IMAP Vs POP3
Both POP3 (Post Office Protocol) and IMAP (Internet Message access protocol) allow people to get access to their email from a remote server; however, that is where most similarities end. POP3 simply downloads email to your computer, and usually (but not always) deletes the email from the remote server. The problems arise if you have more than one device where you read your mail (desktop, laptop, tablet or phone). Here’s why it’s bad: You have to delete or file the same email on every device.
Logging into each device, you will see lots of unread emails with no indication of which you deleted, read, flagged or filed Any folders you created and organize on one device won’t be replicated on the other devices.
IMAP allows users to store their email on remote servers. This two-way protocol also allows the user to synchronize their email among multiple devices, which is extremely important today, when most people have at least two devices – their laptop and smartphone.
The Practical Use of POP3
People who access their email account from computer, and back-up their hard drive regularly, can get by with using POP. Although it is possible to arrange to have email stored on the remote servers of most ISPs and other email service providers, downloading email is a slow process if the user has a large number of messages stored on the remote server.
Here’s why POP3 is bad:
- You have to delete or file the same email on every device
- Logging into each device, you will see lots of unread emails with no indication of which you deleted, read, flagged or filed
- Any folders you created and organize on one device won’t be replicated on the other devices
The Practical Use of IMAP
For people using multiple computers and devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, the ability to synchronize email actions among devices is essential. When a person uses IMAP, and he or she reads, deletes or moves email into folders, the action occurs across all devices simultaneously. Since it is possible to download only the email headers with IMAP, it’s much quicker. Additionally, any offline changes that are made to email are transmitted to the remote server once an Internet connection is re-established. Essentially, IMAP allows the user to archive their email on their computer or device while having a backup stored on the remote server. Additionally, business users, especially those in professions that demand confidentiality, prefer to use IMAP since it allows for the added security email encryption affords.