POP3 vs. IMAP
Some of the most common questions our support team receives are:
- What are the differences between POP3 and IMAP?
- Does one have advantages over the other?
- Which one should I use?
Let’s find out below.
POP3: Post Office Protocol (version 3, the current standard)
With a POP3 account your email software connects to the mail server and download email messages to your computer. Most of the time the emails are deleted from the mail server after being downloaded.
IMAP: Internet Message Access Protocol
With an IMAP account your email software leaves email messages on the mail server. IMAP allows you to view emails from the email softwares in multiple locations (such as home computers and office computers) without the need of transferring messages or files between them.
In summary, if you’re office-based or only check your emails from one computer, POP3 is the way to go. You don’t have to worry about how much storage space you’ve used on the mail server. Your emails are deleted from the mail server as they reach your inbox. If you need to check emails from different computers, or you and other users share one email account, IMAP is the choice for you.