IMAP vs POP3: Learn Difference Between POP3 vs IMAP

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Email is just one of those things you most likely take for granted. We are betting that you use it daily, but haven’t given much consideration to how it works. However, when you set up a server for your website, you’ll have to know a few basics so as to configure your email correctly.
Both these protocols allow you to access your email hosting from a remote server, but they each work differently and have their own sets of pros and cons.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to a contrast of POP vs IMAP. We are going to learn more about the differences between the two, then speak about how to put either one up on your site’s server. Let us get to work!
POP vs IMAP: A Short History

It was made to help people get their email using a computer which wasn’t directly linked to the server where that email’lived’.
The way POP worked (and works, for the large part) is quite simple. You enter a username and password, and the protocol makes a connection between your computer and the email address. All new mails are downloaded to the local machine, and therefore are generally not saved long-term on the host itself.
During the next few years, two more versions of this protocol were developed — POP2 and POP3. While they attracted small changes from the service of user-friendliness, they did not significantly alter the simple procedure. POP3 is still widely used today.

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But, an alternate protocol was made just a few years following the initial version of POP. While this protocol has also gone through a range of revisions, the newest being IMAP4, it is still colloquially referred to only as IMAP.
Using IMAP also enables you to connect to your email service and access new messages. However, with this protocol that the mails’live’ in your server (in other words, they are stored there indefinitely ). You can therefore interact with your messages from any device, provided that you have the right login credentials.
The Relative Pros and Cons of POP3 vs IMAP
However, the differences in how they function have impacts for users and site owners alike.
Let’s begin with POP. This protocol is somewhat maligned, as it will present one big drawback. Since emails are not kept in your server, you lack a secure backup system. After you download new messages to your computer, these copies are the only ones that exist. If something happens to your pc or you accidentally delete an email, there’s no retrieving the lost information.
On the flip side, POP also ensures that, once you’ve downloaded your mails, you can socialize with them fully without having continuous online access. If you eliminate connection to the email server, you still have full copies available of your messages along with their associated attachments.
The benefits and disadvantages of IMAP would be the direct opposite. The nice thing about IMAP is your mails are all stored securely on the server. You may access them from anywhere, without altering or affecting the initial copies. Plus, any changes you make on your email on a single device will be moved to some other device you’re using.
Of course, should you lose link to your web, you will have a more difficult time working together with your email when using IMAP. Most customers only store some information for each email locally. By way of instance, they might save the message itself but not any attachments or images.
In the end of the afternoon, there is no’right’ option here. There is a case to be made that IMAP is a closer fit for our modern, always-connected lifestyle, and that its advantages outweigh the one real downside. If you frequently use more than 1 device to get your email, IMAP is probably the better choice, because it will sync your actions between different devices.
However, there’s still a place for POP, especially if you only use a single device for email management. Additionally, many contemporary POP clients let you decide to store emails indefinitely on the server, which means you will still have a backup in place.
How to Employ POP and IMAP on Your Website’s Server

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As we’ve hopefully made clear, the selection between POP and IMAP comes down to personal preference and a careful appraisal of your customs. As opposed to simply choosing whichever one your host uses as a default, you’re going to want to decide on the best solution to suit your needs.
As soon as you know whether you’d like to use POP or IMAP, all that is left is to make sure that your server is configured to use the ideal protocol. How you do this will depend to some extent on your own server supplier and email customer. In general, though, you will need to enter credentials from your server in your email client so as to get it all set up.
By way of example, let us say you have a website (and an associated email accounts ) on our servers here at cheap email hosting. It is simple to set up either POP3 or IMAP on whatever mail client you prefer to use. For either one, you will simply have to enter some basic credentials, such as your account username and password.
Afterward, you’ll need to input different port settings based on Whether you have chosen to proceed with POP or IMAP:
POP3: Input port number 995 if you’re using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) link, or port 110 if you are not.
IMAP: You’ll need port 993 for SSL connections, and port 143 for hyperlinks that are inbound.

Finally, keep in mind you’ll also need to configure your email client to send incoming messages too. We will not cover the full process here, but you can check out how to install SMTP for outgoing mail in our documentation.
POP3 vs IMAP: What’s The Verdict?

Creating a site and preparing a server means contemplating the pros and cons of technologies you may not be familiar with. Besides, you can configure most popular email clients to work with one.
To recap, here are the relative advantages and drawbacks of these two protocols:
POP. Provides reliable access to your mails on a specific computer (once they’re downloaded). However, it doesn’t back up your sync or messages between devices by default.
IMAP. Shops your email safely on the server, and enables you to access and interact with it from any device. Of course, not all information might be accessible once you’re offline.