If you’re thinking how email works, understanding the differences between POP3 vs IMAP and the part of SMTP is a wonderful place to begin. This tutorial will clarify all of those parts in layman conditions and how they function, therefore buckle up and continue reading!

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POP3 vs IMAP: WHAT EXACTLY ARE the Differences?

Both POP3 and IMAP are incoming mail protocols used by email clients to retrieve messages from email servers. Your client can be application-structured like Thunderbird or web-based like Gmail or Yahoo!. Despite the fact that they serve the same function, they do possess several differences.

What is POP3?


POP3 (POST OFFICE Protocol version 3) is a one-way incoming mail protocol that downloads a duplicate of messages from an email server to a local machine. Once the post office protocol completes the procedure, it deletes the initial data from the server’s inbox.

However, many providers nowadays give a choice to keep the original copies carefully intact, allowing users to start to see the same content when accessing communications from a different platform.

Generally, we recommend this environment for people who just use one device to gain access to emails and want to see their messages offline. It’s also useful for those who want to release inbox’s space that nearly exceeds its capacity.

Remember that protocol cannot sync this content of your offline inbox using its online counterpart simply by default. So if these devices that stores the communications is lost or damaged, you could potentially lose all the ones you’ve saved.

Default POP3 Ports:
They are the ports that POP3 uses to determine a connection with a contact server:

  • Port 110 – non-encrypted port
  • Port 995 – SSL/TLS port, also known as POP3S


What is IMAP?


IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol), instead of POP3, is usually a two-way incoming mail process that only downloads email headers rather than its entire content.

Consequently, the actual electronic mails are still saved on the server after being fetched for later usage, building them accessible from another system. This protocol also syncs whatever adjustments made on the email customer to the server, therefore the two-way communication.

This configuration is preferred for individuals who want to connect to their electronic mails across multiple devices, and that means you don’t need to worry about dropping important ones should a device is broken or stolen. Another perk of using IMAP may be the simplicity of finding a particular message utilizing a keyword.

However, you must have a stable web connection to gain whole access to all of the email messages kept in the IMAP server. The e-mail account’s space for storage limit may also pose some problems to your messages, particularly if you utilize it in high strength.

Default IMAP ports:
Listed below are the default ports that IMAP connection use:

  • Port 143 – non-encrypted port
  • Port 993 – SSL/TLS slot, also called IMAPS


What is SMTP?


Now that we’ve learned all about the incoming protocols, POP3 vs IMAP, let’s check out the powerhouse used to take care of outgoing emails.

Simple Mail Transfer Process (SMTP) can be used to send emails from a local client to a recipient’s address. It works side-by-side with a software known as Message Transfer Agent (MTA) to transfer digital messages with their correct destinations.

Aside from sending email messages, this process also acts mainly because a safeguard to filtration system which message passes through. It regulates the limit of just how many messages a merchant account can send out within a period frame.

Default SMTP ports:
Here are the ports utilized by this protocol:

  • Port 25 – non-encrypted port
  • Port 465 – SSL/TLS interface, also referred to as SMTPS


Read on this POP3 vs IMAP article to observe what goes on behind the picture when you receive and send an email.

How Does Mailing and Receiving Emails Function?


An email travels through at least two primary SMTP servers that are part in the senders and the recipients.

Initial, SMTP connects your customer together with your email provider’s server. Next, it checks the e-mail header for relevant information regarding the sender and the recipient’s address.

Once a destination is set, the server will check the positioning of the domain linked to the address in the Domain Name System.

For example, in case you are trying to send a note to virtono@gmail.com, the server locates gmail.com and relays the message compared to that specific computer.

After that, the recipient’s SMTP server delivers the message to the server’s mailbox before the intended user logs directly into their email account. When that occurs, either POP3 or IMAP will ahead the brand new message to the recipient’s email client to allow them to view it.

Categories: Knowledgebase

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