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What is the difference between POP3 and IMAP?  

What is the difference between POP3 and IMAP?

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol): IMAP is a method for accessing and syncing email across multiple email clients.  Functionally, IMAP and a POP3 mail client have many of the same functions.  Unlike POP3, IMAP allows you to store and manipulate email on the mail server.  This means that you could access email stored on the IMAP server from anywhere you can connect to the internet.  One should use IMAP whenever possible especially if you access your emails on a smartphone.  
POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3): POP3 provides very basic mail service, acting as a mail drop.  Mail is collected on a POP3 server until it is moved to your computer.  Any long-term mail storage and manipulation would occur on your computer.  This is done to minimize the load on the server.  Practically speaking, POP email should only be accessed from one email program.



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