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IMAP and POP

IMAP and POP are the protocols or technologies using which you can download messages from mail servers on your computer and access them with the help of mail clients such as Microsoft Outlook etc.

Difference between IMAP and POP

IMAP and POP are two main protocols used to download email messages. The main difference is that IMAP (Internet Messaged Access Protocol) always syncs with mail server so that any changes you make in your mail client (Microsoft Outlook) will instantly appear on your webmail inbox.

POP (Post Office Protocol), your mail client account and mail server are not synced. It means whatever changes you make to your email account in the mail client will not be transferred to the webmail inbox.

IMAP
The biggest advantage of using IMAP is you can access your mail from multiple mail clients and each client detects the change in real-time. Example: if you delete a mail from the email client (outlook), the mail will be deleted from the server. So now when you access the webmail, you will not find the deleted mail in inbox.

POP
Using POP, you can download emails from mail server to your PC. After downloading, the original mail is removed from the server and hence you can’t access it from another computer (Note: In Gmail there is an option to keep the copy of mail in inbox)

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