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Difference between POP and IMAP

Difference between POP and IMAP

Whether you’re a business or an individual, you likely have an email account. You might use a web-based interface, like Gmail, Outlook.com, Yahoo Mail, or one of the many desktop applications. Chances are your email account uses either the POP3 or IMAP protocol. So what’s the difference? Which is better for you? Let’s take a look.

What is POP?

Post Office Protocol (POP) is a simple mail protocol used for the retrieval of email from a remote server. It is a very old protocol, dating back to 1984, and was one of the first protocols to be used for email retrieval. POP is a very basic protocol and does not support many of the features that are now commonplace in email clients, such as message flags, message actions, or multiple mailbox support. It is also a very insecure protocol, and should not be used if security is a concern. Despite its limitations, POP is still widely used, particularly by smaller email providers who do not have the resources to support more modern protocols such as IMAP or Exchange.

What is IMAP?

IMAP, or the Internet Message Access Protocol, is a widely used protocol for retrieving email from servers. Unlike the older POP protocol, IMAP allows users to keep their emails on the server and access them from multiple devices. IMAP also offers a number of other features, including the ability to create and delete folders, flag messages, and search through emails. As a result, IMAP has become the preferred protocol for many business users. While IMAP does have some drawbacks (such as increased storage requirements on the server), its benefits more than makeup for them. For most users, IMAP will provide a more efficient and convenient way to manage their email.

Difference between POP and IMAP

These two terms refer to the two main protocols for accessing email. POP, which stands for Post Office Protocol, is the older of the two protocols. It was originally designed for use with dial-up modem connections, and it downloads messages from the server to your local computer. This meant that you could only access your email from one computer, and if you wanted to back up your messages, you had to do it manually. IMAP, which stands for Internet Message Access Protocol, is a newer protocol that was designed for use with high-speed Internet connections.


POP and IMAP are two different email protocols that can be used to access your email. POP is a more simple protocol that downloads all of the emails from the server onto your computer. IMAP, on the other hand, keeps a copy of all your emails on the server so you can access them from any device. Both protocols have their pros and cons, so it’s important to decide which one will work best for you before setting up your email account.

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