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What is the difference between POP3 and IMAP?

What is POP3 mail?

POP3 stands for Post Office Protocol, version 3. A POP server stores mail in your inbox until a POP client downloads it to the user's local PC. The messages are then stored on the user's PC only, they are no longer available on the server. POP3 is the most common mail protocol for Earthnet users.

What is IMAP mail?

IMAP stands for Internet Messaging Access Protocol. Unlike POP3, an IMAP server stores mail messages on the server. The IMAP client may view messages directly from the server, or download copies of the messages so that the user can read them and compose replies while offline.

The main advantage of IMAP is that messages are stored on the server, so you can read your email from several different computers. The disadvantage is that because the messages stay on the server until you delete them, you will fill up your quota quickly.

What is the difference?

If you're using POP3, your e-mail program will download all your new messages onto your computer, then remove them from our servers.

If you're using IMAP, your e-mail program will simply display the messages that are on our servers, and it will leave them of the server. It will not download the messages onto your computer.

You might want to use POP3 if you check your email from only one computer. You might prefer IMAP if you're always on the go and like to be able to check your email from different computers and locations.

The advantage of POP3 is that it is faster and you can read, sort and organize your old mail while offline. The disadvantage is that POP3 removes the messages from the servers, so you won't be able to read your old messages from another computer.

The advantage of IMAP is that, since it always leaves the messages on our servers, you can consult your email from any computer or any location. The problem is that you will fill up your quota more quickly, since the emails are not automatically removed from our servers. Moreover, you won't be able to read your old email if you don't have any Internet connectivity.

The Best of Both Worlds?

The best of both worlds is POP3 with the option to leave the messages on the server for a certain period of time or forever.

With POP3 set to leave a copy of the messages on the servers, you can do all the following:

The procedure to setup POP3 with this option widely varies depending on the email program you're using, so if you feel you need to turn this feature on, give us a call at 303 546 6362 aand we'll guide you through the configuration of your email program.

Click here to find out how to configure your email program to leave a copy of your messages on the server (with POP3).

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