Horde, SquirrelMail, and RoundCube

The 3 choices

The 3 choices

With a cpanel account there are 3 different mail choices offered: Horde, SquirrelMail, and RoundCube. I am going to explain the major differences between the 3 of them and hopefully that will allow you to pick the best for your own use.

All the programs come with a basic array of features: Forwarding, Replying, Address Book, Folders, Junk mail, etc… I will not be explaining these features as these are a base for all types of e-mail programs and are irrelevant to the topic.


The most basic of these choices is SquirrelMail. It has the most basic of all interfaces.

As you can see in the photo above, it is a very basic and just lists your mail. There isn’t much to be said about this save for its simplicity.


The next is Roundcube. This has a more jazzed up interface using Ajax, this allows smoother selection of e-mail. There is no box checking, you can just click on the e-mail and use the options above the box to deal with the mail. As with SqurrielMail this is a simple interface just used for checking mail.

The is a good choice if you want a cleaner / smoother looking webmail program.


Horde is different than the other 2 webmail programs. This is a full featured e-mail program, it has similar features to Outlook.

It has a list of options (in the upper right hand corner and on the left hand side) for you to choose from: Mail, News, Calendar, Notes, Tasks. It also has the feature Layout where you can change how the home page is displayed for you when you log in to your mail.

News–  Setup Subscriptions to receive mail from different sources (Sports news, Electronics, Religion, etc…)

Calendar– Allows you to setup important dates and meetings (These can be imported from other programs)

Notes– Write notes or other information down and store it for later.

Tasks– You can schedule tasks that need to be completed and keep track of their progress.

Options– Customize how the time is displayed, how the color scheme of Horde appears, along with many other settings.

In the end it really comes down to what you need: SquirrelMail for simplicity, Horde for the large amount of features, and RoundCube for the aesthetic appearance.

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47 Comments on Horde, SquirrelMail, and RoundCube

  1. ferdous says:

    Yes, it is very useful.

  2. AL-Hadi Juma says:

    I love RounCube as it is easy and the look wise it is pretty clean 🙂

  3. I have not tried using Rouncube besides Horde and SqurrelMail. Is better than the two?

  4. tim says:

    Thanks – perfect!

  5. Dubai IT says:

    I chose to use Horde as it is what I am used to.

  6. fela lawyers says:

    Very interesting article. You guys always deliver useful content. Awesome post. Keep posting more articles. Thanks for sharing useful info.

  7. Jim says:

    Thank you – exactly what I needed !!

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  9. Michelle says:

    Ihave squirrel mail for my business and i can not get on to my web mail so i can get in touch with my customers

  10. Thank you for the advice. I am just setting my webmail up, so I am going to choose Horde

  11. spencer betz says:

    I hate Horde. It is the worst experience I have ever had with webmail. As the end user, and someone that has been utilizing computers for 20 years, I hope any of you considering it will reconsider. It takes 5 minutes to access the login page, doesn’t delete unless you follow a 2 step process and changing screens or opening Horde mail takes up to 30 minutes easily.

  12. Lee O says:

    Our agency uses Horde (because that’s what our service provider has set up) and we all absolutely hate it. We are so frustrated that we are considering changing service providers entirely or doing whatever it takes to get something that functions dependably. I see in the explanation above that Horde supposed to have features similar to Outlook. It does pretend to offer those features… if only they functioned consistently and properly. At the end of the day, I suppose we’re all just spoiled to Gmail and YahooMail, etc.

    • Please note that Arvixe offers 3 different types of webmail with our linux hosting (Horde, Squirrelmail and Roundcube). Each has its own specific purpose for different customers. I personally would recommend Squirrelmail due to its simplicity and speed. All of my family members have switched over to using Squirrelmail from Yahoo, AT&T, Gmail type webmails as they prefer the simplistic and quick response as well as the ability to manage their own emails on their own space.

  13. James says:

    Thanks very much for this information. I didn’t realise each of the three options is essentially a different method to check your emails. I was looking for an icon called ‘access your emails’. It is so confusing when you are presented with these strange sounding names; horde, squirrel, roundcube and not one of them is an obvious choice.

  14. Arvixe Blog says:

    I’m not sure if there is a way to do that. If you are looking for a software that sends emails to a list of email accounts, you may wish to try PHPList.

  15. TheBear says:

    Not sure how you got squirrel mail to be the fastest. I added roundcube as a choice for my users and they love it and one of the things I keep hearing is how fast it is.

  16. Joe says:

    In regard to the Horde calendar, does it have the same-type of meeting scheduling and calendar sharing features as Outlook?

  17. tejas says:

    If you want speed and simplicity go for Squirrelmail. It is very fast.

  18. Paul B. says:

    Thanks, just the info I needed.


  19. Stewart says:

    This was very helpful. Thanks!!!

  20. Tiaolt says:

    Thanks a lot with the facts, were looking many days due to this.

  21. Mohammed says:

    thank you very much .. very helpful and brief description!!

  22. petepet says:

    Thanks,good article

  23. ManTaboo says:

    I just wanted to say… for those of you who are not thrilled with the appearance of squirrel, if you are so inclined, you can either look for or script your own stylesheets and make it look very nice. BTW I use squirrel on my server and love it. If it runs slow, there must be a configuration issue. It’s very lightweight by design. Have fun!

  24. Mike says:

    Is it possible with any of the three above to schedule email sends, e.g. I wanna send a quote to a client at 3pm. Thanks for otherwise great info set. Mike

  25. Glen Woodfin says:

    I’m using Roundcube, but the calendar features on Horde look attractive if needed.

  26. Bob Williams says:

    Can I have all e-mails automatically sent to another e-mail address?

  27. Are there other open-source mail clients besides these three?

  28. Dina says:

    If i picked one of them. can i change it later?

  29. StrayTrustee says:

    Thanks for this breakdown of the 3. I really like Outlook’s capabilities and went with Horde, based on your information. Much appreciated!

  30. MrPK says:

    I have been using Horde fot 5 years or so. The biggest issue is that it is very slow opening the inbox when you have many emails and many filter / spam rules. Really anoying. There is also problems reading soem html emails. Some can’t be opened, some arrive as html attachment. maybe som misconfiguration… donät know for sure.

    Example: A lot of emails stored in folders, the inbox have 500 emails or so. Server hardware is dual Xenons CPU, 10K, hdd, not sure about the RAM. It’s not the latest Horde IMP, v 4.

    I was planing to upgrade to new v5 but I’m more interested now in moving to the ROUNDCUBE. Squirrel Mail may be fast but it seems to simple. I need modern look, fast webamail and features like autoreply and change password. It should also be compatible with ISP Config 3.

    I also plan to switch to Cherokee web-server due to what I read about great performance.

    Any suggestions ? What should I do? Is the hardware underpowered ? Thanks, cheers!

  31. Charlie says:

    I’ve been using Squirrelmail for years. It is fine, but is missing the ability to perform advanced searches e.g. search for an email from someone AND with a particular keyword somewhere. You can search emails using only one search field. There doesn’t seem to be any plugin that can resolve that.
    Also, it is missing advanced filter rules. e.g. filter an email if it matches 2 or more conditions.
    Not sure if other webmail software can do that.

  32. George says:

    I am new to CPanel. I had the same three options and after reading the comments above I chose to open my Webmail in Microsoft Outlook. Why choose any of the 3 options when I can use Outlook, which I understand extremely well?

    Does anyone see a downside to using Outlook? Am I missing something?

  33. Sandi says:

    VERY usefull… I googled ‘differences in Horde” and this popped up instantly. Thank you… saved me a lot of time and research.

  34. Ezra says:

    Hi, is it possible to use more than 1, or change after selecting! Great info. thanks!

  35. Ezra says:

    Are there other open-source mail clients besides these three? Can I have all e-mails automatically sent to another e-mail address?

    • Noah S says:


      There maybe other open-source mail clients, that are the only ones available on the Arvixe cPanel accounts. You can setup a forwarder in your cPanel to go to any other e-mail address.


  36. Ayudos says:

    thanks for this review. I was using Squirrel but Horde looks much better. I would like to use Google app for business but its not free anymore. so… Horde it is.

  37. lisa says:

    hey thanx for this useful information… personally i find Roundcube webmail is the best in all manner.. Now i can facilitate my roundcube with these Extremely elegant and Colorful themes….

  38. steam says:

    Very useful information here. Thank you. Quick question : How do i make my html login box direct to the roundcube webmail installed on my server. Thanks again

    • Noah S says:


      When you log into WebMail there is an option below RoundCube called [ Enable AutoLoad ]. Once you click that, all the logins you do in the future will default to RoundCube.


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