Technology Support Center

Administrative Technologies

Configuring Thunderbird with campus or MailVPN settings

Configure Thunderbird so you can use it to check and send email with your university email account. These instructions apply to your email account on the IMAP mail server.

Before You Begin

These instructions explain how to configure Thunderbird with your ULID email account. Thunderbird will automatically be configured based on your location. These instructions use IMAP mail settings.

Thunderbird Auto-Detects Settings Based on Your Location

When you launch Thunderbird for the first time, you will be prompted to set up your email account. This also happens when you click File > New > Existing Mail Account from within Thunderbird.

Thunderbird will automatically obtain mail server settings based on your location.

  • If you are using a wired or wireless connection on campus, Thunderbird will use campus mail settings.
  • If you are using a computer that's connected off campus, Thunderbird will be use MailVPN settings.

If you plan to use Thunderbird as a mobile user roaming between on campus and off campus, you should use MailVPN settings.

Configure Thunderbird

To configure Thunderbird to use with your email account, do the following:

  1. Do one of the following:
    • If you plan to use Thunderbird both on campus and off campus, then you should use MailVPN settings. Do one of the following, based on your location.
      • If you are currently on campus, establish a VPN connection for your computer using either the Cisco VPN client or the Juniper Network Connect VPN client. This will cause Thunderbird to use MailVPN settings, which will work in both on-campus and off-campus locations. Please note that you only need to connect with VPN for purposes of setup; you will not need to connect with VPN to check and send email. For more information about VPN, refer to:
      • If you are currently off campus, you do not need to connect with VPN. Thunderbird will use MailVPN settings regardless of whether you are connected to VPN or not.
    • If you do not plan to move between on-campus and off-campus locations, skip this step. Thunderbird will use the most appropriate settings based on your location.
  2. Open Thunderbird.
  3. The Mail Account Setup window may automatically appear. Otherwise, click File > New > Existing Mail Account to set up your email account in Thunderbird.
  4. In the Mail Account Setup window, fill in the boxes Your name, Email address, and Password fields with your ULID email account information. If you do not want Thunderbird to remember your password, remove the check mark from the Remember password box.
  5. Click Continue. Thunderbird will automatically obtain and verify your settings based on your location.
  6. Ensure that all information is correct in the Mail Account Setup window.
    • Campus mail settings:
      • Incoming: IMAP, mail.ilstu.edu, No Encryption
      • Outgoing: SMTP, smtp.ilstu.edu, No Encryption
    • MailVPN settings:
      • Incoming: IMAP, mailvpn.ilstu.edu, SSL
      • Outgoing: SMTP, mailvpn.ilstu.edu, SSL
  7. Click Done.
  8. If Thunderbird was configured with campus mail settings, you will see a red “Warning!” message, which says that the Incoming and Outgoing settings do not use encryption. Put a check mark next to I understand the risks. Then click Done.

Thunderbird is now configured for use with your university email account.

If Thunderbird is configured with MailVPN settings, you can use it to check and send email from both on campus and off campus. It is not necessary to connect with the Cisco VPN client or the Juniper Network Connect VPN client.

If Thunderbird is configured with campus mail settings, you can use it to check and send email from on campus. If you want to check and send email from off campus, you will need to first establish an independent VPN connection using either the Cisco VPN client or the Juniper Network Connect VPN client.