So I thought a quick and simple summary here would help to explain it . . .
IMAP and POP3 are two email protocols.
A protocol is simply the process by which something happens or is defined.
In other words . . . 2 different ways for your email program to process emails.
This applies regardless of which email program or software you use.
Before we go on, a brief diversion to explain email servers.
Simply put, this is the place where your emails are stored until they are downloaded to your computer.
You will see the significance of this as we go on.
The email server for each email account you have is located with one of:
- your ISP, (Internet Service Provider), e.g. bigpond or iinet
- your website server
That’s another thing. In years gone by, we mostly had only 1 email address. Now we are likely to have multiple email addresses.
In the good old days . . . before we each had 3 computers, 2 mobile phones and a tablet in a pear tree (LOL), POP3 was pretty much the standard.
It worked well because we generally had only one place where we retrieved and viewed emails – the desktop computer at home or in our office.
emails were stored on your email server until your mail program downloaded them to your computer, and then it generally deleted them from your email server.
That meant that your emails were always available in only one place – either
- on your email server, or
- on your computer
This worked well until we started having multiple access to the internet.
It started when we had an office computer and a home computer and wanted to access our work emails at home.
Generally not a good moved for your lifestyle . . . but hey, you do what you gotta do!
The problem with POP3 was the emails already downloaded onto your work computer were no longer available to download on your home computer.
The simple summary is that with IMAP your emails are always stored on the email server, regardless of which computers that they are downloaded to, until you actually delete them.
This means that you can have multiple and many devices all retrieving emails from the one email account to:
And you can do this for each email account that you own.
When you delete an email, it doesn’t just delete it from the computer (device) that you are working on, but it also sends a message back to the server to delete it from there as well.
When that happens, the email becomes unavailable (deleted) on all of your devices simultaneously.
It is because if this greater flexibility in access to email accounts that IMAP is now pretty much the standard email protocol in use.
Well, that is quite simple really!
Watch this short VIDEO
IMAP vs POP3.
SMTP vs IMAP vs POP3.
imap vs pop – what do they do?
What should you do now?
- If you want access to your emails on all devices, check out IMAP.
- Want some help or ideas? Just contact us at Hotpink Websites now.
As a pop star, you don’t have to be that smart for people to think you’re intelligent.
~ Adam Levine
Remember – IMAP vs POP3 what’s the difference