Should I use POP or IMAP for my email?

Both protocols can be used alternatively, as each offers different options to its users.

What are the advantages of the POP protocol?

Since that the protocol was preceded in time it follows the simplified idea that only one mail aplication can have access at any time to the mails in the mail server and the messages are stored locally. This creates the following advantages:

  1. The messages are stored locally, which means they are always accessible, even without an Internet connection
  2. Internet connection is only required to send and receive messages
  3. Server space is saved
  4. There is the ability tha users can leave a copy of the messages on the server
  5. They can join more than one email accounts and mail servers in one inbox

What are the advantages of IMAP protocol?

The IMAP protocol created to allow remote access in emails stored on a remote server. The idea was to allow multiple email applications or users to manage the same inbox. So whether you connect from the desktop or from your laptop at home, you will always see the same emails and same folder structure if they are saved directly to the server, and all the changes you make to your local copies, automatically synchronize with the server.

As a result, IMAP has the following advantages:

  1. Requires always an Internet connection for access to the emails
  2. Faster email overview, as only the message headers be downloaded until specifically the message content be requested
  3. Auto emails backup
  4. Local storage savings
  5. Ability to save messages locally

Which of the two is eventually the best for me?

Obviously, this depends only from you and how you want to use your mail. If you read the above, surely you already have an idea of what might suit your needs. Let sum the points to help you determine more easily.

Choose POP if:

  • usually monitor your emails from one device
  • you need continuous access in your messages, whether or not there is an Internet connection
  • the disk storage in your hosting package is limited

Choose IMAP if:

  • you want to access your emails from more than one device
  • you have constant and reliable connection to the Internet
  • you want to make a quick overview of the mail that exists on the server
  • the storage on your devices is limited
  • you are concerned about your emails backup

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