Difference Between POP vs. IMAP

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Main Difference

POP and IMAP are the email protocols. The email protocol is the procedure used by the email program to communicate with the server. IMAP stands for “Internet Messaged Access Protocol, which keep sync with mail server. It will appear on webmail inbox if any change is made in your mail client. POP stands for “Post Office Protocol”, which don’t sync with mail server and thus any change on email account will not appear on webmail inbox.

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What is IMAP?

IMAP stands for “Internet Message Access Protocol, which keep sync with mail server. It will appear on webmail inbox if any change is made in your mail client. IMAP enables you to access the mail from multiple mail clients in real time. Messages are stored in a remote server. You can access your mail from anywhere from any computer or even through mobile devices.

What is POP?

POP stands for “Post Office Protocol”, which don’t sync with mail server and thus any change on email account will not appear on webmail inbox. Using POP, when you open a email message from a computer, it will be deleted from the server. Now you can only read that message from that specific device but unable to read from other devices or PC.

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Key Differences

  • IMAP constantly sync the email program with mail server but POP don’t sync.
  • In IMAP you can access your email message anytime from anywhere through any device while in POP once the email message is downloaded, it can now only be accessed through that device only.
  • IMAP let you to access previous read messages when offline but you can’t get unread messages offline while POP does allow you to access the received messages when offline.
  • IMAP let you to read email from multiple locations while POP don’t allow you to read message from some other location.
  • Email check with IMAP is faster than with PO.
  • In POP filters transfer in/out emails to local mailboxes only while in IMAP filters transfers emails to other mailboxes where so ever they may locate.
  • Messages are deleted on PC in POP while in IMAP messages are deleted directly on the server.

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