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Friday, September 27, 2013

1400. POP vs. IMAP Why?

When I set up a new email account, I see options to use IMAP or POP3. What are these? How do I know which one to use? And where do I find the email settings I need to configure the account?

IMAP versus POP3. It is the age-old question and there are so many acronyms involved in using computers it just seems like these are two more. 

But in choosing what email server to use your always better off if possible using IMAP.  It's a more modern protocol for receiving e-mail. There  is another protocol you might read about "SMTP" which is for sending e-mail. But no matter which you choose IMAP or POP3 you use SMTP to send.

Every e-mail service you might subscribe to needs to give you the names of two servers one for receiving mail and one for sending mail. Luckily most e-mail clients you might want to use can automatically detect the correct settings to use. 

If on the other hand you're setting up your own custom domain you might have to supply the information yourself. A simple solution is to search the Internet for the name of your e-mail client. whether it's Outlook or iPhone or Android,and the e-mail provider like Google, Gmail, Outlook or whatever it happens to be, and word IMAP.  

Whatever it happens to be you're almost guaranteed to quickly find the settings you'll need and it will be in the form of something like or something like that indicating where you would indicate to your e-mail client to go look to receive this e-mail.  

You'll need to the same sort of thing for the outgoing e-mail with the server generally called something like In any case a quick search on the Internet should help you find the settings you need to manually configure your IMAP e-mail. If you don't have the option of using IMAP then POP3 is fine. It is just an older standard that limits how you can interact with your e-mail.

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