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What is the difference between POP3 and IMAP protocols?

The Internet Messaged Access Protocol(IMAP) and the Post Office Protocol(POP3) are mail protocols that both process incoming emails, however the way they do that is different. Knowing the distinction between them can help you choose which is best for your needs.


When you configure a POP3 account on your email client or mobile device, you will start receiving emails in your inbox, as the protocol will deliver them to it. However, the emails you view are not going to remain on the mail server. Instead, the messages will be downloaded locally on your device, from the server. This means that if anyone else attempts to view them directly on the server (through the webmail, for example) or from an email client on a different device, they will NOT be able to do so. This protocol should be selected when you want to be the sole reader of the messages landing in a specific mail account, that you configured on a device you can access only. 


Nowadays, with technology advancing to such a higher level, the necessity of being mobile has increased dramatically, thus rendering the POP3 protocol somewhat futile. Choosing the IMAP protocol for your email account is going to guarantee email delivery in all your inboxes across all devices. Unlike POP3, these messages will be synced across all the devices utilizing this email account. For example, if you have a tablet and a phone using the same email account, you will be able to read the same message from both of them. We recommend choosing this protocol if you have more than one person using an email account or you have it set up throughout multiple devices.

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