POP vs IMAP

POP vs IMAP

Post Office Protocol (POP3)

  • Internet protocol used by email clients to retrieve mail from a remote server on the Internet
  • Mail clients download mail from a server to a single computer, then delete it from the server and disconnect
  • Email attachments are also downloaded onto the mail client computer and deleted on the server
  • Useful for users who want to read and manage their mail only from one computer and not from any other device

Internet Messsage Access Protocol (IMAP)

  • Internet protocol used by email clients to access mail on a remote server on the Internet
  • Allows multiple mail client devices to access and manage the same mailbox
    • Users can easily manage inboxes and sent mail from multiple devices
    • Status changes, such as read mail, are reflected across all mail clients
    • Mail clients generally leave messages on the server until the user explicitly deletes them
  • Useful for users who need to read and manage their mail from multiple devices, including work computers, home computers and mobile devices

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