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Your thoughts about IMAP vs. POP vs. Exchange

Posted on 2013-11-28
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what's your thoughts on imap vs. pop .... vs. exchange? (right? that's the 3 big (only?) ways to do mail (ok, webmail is another I guess : )

specifically when you have 2 or more devices - phone and desktop for example and wanting the 'best' experience.

Exchange is the best but most costly (by a little bit when you go with O365 and $4 / user / month!) and that keeps calendar and contacts in sync across devices, right? Mail stays on the server and you get large storage on the server to accommodate it.

POP, you can leave on the server also, but you have to delete in 2 places (phone & PC) to get rid of an email. each machine has own sent folder, doesn't deal with contacts and calendar.

imap is more similar to exchange in that you are looking 'at' the server's inbox and only need to delete something 1x, doesn't do calendar and contacts.  How would you say reliability is? keeping phone, desktop and server in sync with the list of emails? I use mostly pop myself.  A couple gmail imap accounts frequently get 'imap server not responding', and each has its own set of mailboxes.  

On the pop side, I have several email addresses all dump into a shared inbox so I only have to look in 1 place for mail, vs. each inbox for each address in imap.  THat's on my desktop.  On my phone, I just don't delete mail from the pop server - I just look at what's come in recently.  The phone BCCs me so I can put it in the sent folder on my PC.
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Gareth Gudger earned 800 total points
ID: 39684577
I think you are answering you own question here. What do you need? Do you need full Mail, Calendar and Contact synchronization or not? For $4 a month for Office 365, it seems like a fairly easy argument to me. Plus Office 365 uses ActiveSync, so most anything will work with that, not to mention the Outlook Web App, which is incredibly close to the real thing. You also have the ability to share calendars, mailboxes and contacts with other users in your organization. You can do meeting requests. The higher O365 plans include Office Licensing, SharePoint and Lync. Plus with each new release of Exchange and Office, you are covered depending on the 365 plan.
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by:BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp
ID: 39684600
Well by extension of this, what are you getting with hosted exchange from other places at 2 or 3 times the price of Microsoft 365?  Sherweb, intermedia, Rackspace, ......

A better chance to get tech support?
A different (better / easier?) interface for admin?
...
?
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LVL 31

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by:Gareth Gudger
Gareth Gudger earned 800 total points
ID: 39684607
Well I know the Office365 technical support is out of India, but the admin interface is plenty easy to use. And if you work with a local Microsoft Partner then you support may be local. I've got a number of clients on Office 365 and no complaints there. I have had other customers complain about other hosted solutions such as GoDaddy's Hosted Exchange and we migrated them to Office 365.
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by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 39684608
Office 365 also has a 30 day no risk trial too.
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LVL 30

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by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 400 total points
ID: 39684630
IMAP is a poor mans Exchange.
When it works ,it can be quite serviceable.

However you are dealing with a lot of cooks that pick and choose how they will support the protocol.

Godadday with IMAP  on OL2K13 is flaky,but OL2K10 is fine.
Patches are a nightmare,but the last OL2K13 patches also broke Exchange.

You ISP controls what is compatible.

If you use an inhouse hosted email service,you're better off,but you need somebody to maintain it,as it is complex and prone to attacks.

If you got the time and money Exchange or even Novell's Groupwise(which is still one of the top 3 email servers out their) are the preferred products.
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LVL 6

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by:donnk
donnk earned 400 total points
ID: 39684842
The biggie for our users is push. The ability to push appointments, mail, to-do etc to mobile devices is a must. Also for compliance we never let users take the ability to control their own email.

We must allways be in a position to have a copy of everything in case the worst happens and someone needs to be fired / litigation.
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LVL 15

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by:jerseysam
jerseysam earned 400 total points
ID: 39684848
Personally if you are looking for reliability, pay the money and go for Exchange.
You will have all the features and benefits and not feel short-changed by IMAP or POP connection issues.
You can also use activesync to connect multiple devices.
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