How many times did you hear these words: POP3 and IMAP? These terms are used when you are looking to use an email client or an app. We made a short review about this topic, because it’s important to know before buying email accounts in a bulk.


Basic Information

Both programs are used to get emails from the server allowing you to read messages on your device. They are connected to an email account and the service will take care of all the webmail.

POP is short for post office protocol and has been around since 1984. There have been updates to the program since this time. IMAP is an internet message access protocol and in addition to getting emails it will allow removal access, this is more of cloud storage.

IMAP vs POP3 difference



Pop Workflow

This will allow the client to connect to the server and store the email on the device. It will allow deleting emails and the email will only be on your device. You may go into the settings to stop the emails from being automatically deleted.

IMAP will allow you to get a specific email and it will allow you to work on it from your device. The changes will be saved. All changes happen within the server. The messages are not being downloaded. The information is not automatically stored on your device.


Pros and Cons

Pop this service was designed for access from one device.


  • Mail stored locally
  • It is possible to work both on and offline
  • Multiple messages can be consolidated

This service may be outdated today. If the message is deleted on one device it will still appear on the next device, there may be several duplicates.

Downloading all the messages from this server is going to take up room on the device as well as use up the storage.

IMAP advantages

This program was created to remove access. The same emails will be on the same server. There will be no duplicates and all changes are saved.

  • Mail can be accessed on different devices
  • Mail is automatically backed up
  • There is nothing to download which saves storage face
  • Mail can be stored locally if needed.

There is limited space for emails so it is important to go through them too often to free up space.

POP3 connection and IMAP connection


Which is the best?

Most often IMAP will be recommended over POP. This is good if you need to access your email from more than one device. There are no concerns with either about compatibility.

There is some additional information to help you devise which one to use Pop is best when using a single server and you do not need a consistent connection to the internet.

IMAP is good if you want to use multiple devices and want the emails to be backed up.

Microsoft Exchange is gaining population and can be used with other programs such as the calenders. This is another option to keep an eye on.

Pop and IMAP will allow you to have access to your emails and these programs do work with most servers. Both of these protocols can be used and for most people, IMAP is the more efficient choice.