What is better (if I have the choice): SSL-TLS or STARTTLS?

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Joined: June 7th, 2003, 12:45 am

Post Posted October 28th, 2017, 3:31 am

Assume my mail provider (e.g. GMail) offers both SMTPS variants:


Which protocol should I prefer (in other words: Which protocol is faster and more reliable)?

...and in addition to the question above: Which authentication method should I use for STARTTLS: "Normal password" or OAuth2?



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Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted October 28th, 2017, 3:50 am

StartTLS converts a unsecure to a secure connection using TLS. Thunderbird claims that it will generate a fatal error if StartTLS fails to convert it to a secure connection, but regression bugs happen. So if you have a choice SSL/TLS (which is actually just TLS nowadays since the poodle attack caused most providers to drop support for SSL, regardless of what their documentation may say) is the safer choice.

I suggest you use OAuth2 as Gmail treats it as if it was more secure than "normal password", so that avoids some hassles.

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