We offer our clients an email service by utilising both POP3 and IMAP4 protocols. We’re often asked what difference between these protocols is.
There are a number of things to remember when setting your email service up which will help you decide which protocol, POP3 or IMAP4 is the best choice for you. I'll briefly outline the differences.
At the most basic level, POP3 emails are downloaded from the server to your local PC, at the same time they will usually be deleted from the server so the only copy of that email message will reside on your PC. On the flipside, if you collect your email using the IMAP4 protocol the message is stored on the server and only deleted when you mark the message as being deleted.
Since the emails are stored on the server with the IMAP4 protocol, you can "sync" your mail between different email clients, so you could have four computers all connected to a single IMAP4 account. If one of those computers marks an email message as read then all the computers will see that the message is read. Alternatively, since POP3 accounts download the messages to the computer, once that message is downloaded to one machine none of the other machines will be able to access it.
It's worth remembering that with the IMAP4 protocol, since emails are stored on the server you will need sufficient server disk space to accommodate your mailbox. Server disk space can be expensive so you will usually be allocated a quota. If you exceed your quota of disk space then new emails will be bounced back to the sender.
I'll do a new post soon to show you how to actually get your email up and running using Outlook.