Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
Do you have an email address that you want to setup on an e-mail client like Outlook or in your newly bought mobile device like iPhone or Blackberry? And when you are about to do this you are asked to choose if you want to setup your email account via POP3 or IMAP? and you don't know what to choose? This tip will help know more about this two types of setting that are commonly used for email clients and mobile devices that supports messaging.
First of all let's talk about POP3, this stands for Post Office Protocol version 3. Yes, this is the latest version of this protocol. We won't really get too technical in this tip. I will just give you ideas on how this will work to better understand which one to choose between POP3 and IMAP. Now a days, if someone says "I POP my mails from the server" he/she is saying that he used POP3 to download mails from the server. POP3 was initially created for users who does not have a permanent access to the Internet, like dial-up. POP3 will download all of your mails from the server, delete the messages from the server, and close the connection. All of the message downloaded will all be store in inbox and even if the user is off line, the user can still check the downloaded messages without getting online.
**The server that we are talking about here is what we also call as web mail.
Though POP3 deletes all downloaded mails from the server (web mail). Most e-mail clients will give you an option to leave a copy of the message on the server. This will make sure that even if you "pop" you mails, once you log back in to your web mail the same messages are still in there. To make it short and simple POP3 will only download all of the message and put in to the inbox of your e-mail client or mobile devices.
IMAP or Internet Message Access Protocol. This protocol almost works the same as POP3. The only difference is that it will not download all messages from the server in to your inbox. IMAP is also called the "mirror" for your e-mail client and the server. What you will have on the server (web mail) will be available on the client or mobile device. This idea applies to this example. Let's say you have sorted your e-mails on your web mail, you created folders to categorize the messages that is getting to your inbox. Once you setup IMAP in a e-mail client or mobile device you will see the folders and you will also have an option on your e-mail client and mobile device to subscribe to these folders that you have on the web mail.
This is pretty much having the same format from the server to your e-mail client or mobile device. This will also save you from the agony of sorting your mails since they will show up on your e-mail client or mobile device same as how they are set on the server. Another thing that is not found in POP3 is the way messages will be removed the server. Once the user using IMAP deletes a message, it will not be immediately get deleted from the server unless the user explicitly delete them, this is done by using the purge option.
I hope this enlightened you a bit to choose between the two.
Posted by Jeffrey... on
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