Pop Vs Imap

What is POP?
POP is short for Post Office Protocol. POP is one method used by e-mail programs to retrieve e-mail from the server. The important feature of POP is that when you retrieve your mail the messages are moved from the server to the computer you use to check mail.

What is IMAP?
IMAP is short for Internet Message Access Protocol. It is the other main method used by e-mail programs to retrieve mail. Unlike POP, IMAP keeps your messages on the server. When you click to read a message IMAP presents the message that is stored on the server.

Which should I use, POP or IMAP?
Our experience shows that how users interact with their e-mail is intensely personal, and the decision is ultimately yours. However, here are some general guidelines:

  • Some e-mail programs have a “leave mail on server” option that simulates IMAP mode. If you use this feature please consider using IMAP.

The advantages of POP include:

  • Minimum use of connect time; an issue if you pay by the minute
  • Minimum use of server resources
  • More software is currently available for POP than for IMAP

On the other hand, IMAP has even more compelling advantages over POP as the foundation of a campus email system. These include:

  • Access to your inbox from any location on the network
  • Access to your inbox from different computers
  • Faster start-up time, as only message headings are transferred initially
  • Optimization for low-speed links
  • Ability to handle very large messages (e.g., MIME messages)
  • Ability to fetch individual MIME attachments
  • Ability to access non-email information (e.g., Netnews)



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