POP and IMAP
There are two basic ways mail clients get email: POP and
The difference between the two is that POP brings messages to
your machine, while IMAP ALWAYS leaves messages on the server. IMAP
only downloads header information initially. That can be
advantageous for slow connections and for being able to access your
email from multiple locations/machines. Pop also has the
disadvantage of only using one folder (INBOX) while Imap can have
multiple server folders.
Webmail uses IMAP. Outlook and most other mail clients can use
POP or IMAP.
If you are accessing Email from two or more computers, you may
find IMAP makes it easier to maintain a consistent view of your
mail. However, you can achieve the same thing if you tell POP to
leave a copy on the server and delete it when you delete your local
The disadvantage of IMAP is that if you cannot connect to the
server, you can't see mail that you've already seen (unless you
have specifically copied it to a local folder). With POP, what has
reached your inbox is now on your machine: you may not be able to
get at new messages, but your old messages are here.
Some IMAP clients allow local storage automatically..
If your local machine doesn't get backed up, having the messages
stored on the server can be a life saver. Of course if the server
isn't being backed up, using IMAP can leave you with nothing at all
after a server crash. It's never a bad idea to copy important email
to local folders.
If this page was useful to you, please help others find it:
You can easily test mail connections:
do I test a popd connection?
do I test an imap server?
do I test a smtp connection?
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