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Email: Comparison of IMAP and POP

The advantages and disadvantages of POP and IMAP for accessing email

There are two main options for accessing email from a program installed on your computer - POP and IMAP. Most email programs will work with either option, though some programs do better with one than the other.

POP mail moves the message from the email server onto your local computer. There is almost always the option to leave the message on the email server as well, so that it can be downloaded to other computers too.

IMAP mail, in contrast, leaves the message on the email server, and gives your local email client a copy to look at. Almost all email programs hold onto the copy even if you work offline.


Feature POP IMAP
Deleting Mail Must be deleted on each computer separately. If the local client is not set to delete from server, all mail will remain there. A single deletion will remove from the server and will propagate to all email clients.
Sent Mail Folder Each computer has a local sent mail location. Most email clients can be configured to use a single sent mail location on the email server.
Multiple Computers Each computer will show and save the messages that are downloaded to it, and the messages that are sent from it. Each computer will have the same sent and received messages.
Web Email Will show all messages on the server. Will show all messages in all mailboxes on the server.
Back-up Individually arranged for each local computer. CAE backs up all servers.
Storage Space Local storage depends on the computer's available space. CAE does not have mail quotas.
Access to Other Mailboxes Local mailboxes are available on their local computer only. All IMAP mailboxes reside on the server and are available to all IMAP email programs.
Working Offline Mail downloaded to the computer is available when the computer is offline. Varies by email client, but most can be configured for offline work.
SmartPhones Can access mail left on the server, and can be configured to store sent mail on the server. Identical to other email clients.

Keywords:mail server setting pop imap email client   Doc ID:6782
Owner:Noel K.Group:Computer-Aided Engineering
Created:2007-11-28 18:00 CSTUpdated:2013-03-11 11:32 CST
Sites:Computer-Aided Engineering
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