When I am setting up my email software, it is asking me to choose an account type: POP or IMAP?
What is the difference, or which one should I choose?
To offer the best customer service, anySiteHosting.com has always supported both IMAP and POP protocols for accessing your email on our systems.
Either one works just fine for accessing your email, but there are a few differences:
POP is the default standard for most users.
POP offers the distinct advantage of being a very robust and fast protocol (the way systems or servers communicate).
POP logs on to the email server from your computer and email software, finds your email, and downloads it to your computer.
Plain and simple, finds the email and downloads it to your computer.
Did you catch that? DOWNLOADS it.
That is, it REMOVES it from the server, and places it on your computer.
That is all well and good if you plan on collecting your email on just a single computer, and always referencing it there.
But what if you wanted to review your email on your smartphone, your computer at home, your computer at your office, and maybe while you were away on vacation or at another location as well?
We offer a very robust and power webmail option here as well – what if you wanted to use that from time to time?
This is where IMAP comes in!
POP is a Client Protocol – it downloads all of your email off of the server and onto your Client.
IMAP is a Server Protocol – it leaves all of the email on the server, and has you logon to the server every time to use it.
IMAP offers the distinct advantage of allowing you to access your email from several locations, but has the slight downside of being a little slower.
It is not IMAP that is to blame for this slow access though, it mostly has to do with what speed Internet connection you have, how fast your internal network is, your computer, etc…
IMAP is the default choice for any user who will need to access their email from multiple devices or locations – a growing section of the population these days with smartphones, multiple computers, multiple office locations, etc…
IMAP logs into the server, tells your email software what is there, and allows your email software to show you your email without removing it from the server.
This is perfect for users who need to see their email on their smartphone, on webmail, on their desktop on their laptop, or any other location.
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