Which to choose - POP3 or IMAP

In this article you might find out which is more suitable for you when configuring LU e-mail - should it be Outlook, Outlook Express, Mozilla or PegasusMail, - POP3 versus IMAP.

POP3 advantages:

  • minimal use of connection time; this might be crucial factor if you are using internet which is being charged per minute;
  • minimal use of resources of remote server;
  • there's probably more applications with POP3 than IMAP (might not be true in 2015 though).

IMAP advantages:

  • because the e-mails reside on server, you see the same picture with the list of e-mails regardless of which client you use;
  • faster program start-up time, because e-mails are not downloaded but only headers;
  • IMAP is optimized also for slow internet speeds.

Our suggestions

LU IT would recommend to use IMAP protocol which has few important highlights:

  1. mobility: e-mails are stored on server. You can use e-mail client program of your choice and all the folders will be in order and precisely as you've configured;
  2. minimal administration: when you choose to migrate between e-mail clients, it can be done in a breeze since you just have to set a new account and that's it;
  3. security: when you use POP3, in the minute you download the e-mail from server in is deleted from server. In this way there is no backup on the server side and it is nearly impossible to trace errors in case of malfunction.

Yes, some POP3 clients allow to leave a copy of messages on server but it also brings a problem with identifying read un unread e-mails. For example, you connect with POP3 from work, mark e-mail as read, save a copy on server. But then, when you connect from home, this very e-mail is displayed as unread.