The differences between POP and IMAP

POP: acronym means Post Office Protocol. This means that you access your email account using a device, you see an email and you click on it and it downloads this email to that device. Same like going to the Post Office and fetching your mail. You collected, it’s yours. Or better, that device.

Note: If you are using multiple devices, your email is delivered to all these devices.

Advantages:

    • Email storage is limited by the size of your device’s hard drive.
    • If you have the default setting to delete emails, from the server once they are delivered to your device, then very little storage is required.

Disadvantages:

  • Reading your e-mail from multiple devices or e-mail apps results in duplication of work.
  • Messages are stored locally on your computer. If your device’s hard drive fails you may lose all your emails too.

 

IMAP: acronym means: Internet Mail Access Protocol: meaning all emails are stored on a server on the internet (a cloud server)  and can be accessed by any device.

Advantages:

  • Messages are stored on the server and are not affected if your computer fails.
  • Easily use multiple computers or e-mail programs to read mail.

Disadvantages:

  • Message storage is limited to 100MB (however mailbox quota can be increased).
  • Reading messages while offline requires the use of your e-mail program’s Offline mode.

 

If you plan to view your emails from multiple devices (laptop, tablet, smartphone) and plan to manage your mailbox size then we recommend using IMAP. If you are simply using one email app or device (such as Outlook or Mac Mail) or you don’t want to worry about mailbox quota then we recommend POP.