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What is the Difference Between IMAP and POP?

Approx. read time : 2 min

Are you using email services? Then you surely might have come across the terms POP and IMAP. But do you the meaning of both and which one you should select while configuring your local email client? In this article, you will learn about the key differences between IMAP and POP so that you can select the right option.

What is POP?

POP means Post Office Protocol and it is used by the local email clients for recovering the emails messages from a remote server. The latest version of POP is version 4 but you will commonly find POP3 in most email client settings. The main feature that helps POP or POP3 stand different than IMAP is the way it downloads the emails from the remote server. When you use POP3, your local email client accessed the remote server and downloads the emails to your local machine. Basically, the emails are removed from the remote server that might cause you several troubles, in case you want to access the emails from the multiple devices (laptop, tablet, desktop or phone). Hence, it is recommended to use POP3 only if you want to access the remote server from a single device and if you want to save the disk space on the remote server.

You can use Port 110 for accessing the POP3 which is the default non-encrypted port. For securely accessing the POP3 server, you can use Port 995.

What is IMAP?

IMAP means Internet Message Access Protocol and it is used by the local emails clients to recover the email messages from a remote server similar to POP3. IMAP stands different while recovering the email messages from the remote sever is because the emails are not removed from the remote server. You will find the emails stored on the remote server so that those can be used on multiple devices (desktop, laptop, tablet or phone) for accessing them at the same time from different locations. This feature is very important especially when several users access their emails from at least two devices.

Port 143, the default non-encrypted port can be used to access the IMAP server. If you want to securely access the IMAP server, you can use the Port 993.

What’s the Difference Between IMAP and POP?

Being two different protocols, POP3 and IMAP can be used to retrieve emails from a remote server. IMAP is considered to be better than POP in several cases as it allows you to access and recover the emails from the servers using different devices and locations at the same time. But POP3 allows you to do it from a single device only.

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Pallavi is a Digital Marketing Executive at MilesWeb and has an experience of over 4 years in content development. She is interested in writing engaging content on business, technology, web hosting and other topics related to information technology.