Email Protocols: POP & IMAP

Today, this article will give you knowledge on two email protocols namely POP and IMAP. Moreover, you will see what and how both protocols perform their functionality.

POP or post office protocol

Basically, POP lets the client to access the single mailbox on remote server. By using this remote server, it downloads any message whether it is new or saved to hard disk of client PC.

Both protocols POP and IMAP do the same work but in different ways. Your incoming emails arrive into your email account and wait until you read them all. By using POP you can empty the entire account and download all messages into hard disk. POP is quite simpler to create and understand by ordinary people.

One drawback that you will face is it is not flexible. If you want to move from one PC to another or from old client to new one then you have to shift or copy all messages and metadata regarding these messages. There might be possibility of data lose.

IMAP or internet message access protocol

This protocol allows an advanced distribution of client or server mail electronically. By using IMAP, your email client can manipulate messages because they are saved on remote server. Now there is no more flexibility issue in it as nothing is to keep on local disk except the client preferences. All messages are saved remotely instead of hard disk and they can easily be accessed from any computer.

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