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IMAP and POP are two ways to access email. After setting up an email, you will come across the two terms. But, what do they mean for your mail, and which one should you be using? Let us tell you what they are and how either affects your email account.
IMAP and POP are protocols for retrieving emails from an email server to allow you to read messages on your devices. Both protocols are used to connect you to your email account from a desktop email app.
IMAP was created in 1986 to allow access to emails stored on a remote server.
POP was created in 1984 and is the oldest of the two. It was created to allow users to download emails from a remote server. Although old, new POP2 and POP3 improvements have boosted their performance.
POP is outdated but offers specific advantages. However, the major drawback is that you can’t check your email from multiple devices. Also, if you delete an email, it does not sync to the server. Therefore, the emails won’t be deleted on other devices. With IMAP, you only need to worry about limited storage space. But what if you can combine both IMAP and POP services into one?
IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol and is a form of cloud storage that lets you access your email from anywhere and any device. You don’t need to download and store it on your computer. Instead, you read it from the email service.
Because of this feature, you can access your email from any device and anywhere. However, IMAP will only download an email when you click on it. Also, it doesn’t automatically download attachments.
After IMAP connects to an email server, it fetches the requested email. Since the email is cached locally, it can work on your device. However, when you make changes to the email, the server processes the email. For example, the server saves the changes and disconnects if you delete a message.
Any change to IMAP happens on the server. Instead of downloading local message copies, the email client manages all emails stored on the server. As a result, your device will only store cached copies unless you intentionally download something.
POP stands for post office protocol designed as a simple way to access a remote server. Almost all email servers and clients support the latest version. Sent mail is not stored on the email server for post office protocol. Instead, it is stored locally on your computer.
POP works by contacting your email service and downloading new messages from that service. The email client first connects to the server and grabs the mail on the server. Then, it stores all the emails locally on your device so you can access everything in your email client.
After downloading all the messages to your device, they are immediately deleted from the email service. As a result, you can only read the downloaded and deleted emails using the same computer. In essence, previously downloaded messages will not be available to you on a different device.
The primary difference between IMAP and POP is that IMAP leaves the email on the server and temporarily stores emails locally. IMAP and POP by 500Mail provide you secured encrypted email . In contrast, POP downloads emails from the server for permanent local storage. In other words, IMAP allows cloud storage while POP does not.
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