POP3 or IMAP? Which should I choose when setting up my email?
Well, it depends solely on the individual’s needs of how flexible they want to be with their email.
If you need your email to be synced with multiple devices and i.e. your laptop, tablet, and home PC, IMAP is the right choice for you. IMAP Keeps copies of the email on the mail server so it allows mails to be synced across multiple devices. If you delete an email from one device the other devices will not see that email anymore.
IMAP (also known as Internet Message Access Protocol) allows the headers of each email to be downloaded to your device, so you get a small preview of what the email is about before you open it. Only when you open the email will it download the rest of the content saving you bandwidth.
The only downfall of IMAP is that you require an internet connection to view the mail if you have not opened it and you’re offline.
POP3 (Also known as Post Office Protocol v3) however, is the exact opposite. We would recommend using this protocol only if you only going to use your email account on one device ie. Your laptop or mobile phone and you don’t require it to be synced across multiple devices.
POP3 allows you to view your emails offline regardless of internet availability. But it can be bandwidth intensive if you are downloading large attachments.
Choose POP3 if:
- You want to access your mail from only one single device.
- You need constant access to your email, regardless of internet availability.
- You have limited server storage
Choose IMAP if:
- You want to access your email from multiple different devices.
- You have a reliable and constant internet connection.
- You want to receive a quick overview of new emails or emails on the server.
- Your local storage space is limited.
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