IMAP and POP3 are methods used by your computer to access e-mail messages from a remote server. Most hosted e-mail accounts are compatible with both IMAP and POP3. We suggests using IMAP over POP3. Read on to find out why.
IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is an advanced protocol for receiving e-mail. It is a method of accessing e-mail messages which are stored on a mail server.
The main advantage of IMAP over POP3 is the ability to keep the original e-mail stored on the mail server and the ability to access the same account from multiple locations. Unlike POP3 where e-mail is downloaded to the computer or device checking for mail and completely removed from the mail server, IMAP simply downloads a copy of the e-mail. This is much more convenient as the e-mail account can be set up on multiple computers and devices using IMAP and the original e-mail will always remain on the mail server.
In cases where a mobile phone or personal computer was configured to be the primary means of checking e-mail and malfunctions, is lost, stolen, or totally inoperable, the e-mails will not be lost. Set up the account using IMAP on another computer, device or simply check the nail providers web service and find that all e-mails are still intact!
POP3 stands for Post Office Protocol version 3. When an e-mail is sent to your address, it is stored on the mail server until it is downloaded via your e-mail client (Outlook, your mobile, etc.) using POP3. After the e-mail has been downloaded to your client, it is removed from the server altogether.
Simply, this means if one were to set up an e-mail account on a mobile phone as POP3, the phone would download all e-mails, removing them from the server. If one were to then check the webmail or home computer for the same e-mail account, there would be no mails viewable as they have already been download by the mobile phone.