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POP or IMAP, what is the difference?

Our email servers have two protocols, one called POP and one called IMAP, both will retrieve email, but the way they act are totally different. It is something useful to know before setting up your email accounts.


To save yourself hassle in the future, it is best to know which to use otherwise you may end up changing it later and your emails may not be saved to the server.

IMAP – (Internet Message Access Protocol)

IMAP is useful for when you have multiple computers, phones or tablets receiving email for one address, IMAP will sync with the server which also then marks email you have read at another location on every device.

It will also delete emails from the server itself and any changes made will be reflected on every device and the server itself.

IMAP and quota

The only problem with IMAP is, you fill up your mail box quota very easily – Since everything is stored, meaning you will need to regularly delete emails to keep your quota under your limit.


POP – (Post Office Protocol)

POP on the other hand does not sync with the server and once it has downloaded your emails, it will delete them from the server.

This can be a problem for some people, but it also limits you to having one email client, unlike IMAP which can be used on multiple phones and computers.

Many users will ask where their emails have gone, so now you know what the protocols are and what they do, so be wise and choose which is best for you.


Summary

IMAP

POP

Syncs with the server Does not sync with server
Multiple devices Deletes after downloading to email client
Uses a lot of quota, clean inbox regularly Not ideal for multiple devices
Does not use a lot of quota
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Last modified: 16/01/2018