Difference between IMAP and POP3: Uncover All Differences Between Two Major Email Protocols

8 min read

Email is something you presumably underestimate many times. I can bet that you use it consistently. However, you haven’t really thought about how does it even function. Although, when you set up a server for your site, you’ll have to realize a couple of nuts and bolts so as to arrange your email appropriately.  Email is named to one of the most crucial pieces of our lives and we underestimate it. We never give it an idea of how does an email function. To expand your insight, recall that there are two significant sorts of email conventions that are regularly utilized by clients to be specific IMAP and POP. These two protocols keeping each and every detail in view don’t forget that things will not remain the same as they were once you begin to utilize an IMAP email convention. Both of these renditions as one of these product forms are to be constrained by the administrator.

The best spot to begin is by learning the difference between imap and pop3. Both of these conventions let you get to your messages from a remote server, yet they each work contrastingly and have their own upsides and downsides. Right now, I shall give you a detailed yet informative correlation of IMAP vs POP email. We’ll investigate the contrasts between the two, at that point talk about how to set possibly one up on your website’s server. So, let’s get to work!

What are POP3 and IMAP?

POP3 and IMAP are conventions used to deal with approaching messages. For instance, when somebody sends an email to your email address (ie. you@yourdomain.com), your email server gets and conveys the email to your email customer dependent on the convention you have chosen: POP3 or IMAP.

IMAP vs POP3: A Brief History

Post Office Protocol (POP) was created in the mid-1980s. It was intended to assist individuals with getting to their email utilizing a PC that wasn’t straightforwardly associated with the relevant server where that email tends to ‘live’. The manner in which POP worked (and still works, generally) is exceptionally straightforward. You enter a username and your password, and the protocol makes an association between your PC and the email server. Every single new email is downloaded to your remote machine, and are commonly not put away long haul on the server itself.

Later, two additional forms of this convention were created – POP2 and POP3. While they got little changes in the administration of ease of use, they didn’t essentially adjust the fundamental procedure. POP3 is still generally utilized today.

Although, an elective convention was made just a couple of years after the primary form of POP. This one was called the Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP). While this convention has additionally experienced various modifications, the most recent being IMAP4, it’s still informally alluded to just as IMAP.

Utilizing IMAP likewise empowers you to interface with your email administration and access new messages. Although, with this convention the messages ‘live’ on your cloud server (at the end of the day, they’re put away there for all time). You can in this manner communicate with your messages from any gadget, as long as you have the privilege login qualifications.

POP3 Explained

POP3 represents Post Office Protocol. As the name recommends, it permits you to utilize your email inbox like a mail station – messages are downloaded onto your PC and expelled from the mail server. While getting to your messages utilizing the POP3 convention, a duplicate of the messages is made and put away locally on your PC. The firsts are generally, yet not constantly, expelled from the mail server. As such, messages are attached to a particular gadget. When the email is downloaded onto one gadget (and expelled from the mail server), it can’t be gotten to by another email customer or gadget.

Obviously, most email customers do give you the alternative to keep a duplicate of the first email on the mail server (rather than erasing it). This is how you can download a similar email to another gadget or email customer. In any case, note that every one of these duplicates of a similar email is not synchronized. Each downloaded duplicate is treated as a different email and is disengaged from different duplicates, regardless of whether it’s a similar email. Also, any mail envelopes you have made and sorted out on one gadget or email customer won’t be imitated on different gadgets or email customers.

Along these lines, POP3 is extraordinary for clients who just use one email customer to get to their messages. Another bit of leeway of POP3 is that in light of the fact that the first email is expelled from the mail server once it has been downloaded, it opens up mail extra room.

IMAP Explained

IMAP represents an Internet message access protocol. Not at all like POP3, IMAP lets you sign into various email customers or webmail interfaces and view similar messages in light of the fact that in the IMAP arrangement, messages are kept on the mail server, rather on your PC.

At the point when you get to your messages utilizing the IMAP protocol, you are basically utilizing the email customer to associate with your mail server and dealing with your messages straightforwardly on your mail server. Right now, the mail server instead of your nearby PC is the fundamental place for email storage. Along these lines, the IMAP server makes it conceivable to get to your messages from various gadgets and all progressions are synchronized with the mail server and any email client(s) you are utilizing. At the end of the day, in the event that you erase an email from one email customer, it is erased from the mail server and the activity is reflected over all gadgets and email customers. But since messages are kept on your mail server, there is a likelihood that your email inbox will get full quickly, particularly in the event that you have a colossal number of messages.

Example of How POP3 & IMAP Work

In case you are sleeping in the night and while you’re dozing, a heap of emails are sent to your email address and are beginning to accumulate on your mail server. At the point when you wake up and get to your mail from your telephone,

  • POP3 will download all the emails to your telephone for you to see, and thusly, all emails are expelled from the mail server
  • IMAP will send a duplicate of the email to your telephone, yet leaving the firsts on your mail server

At that point, you come back to your office and browse your messages on your PC,

  • POP3 will interface with your mail server and download every new email – messages that were gotten since you last browsed your email account (which would be by means of your telephone right now). But since every single past email you have checked toward the beginning of the day was at that point downloaded to your telephone and expelled from the mail server, those messages won’t appear on your PC.
  • IMAP will associate with your mail server and search for messages that are accessible and not yet on your PC. This incorporates every new email got since the last time you checked your record, just as all messages you have just gotten to yet from an alternate gadget (ie. the messages you’ve gotten to by means of your telephone prior the day).

How to Implement POP and IMAP on Your Website’s Server

As I have made it quite clear above, one’s choice between POP and IMAP solely depends on his/her needs and requirements. Instead of going for the one that your server uses as default the end-user will surely go for the one that is best suitable for his/her specifications.

The Relative Pros and Cons of POP3 vs IMAP

Superficially, POP and IMAP appear to be very comparative. Nonetheless, the pop and imap differences in the manner in which they work have ramifications for clients and site proprietors the same.

How about we start with POP. This convention is fairly censured, as it presents one major detriment. Since messages are not kept on your server, you come up short on a protected reinforcement framework. At the point when you download new emails to your PC, those duplicates are the main ones that exist. In the event that something happens to your PC or you coincidentally erase an email, there’s no recovering the lost information.

Then again, POP mail likewise guarantees that, when you’ve downloaded your emails, you can cooperate with them completely without requiring a steady web get to. In the event that you lose association with the email server, you despite everything have total duplicates accessible of every one of your messages and their related connections.

The pros and cons of IMAP are direct inverses. The decent thing about IMAP is that your emails are totally put away securely on the server. You can get to them from anyplace, without changing or influencing the first duplicates. In addition, any progressions you make in your email on one gadget will be moved to some other gadget you use.

Obviously, on the off chance that you do lose link or connection with your web, you’ll make some harder memories working with your email when utilizing IMAP. Most customers just store some data for each email locally. For instance, they may spare the message itself however no connections or pictures.

By the day’s end, there is no ‘right’ decision here. There is a case to be made that IMAP is a closer fit for our cutting edge, constantly associated way of life and that its advantages exceed the one genuine disadvantage. On the off chance that you normally utilize more than one gadget to get to your email, IMAP is likely the better choice, since it will match up your activities between different gadgets.

In any case, there’s as yet a spot for the POP server, especially on the off chance that you just utilize a solitary gadget for email the executives. Also, numerous new POP customers let you decide to store emails for all time on the server, so you’ll despite everything have a reinforcement set up.


Creating a website and setting up a server implies considering the upsides and downsides of advancements you may not be comfortable with. Luckily, understanding the qualifications among POP and IMAP is very basic. In addition, you can design the most well-known email clients to work with possibly one. To recall, here are the relative benefits and disadvantages of the two email protocols:

1. POP. Gives dependable access to your messages on a particular PC (when they’re downloaded). In any case, it doesn’t back up your messages or synchronizes between gadgets as a matter of course.

2. IMAP. Stores your email securely on the site server, and allows you to get to and connect with it from any gadget. Obviously, not all information might be accessible when you’re disconnected.

In the event that you utilize different gadgets to and you need to check, react to and send messages accordingly, you would profit by IMAP due to its cross-gadget access. All progressions you make to the email just as your email account (model setting up organizers) is adjusted with the mail server and all gadgets you are utilizing to get to that email account. Additionally, if anything somehow happened to transpire PC or telephone, you don’t need to stress over losing your messages as the firsts are still on your mail server.

Then again, in the event that you have an assigned gadget for messages and like to have all messages (counting all connections) available even disconnected, at that point POP will ensure that you generally have them, regardless of whether you don’t approach the Internet. Messages are put away locally on your gadget. In any case, except if you have POP arranged to store your messages on the server as opposed to erasing them, if anything ought to happen to your gadget, all messages that you have recently downloaded or gotten to will be no more.

2 thoughts on

Difference between IMAP and POP3: Uncover All Differences Between Two Major Email Protocols

  • Hammad Mohsin

    IMAP is better if you are going to be accessing your email from multiple devices, such as work computer abs smartphone.

  • Varun Sharma

    Thank you for sharing in detail.

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