Email Access POP3 Vs. IMAP

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When you have an website with email capabilities you can access your email with an email client. And you’re not sure whether to use POP3 Vs. IMAP? The email client uses one of the two protocols to access the email.

POP3 Email

Option one is Post Office Protocol(POP3). It’s a standard protocol used by email clients to retrieve the email from the server. When you connect to the server with a Pop3 account The email client will download the mail from the server and store it on the local machine.

There is an option when you are setting up your email client to leave a copy of the email on the server. This will allow you to access the mail from multiple devices. However, you will need to keep in mind that will also use up hard drive space on your local device.

Another benefit of using POP3 is access. You will be able to access and read your email if you are offline. If you are using IMAP, you will need to have access to the internet to read your email.

IMAP Email

The other option for receiving mail with an email client is Internet Message Access Protocol(IMAP). IMAP connects your email client to your email server and reads the email off the server. Unlike POP3 it does not take the email off the server. IMAP is a good option if you are accessing your mail from multiple devices, such as a laptop/desktop and a mobile phone.

If you are using IMAP, you will not have to worry about space on your local device. All the email will be stored on the server. However, you will need to be aware of the disk space available on your server.

The only downfall is trying to access your email when you are offline. Because IMAP is a connection to the server if you are offline, you will not be able to read your email. You will have to wait til you get back online to access the email.

As you’re making a decision on which email protocol to use, you’ll need to decide how you want to be able to access your email. Keep in mind that once you have the email client set up, the only way to change the email protocol is to delete the account and re-create it. If you need help with setting up your email client check out How to Set Up an Email Client.