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Differences Between IMAP and POP E-mail Access (Article #181)

Created on March 25, 2004
Last Modified on August 26, 2004
Technical Level:  Novice


The following chart outlines the differences between using IMAP and POP when configuring an e-mail application to use your e-mail account.



Keeps your messages on the server.

Messages are downloaded to your computer (but most e-mail clients give the option to retain messages on the server as well).

Must stay connected to the server while reading/sending messages.

It’s not necessary to stay connected while reading messages.

Since messages are stored on server, they count against your quota.

Since messages are stored on your computer, they do not count against your quota (unless you've chosen to retain messages on the server).

You can read and manipulate mail in any folders in your account.

You cannot read mail from any folder in your account other than your Inbox folder.

Messages can be arranged in folders on the server, which are then available from any location.

You can manipulate messages and folders on your computer at any time (even when disconnected).  However, those folders are not available elsewhere.

Since messages are stored on server, they are still accessible through other IMAP mail clients.

Once messages are downloaded to your computer, they are no longer accessible from other locations (unless you've chosen to retain messages on the server).


Additional Keywords:  Outlook Express, Netscape, WebMail, OpenWebmail, Outlook

Categories:  E-mail

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