it used to be. More and more issues have been cropping up, especially with security certificate pop-ups. There may be way to resolve these and other technical problems, but it's not likely that you'll find all of the answers you need on Postbox's Help, FAQs or Knowledge Base. Contents of those resources may be several years old and refer to features or navigation that don't apply to the current version.
I loved Postbox because I manage several different email addresses and it let me view all my mail in one place. But now, the security certificate pop-ups are preventing some accounts from downloading new mail. Google searching some of these issues have found others like me who are frustrated that we can't get these problems resolved. What used to be a simple and elegant program is now plagued with hidden traps.
It may work great for you. Like me, you'll probably fall in love with Postbox. Your 30-day trial will end and you'll be glad to pay the very reasonable $9.95 subscription fee. Then a few months later, after you're depending on Postbox as your everyday email client...an issue will pop-up. You may, like me and other users, find it impossible to find out how to resolve your technical issues - and no way to communicate with tech support.
And, perhaps like me, you'll decide to move on and try to find a more dependable program supported by a company who cares about users.
"Expensive, Glitchy & No Customer Support"
Version: Postbox 3.0.2
none that you can't find in free software
No Customer Support
$30 Per Person
We purchased Postbox because we encountered a conflict trying to set up our POP mail through free programs, and being free we could not get support for help troubleshooting. We paid for the software exclusively for the purpose of having a place to seek help should the need arise.
There were frequent minor issues - program quirks - which arose more often than I had time to report them. For the most part they were not serious, only mildly aggravating and an inconvenience. Occasionally I submitted a request for help, which was not always fruitful, but at least they were responsive.
The problem arose when I tried to submit a support request (for the sudden appearance of a duplicate sent folder with different content for the same mail account) and was informed that the ticketing system had been discontinued. I went to their main page and looked for a contact link, only to be routed through pages of FAQ.
With some effort I located a "Bug Report" form and submitted that, only to learn that our account had been flagged for improper use because I had made reference to more than one person using the program. They allow you to install it on up to five computers, but multiple users are forbidden - you are supposed to purchase a separate License for every individual who uses the program even on the same machine. Considering the $30 price tag, I found this an unreasonable request. All the moreso when the one feature I felt worth the cost had been scrubbed.
Postbox is essentially a Paid version of Thunderbird. It doesn't work as well, doesn't offer support for the money, and is unreasonably priced.
"Great; not seamless"
Version: Postbox 3.0.1
-Decently user-friendly (plus online help for the stuff I couldn't figure out)
-Visually, it's adequately appealing and organized
-When in French language mode, some options are still in English
-Could be a little more intuitive (I usually don't have to consult "help" sections as much as I have with this product.)
I've tried out all the reputable free email clients out there. Postbox Express is the best of those, in my opinion. I'm considering upgrading to the paid version, I like it so much. I have several email addresses, and like Postbox as a way to keep them all organized.
"PostBox 3.0.0 is Excellent, Boosts Productivity"
Version: Postbox 3.0
Rock solid, feature rich, highly customizable, easy to use, and at about $30.00 an exceptionally unbelievable value for individuals or business.
NONE, as I use PostBox 3 there is nothing that causes me to think, "I wish it would do....."
Prior versions of PostBox received my positive reviews (see prior reviews below). PostBox 3.0.0 is even better. PB3 has:
1. Better Gmail integration
2. More Social connections
— Profile photos from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, — Gravatar and the Address Book
— Automatically displays job titles and company names from LinkedIn
— Quick and easy access to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profile pages
— Update status directly to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
3. Dropbox support
4. New productivity boosters
5. Many other enhancements
Some of those other enhancements to PB3 that were especially helpful to my business and personal use are:
1. Improvements to all the ways messages can be sorted.
2. In the main message list the option to display the time a message was received.
3. A faster way to hide and unhide the list of email accounts
4. Auto-text responses
PostBox 3 is highly recommended and you can try it for free. Without PostBox my email is like a car with a flat tire.
The PostBox folks out in California deserve much thanks for this new PostBox version. Great product.
"Not Ready for MSOutlook Conv - Deleted Server Emails"
Version: Postbox 2.5.1
Nice interface and clean design. Warned users about experimental MSOutlook wizard.
1) Unacceptably buggy for conversion from MSOutlook. 2) Support site is not working 3) Doesn't handle Excel file cutting & pasting in emails well 4) One account cannot send as converted. One account had all emails deleted from server.
Has potential but MSOutlook users should wait until the bugs in 2.5 are worked out or experts can try to convert manually with a server backup prior to the attempt.
"Excellent and getting better with each revision"
Version: Postbox 2.5
Powerful email handling, flexible. Revisions have steadily improved this product since 2009.
Support forum could be easier to use.
This is an update to my August 2009 review of version 1.0 Beta. I have used PostBox constantly every day and enjoyed steady updates in the past two years. PostBox is now at version 2.5.0.CORRECTION.
I like it better than before.
The following information addresses some of the very valid criticisms found in other reviews.
First, I know those other users experienced all those problems and it drove them away. I have had the same experience with other programs that other people have loved.
This update seeks to describe my situation so potential users of PostBox will be able to determine whether they are similar and thus might have a similar result with PostBox.
I have a laptop (Dell Precision M4500 4GB, 1.73 Ghz). Windows 7 64. Two AOL email accounts and eight Gmail accounts.
I work with clients and have active family and community projects which all involve email. I maintain a 100-person e-mail list for one community project.
I keep and store in PostBox 500 emails per month for work going back a year and half. So that's about 9,000 emails in PostBox. Not a lot compared to other people's usage.
(Work emails are also saved permanently in clients' folders (outside of PostBox) along with the Microsoft Office and Corel WordPerfect, PDF, etc., application files.)
I receive and mostly delete another 400 nonspam emails a month from family, mailing lists, social media, and shopping. I store about 1,000 of these emails going back about a year and half.
I use MailWasherPro 2011 to screen spam and which works well with PostBox.
SEARCH SPEED. With my amount of stored emails search is fast with the results appearing as soon as I press ENTER.
SUPPORT. Support got much better from 2009 and I have not used it in a long time. As I first began with PostBox, I contacted support for perhaps 5 issues, all were handled well except 1 which faded away.
One problem involving display received several email exchanges with PostBox staff as they worked very professionally through the problem which was solved by deleting an add on. I was very pleased with their obvious interest in knowing all about what the problem was on my configuration and how it might be fixed.
As I wrote this review I visited the support forum which I still think is one of the worst organized and difficult to use sites I have seen -- maybe its just me. But when I have asked for help, in all but one situation when I never received a response, I received excellent service.
DELETION ORDER. In one of my several support requests PostBox told me how to fix this in September 2009. This is the problem of the delete action causing the cursor to move up rather than down - I read emails from top down and PostBox went to the message above after deleting a message when it should have gone down to the next unread message. This drove me crazy. However, this was one of the items I sought PostBox support for and I received a very quick reply on how to tweek the PostBox Configuration to change the deletion action. I do not know if the default setting is still to delete the "wrong way" but it can be fixed in the Configuration Editor.
Was this a problem? Yes and it was very annoying until I reconfigured my PostBox.
FORUM. PostBox has a support forum. I think it is difficult to navigate, but they do have one and I have received a good answer that solved all but one of my problems.
The one problem that still bothers me is that in nonthreaded view when I sort by FROM, SUBJECT or RECIPIENT a group of the emails with the same FROM, SUBJECT or RECIPIENT are not listed in date order.
PUTTING LINKS IN EMAIL. This used to be not very intuitive and it took me some time to both figure it out and then to actually do it. This was fixed some versions ago and is now exactly like you would expect INSERT>Link.
IMPROVEMENT. I loved the early versions despite their defects which were too large for some users - that is certainly understandable. But several early problems have been fixed and PostBox is one of the programs that has most increased my work productivity because of its good design, power of organization, flexibility, and steady enhancements.
For me it is one of the best programs I use.
THE REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE. In working with people when there is some problem and we need to get past e-mails or when we need to keep an active current set of emails organized and understood (who sent what attachment when and what needs a response and to what is some emailing referring) I always can find the past emails easier than the people I am working with and for current emails flying back and forth among several parties I tend to get less confused than the people I am working with - none of whom use PostBox. As someone prone to befuddlement, the difference must be the power of PostBox.
Updated on Jul 13, 2011
In my July 10, 2011 review, I wrote:
"The one problem that still bothers me is that in nonthreaded view when I sort by FROM, SUBJECT or RECIPIENT a group of the emails with the same FROM, SUBJECT or RECIPIENT are not listed in date order."
That was not totally true. The FROM sort does sort similar FROMs in date order. I am fairly sure this is a fix from earlier versions, but I may be incorrect on that account too. In any event, FROM sorts work just fine.
SUBJECT and RECIPIENT sorts are still not in date order within the same SUBJECT or RECIPIENT -- at least not on my computer with my accounts.
"Better than Thunderbird"
Version: Postbox 2.0.1
Built on the Thunderbird code base. Excellent Support. Very stable (don't think I've crashed yet). Very nice interface.
Many add-in developers don't bother with the testing that's involved in getting to be "approved" so you don't have as many choices. Can't "theme" it.
This product is a great alternative to Gmail, or Outlook. It works great for IMAP accounts and can do just about anything other email programs can. If you don't need a ton of add-ins (or can live without them). This is the app. I've been using it now for almost 3 years and wouldn't change.
"Disappoints in actual use"
Version: Postbox 1.1.1
Organise mails by thread.
Some useful features for search when a message is open.
Downloads email twice when using pop mail with MS Exchange server.
I tried out the software in actual use conditions (i.e., with a lot of email).
In real use, Postbox disappoints:
(1) This is a real memory hog when used with large mailboxes (RAM allocation grows to 250+ megabytes)
(2) The search feature is slow in large mailboxes.
(3) The search feature does not remember the last option used (unlike Thunderbird). I mostly search subject or sender. Postbox does not remember this as default.
(4) And finally, the most important. When used with Microsoft Exchange server in pop mode for offline use with a laptop, Postbox downloads every mail exactly twice. This has to do with Message ID being changed with first download.
When you contact their support to fix this, they are at first helpful, but when they discover that they cannot fix the problem, they simply fade away and no longer respond to your queries.
There are also many other problems, including inability to set defaults for message delete actions (go to the next message below instead of above, as most people read their emails from top down).
In all, I tried and was disappointed. Would not recommend to others. Software is potentially great, but a new entrant really cannot afford to treat users as arrogantly as this.
In addition, the memory problem is real when it should not be.
Like any software using MS Outlook style file format, this too creates excessively large mailbox files and does not offer the option to automatically detach attachments from messages and store them in a separate folder.
"postbox is OK, not my first choice"
Version: Postbox 1.0 beta 15
It's easy to work with, nothing stands out all that significant.
Deleting mail isn't as intuative as other email like thebat or outlook. When deleting a mail item, the cursor moves up instead of remaining in the same location for another deletion. I have written feedback on this, their support system is lacking.
I use thebat, and it works just as good or better.
I think if they had a forum, or better support on their product, and solutions for questions that other email providers have readily available, it would be a better product. I don't see a unique benefit yet for this product. Putting links in email isn't that intuative. I like the lightness of the product, but overall it needs a lot of improvement to win me over as a customer.
"Wow I never knew handling E-mail could be so easy"
Version: Postbox 1.0 beta 14
Easy, well designed. Reduces time I spend on my multiple E-mail accounts.
Topics (like labels or key words) does not work on my IMAP, but apparently works on others.
Fast, easy way to manage E-mails. Works well on my AOL account.
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