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Monday, June 17th, 2019 7:21 PM

The Difference Between POP and IMAP

The Difference Between POP and IMAP
Depending on how you check your email, or depending on how many devices, you may find either POP or IMAP more advantageous. Below are the main differences.


POP downloads the messages to the particular device. The POP client has settings to allow you to delete the message from the server or leave it there so other devices can see it. Deleting the message from the POP client can be configured to remove the message from the server, but this will not affect any other POP clients. There is no true synchronization.

The advantages are:

* A local copy of your email.
*Uses very little server storage space as long as emails are downloaded and copies not being stored on the server
* Consolidation of many email accounts and servers to deliver to one inbox.

Disadvantages are:

* Potentially no remote copy (if emails are deleted from the server as they are retrieved)
* No remote web access or synchronization between several programs or devices ie. smart phones, tablets, laptops etc.
* Local copies of messages still requires disk space to store messages.


Any change you make in any IMAP client will synchronize with the server, meaning any email read on your device will also automatically appear read when you check your account later via other devices, laptops, smart phones etc. Any messages or folders you read, move, or delete will be synchronized across all devices.

Advantages to IMAP:

* You can store and read your email locally, and have a copy stored on the mail server.
*Mail is synchronized throughout all IMAP accounts.

Disadvantages are:

* The number of messages you store is limited by your account’s server space, not your personal device(s). You will likely have more disk space locally, than the allotted server space

For people who intend to check their email from multiple locations or devices, IMAP is often the better choice, but care must be taken to stay within the storage space.
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