What is IMAP?

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)

is a protocol of choice for most users these days. IMAP gives you access to your e-mail messages wherever you are, and as the name suggests, most of the time they are accessed over the internet. Basically, email messages are stored on servers. Every time you check your inbox, your email client contacts the server to connect you to your messages. When you read an email message using IMAP, you are not actually downloading or storing it on your computer; instead, you're reading it through a server. As a result, it is possible to check your email from several different devices without missing a beat.


The easiest way to understand how IMAP works is to think of it as an intermediary between your email client and your email server. E-mail servers are used when sending and receiving e-mail messages. However, with IMAP, you can store your emails on the server unless you delete them directly. When you log on to an e-mail client, such as Microsoft Outlook, Outlook also reaches the e-mail server by using IMAP. The titles of all your email messages are displayed. If you choose to read a message, it will download quickly so you can see it, but emails won't be downloaded unless you need to open it.


Differences Between IMAP and POP3

If you think IMAP and POP can be used interchangeably, we recommend that you think again. POP communicates with your email server and works with the system to download all your new messages from that server. Once your emails are downloaded, they disappear from the server. If you want to check your email from a different device, messages that have already been downloaded will not be visible to you. POP will usually be enough for those who control email messages from a single device; however, the IMAP-based email service is much more preferred by users who travel or need to access their email from various devices


IMAP usage

Unlike POP, IMAP lets you access, edit, read, and sort your email messages without having to download them. As a result, IMAP is very fast and efficient. The server also keeps a record of all the messages you send, allowing you to access your sent messages from anywhere. IMAP does not download messages from the server to your computer; instead, it synchronizes emails on your computer with emails on the server.

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