Webmail is a great way to access your emails from different devices and when you are away from your home. Now, most web hosting companies include email with their server plans. And all of them offer the same three, webmail clients as well: RoundCube, Horde, and SquirrelMail. They are part of the cPanel - the most popular hosting control panel.
In this article, I have tried to compare horde vs roundcube vs squirrelmail to choose the best :-).
Horde vs Roundcube vs Squirrelmail
Not sure which to choose? According to the official cPanel documentation here’s the difference:
- Horde is for users who need a full suite of features that includes mobile email access and advanced productivity tools.
- RoundCube is for users who need a user-friendly web interface with some additional features available.
- SquirrelMail is for users who need a simple interface with which to read and reply to emails.
Most modern hosting plans will let you try them all out - using one won’t stop you from using another! And if you like one more than another, you can use only that one, or you can switch anytime between them without losing any emails.
Note: In cPanel/WHM Version 78, the cPanel team has removed Squirrelmail from cPanel completely. Due to this, if you do not see Squirrelmail as an option you will not be able to use it.
Nevertheless, older installations of cPanel have Squirrelmail installed, so we'll learn about it's pros and cons anyway in this article.
You can access Webmail directly in a few different ways:
- Login to cPanel > Email Accounts > Click the More Drop Down > Access Webmail
- Visit yourdomain.com/webmail
- Visit yourservername.com/webmail
- Visit yourAccount’sIPAddress/webmail
- Visit https://yourdomain.com:2096
- Visit yourservername.com:2096
- Visit yourAccount’sIPAddress:2096
Next, let's see the table of comparison for those tree email solutions, and dive deeper in their options, pros and cons.
Webmail Comparison Table
The information below offers new Webmail users a brief overview of the features available in each application. The below table shows comparison table for Horde, Roundcube and Squirrelmail.
|Application website||The Horde Project||Roundcube Webmail Project||The SquirrelMail Project|
|Recommended for||Users who need a full suite of features that includes mobile email access and advanced productivity tools.||Users who need a user-friendly web interface with some additional features available.||Users who need a simple interface with which to read and reply to emails.|
Horde is a webmail application that has all the major benefits of both RoundCube and SquirrelMail.
It comes pre-loaded with a full arsenal of features such as advanced productivity tools and mobile email access. The interface is very easy to understand and allows for quick navigation between all sections that you’d expect (inbox, outbox, spam, etc).
Horde uses database back-ends. In WHM, each cPanel account possesses its own Horde SQLite database. Can also be configured to use MySQL (or preferably MariaDB the drop-in replacement)or Postgresql.
Let’s have look at the pros of Horde.
- Supports Calendar option.
- Allows scheduling – task lists and event reminders.
- Supports News feed.
- Users can also create email filters and set preferences.
- NoSQL support is provided through MongoDB.
- Can be set up as an inexpensive CRM to manage tasks and contacts together.
Despite all the benefits, Horde also shows some demerits due to the wrong configuration.
It can cause problems like :
- Login failed issue due to configuration mistakes
- Partial database entries in Horde database
- Wrong per user settings in Horde interface.
But, when properly configured, Horde proves to be one of the best webmail interface.
SquirrelMail was the simplest webmail interface available. SquirrelMail is ideal as a lightweight client that does exactly what you need an email application to do, to read and write emails.
SquirrelMail has stopped its security updates back in the year 2013. As a result, Squirrelmail is removed from cPanel in the Version 78 release.
Although SquirrelMail is no longer supported, it offers many merits. They are:
- Easy to use interface
- Address book option to store email addresses
- Search and flag mails.
The major drawbacks of SquirrelMail are:
- Does not support HTML composition. Only text mails are supported.
- No updates and even recent versions have problems with interface.
Now let’s see the last webmail application in today's article, RoundCube.
RoundCube offers a very user-friendly interface with the power of some additional features thrown in. Unlike SquirrelMail, it offers features like HTML message composition, custom mail plugins, etc.
RoundCube is a database-driven application. It works on a database type called “SQLite“.
The major pros of RoundCube are:
- Supports HTML composition
- Allows spell check
- Drag and drop feature in organizing mails
- Support third-party plugins for out-of-office, authorization, etc.
- Automate message composition with email templates
Though there are many user-friendly features, RoundCube also has its share of demerits. They are:
- Limited search – Allows to search for one item at a time
- Non-intuitive interface
- Often address books crash and needs recreation
- Refreshing large mail folders time out
Choosing between SquirrelMail, Roundcube or Horde depends largely on user’s personal choice and the purpose of use. Today, we have seen a comparative analysis of those three webmail clients and hopefully, we helped you with that choice a bit.