Votes: 0Posted On: Jul 18, 2017 12:19:31
IMAP(Internet Message Access Protocol) and POP3(Post Office Protocol) are two of the most prominent protocols used to retrieve e-mail from the e-mail server by the e-mail clients installed on your device. When an e-mail is sent to your e-mail address, the e-mail servers of the sender and receiver communicate with each other. The e-mail is stored in your e-mail server indefinitely. The two above mentioned protocols help you receive the e-mail onto your device with the help of an e-mail client. Here is an explanation on the working of IMAP and POP3 protocols.
POP(Post Office Protocol)
The Post Office protocol indulges in a one-way communication with the e-mail server. When an e-mail is stored in the e-mail server, the POP protocol downloads the e-mail for the e-mail server and deletes all copies of it from the e-mail server. Once downloaded, the e-mail remains only on the device and not on the server. The e-mail client accesses the e-mail server and retrieves the e-mail. The e-mail is then stored locally before deleting it from the server. As your mail is stored locally, you do not need an Internet connection to access it. But if the mail is deleted from your device, it is lost forever. Another key thing to note here is that the e-mail can be accessed by only one device. If you try to access it from another one of your devices, it is already deleted from the server.
IMAP(Internet Message Access Protocol)
IMAP, in contrast to POP3, performs a two-way communication with the e-mail server. The IMAP protocol retrieves the e-mail from the e-mail server, stores the e-mail in its cache and disconnects from the server. Hence, unlike POP3, it does not delete the e-mail from the e-mail server.
The major advantage of IMAP is that since the e-mail is still stored in the server, it can be accessed by multiple devices. Also, in the case of POP3, if the e-mail gets deleted from the device it is lost forever. IMAP stores the mail in the cache, but it still remains on the server.
It is the main reason that IMAP is preferred over POP3.