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POP3 Versus IMAP

Support » Email Support » SmarterMail » POP3 Versus IMAP

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POP3 and IMAP protocols are both supported by IQComputing’s email services.

To avoid running into mail server storage space limits it is recommended to setup accounts as POP3. The POP3 mail protocol is similar to a physical mailbox because messages are delivered to a specific mailbox and the recipient is responsible for storing and maintaining all deliveries locally. IMAP mail is stored on the mail server/webmail system and you the recipient may read the messages from the mail server by connecting with any device from any location.

If you are deliberating whether to configure your email account as POP3 or IMAP on your PC, Mac or mobile device consider the following to assist you in making the choice that is right for you:

Configure your email account as POP3 if:

  • This is the only workstation or laptop which you will be using to access your mail
  • You have limited mail server storage space, will delete messages from the server after downloading and will maintain your mail on the device
  • You have limited internet access and/or you must have access to all of your mail at all times regardless of internet access
  • You send and receive lots of large files

Configure your email account as IMAP if:

  • You are configuring your account using Windows 8 Mail client (POP3 accounts are not supported)
  • This is one of many devices which you will be using to access your mail and your account isn’t an Exchange account
  • Storage space on the device, computer or laptop is limited
  • You actively manage your mailbox and are comfortable manually moving messages that you want to retain to local folders
  • You would like your mailbox to sync across devices then configure your email account as IMAP on all devices

Each of these Mail protocols has their advantages and disadvantages.  Whether you choose POP3 or IMAP, we suggest if you have multiple devices or systems that wish to use with your email account, we recommend using the same protocol across all devices.  Setting up POP3 mail on a PC and then IMAP on a phone can sometimes lead to confusion and undesired behaviors on each system.

If you need your mail on multiple devices, have a mailbox that is always over 10GB, routinely send large files up to 25GB in size, or require that mail, calendars, contacts and other documents sync across multiple devices then POP3 and IMAP are likely not for you and you should consider our hosted Exchange services or our managed Office 365 Exchange services.

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