The difference between POP and IMAP

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Every business uses email.  If you’ve ever had to set up a device or computer to receive and send emails you’ll know there are different email protocols.  But do you know the difference between them and understand the advantages and disadvantages of each?

This week we’ll explain the main protocols to you in a bit more detail so you can make the right choice when setting up an email account for you business.

the difference between pop and IMAP

POP Explained

POP stands for Post Office Protocol.  

POP3 creates local copies of emails and deletes the originals from the server, the emails are tied to that specific machine, and cannot be accessed via any webmail or any separate client on other computers. At least, not without doing a lot of email forwarding or porting around mailbox files.  

If your computer corrupt you loose all your emails.

If you try to access your mail on a separate device or computer the emails do not sync, so emails appear to be missing from device to device.

pop email

IMAP Explained

IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol

IMAP was created to keep users from having to be tied to a single email client, giving them the ability to read their emails as if they were “in the cloud.”

Compared to POP3, IMAP allows users to log into many different email clients or webmail interfaces and view the same emails, because the emails are kept on remote email servers until the user deletes them. In a world where we now check our email on web interfaces, email clients, and on mobile phones, IMAP has become extremely popular.

Because IMAP stores emails on a remote mail server, you’ll have a limited mailbox size depending on the settings provided by the email service. If you have huge numbers of emails you want to keep, you could run into problems sending and receiving mail when your box is full. Some users sidestep this problem by making local archived copies of emails using their email client, and then deleting them from the remote server.

imap email

Our hosting provides both options.  If you have to choose between the two we would suggest selecting IMAP. However we recommend (and use ourselves) Google Apps for work:

Why we love google apps

Why we use Google Apps

  1. Email and Drive Search functionality
    You don’t have to worry about trying to find an email from 2 years ago. Google’s search function is the best there is. So, you’ll always be able to find that old email so long as you’ve archived rather than deleted it.
  2. Great Email Spam Protection:
    We all get a bit each week. However, if you want to reduce your spam, Google Apps have some of the best spam filters around which will save you the trouble of having to delete those pesky unwanted messages manually.
  3. Email on mobile devices, even without a connection
    Get powerful iOS and Android apps. Across mobile and desktop, you can read and draft messages when you don’t have Internet, and they’ll be sent when you’re back online.
  4. Store and share documents in the cloud
    By saving your work files in Drive, access them from any device and share them instantly with teammates. No more sending attachments or merging different versions.
  5. Easy use
    We set it up, you just have to login, no adding server information into your various email clients and devices!
  6. Removal of single point of failure
    Your emails are physically stored separately from where your website is stored.  If your website goes down the likelihood is that your email will continue to be operational.

If you would like us to get you up and running with Google Apps or would like more information about our hosting options please contact us.

David Hopkins

Executive Director at Tickling Trout
David left school and went straight into full time employment for a Southampton based cash register distributor. Whilst he was initially taken on to learn the industry his gift for sales quickly became apparent.

Since then he has gone on to work for companies such as Microcache; (family based leisure management supplier) where he was head of sales in marketing, the company later sold in 2001 for 8.2 million.

He continued his career in technology which culminated in a sales meeting with Jon Newlyn whereby they ran away together to form Tickling Trout.

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