Should You Use Round Cube vs Horde vs Squirrel Mail for Email or Should You…?

This post answers the question whether to use Horde, SquirrelMail, or RoundCube for webmail

Question from a client:

[My Hosting Company] is asking to select default between Round Cube, Horde, and Squirrel Mail for the email… Not sure which too choose?

For decades now most web hosting companies include email with their server plans.  And all of them offer the same three, decades-old webmail clients as well: RoundCube, Horde, and SquirrelMail.  We’ll discuss whether you should use any of them in a moment (short answer, no, you shouldn’t use shared hosting for email) but let’s answer the client’s actual question first.

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, most hosting plans will let you choose a default.

And if you don’t have any other email accounts, and you don’t already use another web-based, desktop, or mobile application for email, any one of the three will probably do a fine job.


If you do have other email accounts, and if you do use Outlook, iMail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc., then you can use one of those instead.

Chances are your hosting company’s control panel has configuration information for desktop and mobile.

If you use a different web, phone, or desktop mail client chances are you can use that instead.

Point being that while it’s nice that you can use one of the webmail clients from your hosting company, chances are you really don’t have to.

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David Innes,

I've been building and maintaining websites since 1997 and building and supporting similar hypertext-driven software since 1987. I've done maintenance, support, and maintenance for physical and digital systems since 1981. And no, I still haven't seen it all but by now I usually know where to look. More about David Innes...


  1. Joe on June 8, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    Roundcube is horrible, and no longer using it through Bluehost.

    • David Innes, on June 8, 2019 at 6:20 pm

      Hi Joe,

      Yeah, it’s pretty horrible. And while shared-hosting/cPanel style email is convenient there are a lot of great reasons to switch your email to GSuite for Business or Microsoft 365.