POP vs IMAP

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What is POP?

POP is short for Post Office Protocol. The POP method of connecting to a mail server is supported by the majority of email software (Outlook, Thunderbird, Apple Mail). POP is designed to support offline mail processing.

What this means is when you connect to a mail server via a POP connection, your email software downloads a copy of the emails stored on the mail server and places them on the local device you are using. This allows the user to view emails on their device while not connected to the internet as all the files have been downloaded to the local device.

Although most POP clients have an option to leave mail on a server after download, email clients using POP generally connect, retrieve all messages, store them on the user's computer as new messages, delete them from the server, and then disconnect.

The downside of the POP method of collecting email is that if any data loss occurs on your local device, the emails may be lost. It is also more difficult to keep track of emails from several devices as the devices will not be in sync.

What is IMAP?

IMAP is short for Internet Message Access Protocol. The IMAP method of connecting to a mail server is supported by the majority of email software (Outlook, Thunderbird, Mail).

IMAP allows the user to connect to the mail and view, move or delete emails on the server. Since no emails are actually downloaded to the local device, all changes made to an email account while connected via IMAP remain on the account and on the mail server. This allows users to move emails into folders, delete emails and mark some emails as read or not read and view the changes they have made from several different devices such as their phone, home and work computers.

The downside of IMAP is it can take up plenty of space on a mail server thus causing your inbox to fill up. Email browsing can sometimes be slower since the device is having to download information from the mail server every time a new email is viewed instead of just reading the file from the local device. You also require an internet connection any time you want to read your emails.

What method does Netregistry support?

All email users can connect to our mail servers via IMAP or POP. It's up to the user as to which method best suits their needs.

The steps to getting your device connected to our mail servers using each particular method differs depending on what software you are using, feel free to read through some of our email setup tutorials for further assistance with setting up your email account.

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