Friday, 27 June 2014

Email: What’s the Difference Between POP3, IMAP, and Exchange?



In 2013, the majority of email traffic comes from business email, which accounts for over 100 billion emails sent and received per day. Email remains the predominant form of communication in the business space. This trend is expected to continue, and business email will account for over 132 billion emails sent and received per day by the end of 2017.

‘Email me’, ‘Ping me’, ‘Send me a note’ these are just some of the phrases we use every day, the human population are sending more emails than ever, but do you know which email service you use? Do you know what it means? This article should help explain.

POP3, Post Office Protocol

POP, or Post Office Protocol, is a way of retrieving email information that dates back to a very different internet than we use today. POP was a dead simple way to download copies of emails for offline reading, then remove those mails from the remote server. The first version of POP was created in 1984, with the POP2 revision created in early 1985.

POP3 is still a very popular email protocol. POP3 creates local copies of emails and removes the original from the mail server it came from. This means emails won’t sync across devices, causing issues when trying to take advantage of using different devices as you’re on the move.  

IMAP, Internet Message Access Protocol

IMAP was created in 1986, the idea behind this email protocol was to give users flexibility allowing them to use a different number of devices and have their emails synced across them all.

IMAP does allow users to access mail via email client or web-mail interfaces and view the same emails, because the emails are kept on remote email servers until the user deletes them. Because IMAP stores emails on a remote mail server, you’ll have a limited mailbox size depending on the settings provided by the email service. If you have huge numbers of emails you want to keep, you could run into problems sending and receiving mail when your box is full.

IMAP has become extremely more popular since most modern day users need access to their email not only on their PC but also their tablet, Smart Phone and any other devices which support IMAP configuration.  

Microsoft Exchange

Microsoft Exchange was developed shortly after POP and IMAP, it allowed Microsoft to realise what users had and what businesses would need. Exchange allows users to not only sync emails across all devices but it will also sync your contacts and calendars as well, this then allows for features like calendar sharing and global contact lists.

With the modern day world promoting cloud technology even more and offering products like Office 365, it will allow companies to get hold of Exchange at a much more reasonable and flexible cost.

Which Email service do you use? Can you see the benefits from Exchange and IMAP?

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