EMAIL: pop3 vs imap

Posted on 2014-02-08
Last Modified: 2014-02-09

This is related to the company’s email. The company is using for the email

I am not sure whether it is a POP3 or IMAP

Somebody would provide an explanation please

Thank you

Question by:tjie
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Assisted Solution

MacroShadow earned 150 total points
ID: 39844978
You could use either one. Follow the instructions here to setup your rackpace email.

The difference is, when you use pop the email is downloaded to your computer and then erased from the server, with imap on the other hand all work you do is on the email server.
LVL 34

Accepted Solution

Dan Craciun earned 350 total points
ID: 39845008
You might want imap or pop, depending on your usage and constraints.

If you use imap, then all your devices, regardless of location, have access to your email history at all times. I.e. if you buy a new phone/tablet and access the email from it you'll be able to see and search all your email.

If you delete an email from one of your devices it will be deleted from all your devices on the next sync.

The downside is that if each employee has ~3GB of emails and your company has 10 employees, you need 30GB on the server for email storage. Maybe less if your host uses de-duplication, but that's the general idea.

If you use pop, you download all the emails on one device, and then delete those older than x days (where x can be 0, so you delete an email as soon as you finished downloading).
This takes care of the space problem on the server, but each new device you use will only see the emails from the last x days, not older.
If you delete an email from one device, it will have no impact on the other devices.


Author Comment

ID: 39845498
Hi Dan,

Need more clarification and confirmation please ....
- This is your statement " ...If you delete an email from one device, it will have no impact on the other devices."
- If I have 3 devices: A, B and C
- I configured A with POP 3, then B & C with IMAP
- this is another your statement " ...If you delete an email from one of your devices it will be deleted from all your devices on the next sync."

My questions:
 If my setting as the above (only A with POP 3 and the rests with IMAP), all my old emails at B & C would be deleted? Please explain and confirm

Thank you

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LVL 34

Assisted Solution

by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 350 total points
ID: 39845504
If you delete an email from device A, it will be deleted only from device A.
If you delete an email from device B, it will be deleted from the server, device B and device C. Device A will still have it (if it finished downloading on A before deletion).

If you setup device A as POP and it deletes messages older than X days from the server, all old email will be deleted from B and C by default.

Author Comment

ID: 39845667
Hi Dan,

Thank you for the explanation.

There is one more things if it is OK with you (Or I should do another posting)

This is not related to this posting, but it is related to the CONNECTION of POP 3 and IMAP
- I am still confused related to the connection of POP 3 and IMAP
- My understanding: The connection of POP 3 is "dialup" and the connection of IMAP is "ethernet "; is it true?


LVL 34

Assisted Solution

by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 350 total points
ID: 39845758
Nope, that's not true.

You can connect to your server via dialup, ethernet, fiber, smoke signals etc

Whatever connection you use to connect to your mail server, that same connection will be used for both POP and IMAP.

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