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What is the difference between IMAP and POP?

IMAP4, the latest version, is similar to POP3 but offers additional and more complex features. For example, the IMAP4 protocol leaves your email messages on the server rather than downloading them to your computer. If you wish to remove your messages from the server, you must use your mail client to generate local folders, copy messages to your local hard drive, and then delete and expunge the messages from the server.


With IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) you read your mail while it is still on the mail server. Because your mail remains on the server, you can access it from any IMAP-configured computer with internet access. Whether you are at work, at home, or traveling around the world, all of your messages are available to you.

POP (Post Office Protocol), on the other hand, is designed to handle offline operations. POP downloads e-mail to the PC, generally removing it from the central server. After messages are moved onto the desktop of the current local computer and deleted from the server, you then manipulate them on your desktop. Therefore, POP e-mail is only available on that specific desktop computer. E-mail stored locally using POP may not have a back-up system in place and would be vulnerable to loss in the event of a computer crash, whereas with IMAP, e-mail messages and folders are backed up nightly by Communilink Server and are available in case of loss.


However, for IMAP users, as email store in server, please ensure you have enough email space with Communilink in order to keep receiving the incoming email.