You may have heard or even used them, but would you recognize the differences between IMAP Vs POP? Let’s dig into our post for the best comparison.
Today’s information era requires everyone to adapt to advanced applications and technologies. We are no longer sending and receiving mail through homing pigeons. Instead, it’s the electronic mail that supports our information flow to run smoothly.
If you’ve ever signed in to an email account or an app, you’ve probably come across the phrases IMAP or POP. However, not many people understand how they work and what they truly mean. This post will explain their definitions, their differences, and how they influence your email account.
Let’s kick in the IMAP Vs POP battle and decide the best suitable tool for your needs!
IMAP vs POP – Which one is better?
What Are POP And IMAP?
IMAP and POP are two technologies, or protocols, that allow you to download and retrieve your mails from mail servers using your installed email applications. In Layman’s terms, those protocols enable email access from a distant server. This practice is the sole commonality between the two procedures. Below we present detailed information on each type.
POP versus IMAP.
In 1984, the POP protocol first appeared, intending to allow individuals to view their emails remotely. One year after its birth, POP started to grow by possessing more new features. And in 1988, the POP3 marked its milestone.
POP vs IMAP.
Coming into use in 1986, IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol, and it allows users to send and receive emails and other data through the Internet.
Thanks to this two-way protocol, users can now sync their mails and data across various platforms and devices, including desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
What Is The Difference Between POP Vs IMAP?
POP3 and IMAP may sound the same, but in fact, they have many differences. Now, let’s get right to the IMAP vs POP3 comparison.
The primary difference between them is that POP gets an email from the server for long-term local storage. In contrast, IMAP leaves them on the server and caches (temporarily saves) them locally. To put it another way, IMAP is a type of cloud storage similar to your Cloud on iOS.
When you utilize IMAP and mark a message as read, it will appear in the form of a read message on both your web-based and desktop inboxes (since the changes are occurring on the server). On the other hand, when using POP3, since you download emails to your computer, these changes don’t affect the modifications on the server.
The easiest way to compare these two protocols is by looking at their most fundamental processes.
Workflow of POP:
- Make a connection to the server.
- Recovered all of your mail
- As fresh mail, save it locally.
- Delete all mail on the server.
Workflow of IMAP:
- Connect to the server.
- Fetch and cache locally the user-requested material, such as a list of fresh mail, message summaries, or the content of expressly chosen emails.
- Process changes such as marking emails as read, deleting emails, and so on.
POP3 vs IMAP comparison
What Are The Pros Of POP Vs IMAP?
Pros of POP
Being the original technique developed from the simple concept that just one client needs access to the server’s mail. As a result, it has some following pros:
- Keep email locally, which means it is always available, even when there is no internet connection.
- Sending and receiving emails require an Internet connection.
- Reduces the amount of stored data on the server.
- Secure a copy of your emails on the server.
- Allowing consolidating multiple emails and servers into a single mailbox.
Pros of IMAP
IMAP was to allow many clients or users to control the same mailbox at the same time. Hence, it offers the following benefits:
- Save mail on a distant server and access it from numerous places.
- Accessing email requires an Internet connection.
- You can only download headers until content is expressly requested, which allows for a quicker overview.
- If you manage the server correctly, you can automatically store your emails.
- Reducing storage space available on the local machine.
- You can save email locally if you want
IMAP Vs POP – Which To Choose?
Your final choice depends on your needs and desire, and most likely, you have already had that in mind. Here we have some considerations that would aid in making the final selection:
Choose POP when:
- You want to use only one device to check your email.
- With or without Internet connectivity, you need continuous access to your email.
- Your server storage has limits.
Choose IMAP when:
- You want to use many devices to access your emails.
- A stable and consistent Internet connection is available.
- A summary of any new mails or emails on the server best fit you.
- Fairly great local data storage.
- Network security problems concern you.
The Final Verdict
After many considerations between IMAP vs POP, we would like to recommend the IMAP solution for your usages. Because this protocol allows two-way communication, making it easier to access and work with emails while on the go.
Thanks to this superior synchronization, there’s no need to worry about having to carry your system with you. However, for those who rarely work with emails, POP might work just well for you.