|Type||IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol|
POP3 (Post Office Protocol)
The most differentiating feature of the IMAP protocol is that that the emails and inboxes are not stored on your computer but somewhere in the cloud. This allows all your mails to be perfectly synchronized when usually read emails from different computers or devices, or even from Webmail, as all devices and platforms will show exactly the same emails, folders, etc. The main disadvantage of the IMAP protocol is that it is mandatory to have an internet connection all the time to read/reply and search the messages.
Also, as the emails are stored on the webserver, it is important to keep checking the available storage space for your mailbox, else if the mailbox is full, mails will start bouncing back.
In the case of the POP3 protocol, your email client (ex. Outlook, ThunderBird, Mail, etc) connects directly to the mail server and downloads all the emails/attachments on the email client configured to access emails. This is the main advantage, as the emails are downloaded locally, they can be read even without an internet connection.
POP3 is a protocol that was developed when the internet connections were with no flat rate, so the idea was to download the emails quickly and disconnect the internet connection, to save on cost.
When downloading the messages each time you read the email, it is deleted from the server, freeing up space, so it is less likely the mailbox will get full and can’t receive new emails. However, nowadays there is the option to keep a copy of the messages in the server for a certain number of days, in order to be able to synchronize the incoming messages and review the email from different devices.
1. Two-way synchronized communication between the email server and the email client, which allows several devices to work on the same account seeing the changes made by everyone.
2. Emails are on the server all the time, so accessing them can be done from any place by having a device with internet access. In case of a computer crash or accidental deletion of data, since emails are on the mail server, it is possible to get the emails back.
3. As the emails are stored on the mail server, it utilizes minimal local storage.
4. It allows keyboard-based email search.
|1. Being able to read emails on your local computer/device even with no internet connection.|
2. It is not necessary to have a big storage space on the mail server since when downloading the mail, it is deleted.
1. Mails won’t work without an active internet connection.
2. In case email usage is more, you would need larger mailbox storage which might cost more.
3. Accessing mails little slower as compared to POP3, as all folders get synchronized every time there is a Send / Receive
1. If the device where the mails have been downloaded or saved, crashes or gets stolen, the emails are lost.
2. Depending on the message, it can consume the resources of the system.
3. IMAP is short for Internet Message Access Protocol. With IMAP, the message does not remain on the local device, such as a computer, it remains on the server.
4. POP3 is short for Post Office Protocol. With POP3 mail, it will connect and attempt to keep the mail located on the local device (computer or mobile).
*We NOT recommend you to use IMAP because