What is the difference between POP3 and IMAP?

Text Size


What is the difference between POP3 and IMAP?

POP3 and IMAP are two different protocols (methods) used to access email. Each has its own advantages.

POP3 downloads email from a server to a single computer, then deletes it from the server. So POP3 is most useful if you want to keep all your email on one computer and check emails only on that computer, and not from any other device.

IMAP is the better option when you need to check your emails from multiple devices, such as a work laptop, a home computer, or a tablet, smartphone, or other mobile device. Tap into your synced (updated) account from any device with IMAP.

Here are the differences between POP3 and IMAP.

POP3 - Post Office ProtocolIMAP - Internet Messaging Access Protocol
You can use only one computer to check your email (no other devices)
You can use multiple computers and devices to check your email
Your mails are stored on the computer that you useYour mails are stored on the server
Sent mail is stored locally on your PC, not on a mail server
Sent mail stays on the server so you can see it from any device.


.




About this article:
Last updated: 06-25-2014
© 2013 AOL Inc.