My 2 paisas

Comparision of IMAP and POP3

Posted on: June 8, 2009

Courtsey http://saturn.med.nyu.edu/it/help/email/imap/index.html


POP3 advantages

– messages load very quickly once they’re downloaded
– messages are stored on your hard drive so they’re not subject to server storage limits and quotas
– widely supported by ISPs and email providers
– all email programs support it

POP3 disadvantages

– messages are stored on your hard drive so they’re not accessible from other computers
– sent mail and drafts are not accessible from other computers either
– messages are eventually removed from the server
– messages are stored in files that are not compatible between different programs
– it’s usually difficult to migrate from one program to another, sometimes impossible
– it’s cumbersome to copy your email to another computer (office, home, school, laptop, etc.)
– users normally don’t have backups of their email

IMAP advantages

– messages are stored on the server are accessible from any computer and webmail anywhere in the world
– IMAP mail folders remain synchronized with IMP (webmail)
– sent messages and drafts are also stored on the server
– server-side spam filtering is easily implemented with IMAP
– IMAP mail is backed up nightly on the server and can be restored
– ease of migration from a program to a program and from a computer to another computer/location
– ease of setting up additional computers to check your email, no need to copy anything fro one computer to another

IMAP disadvantages

– messages load slower, in particular the first time they’re read
– sensitive to size and requires periodic archival of email messages
– subject to storage quotas (not the case with Saturn, however)
– very few ISPs and email providers offer IMAP as it is considered a high end option and it’s complex for them to support
– not all email programs support it properly

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