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    Choosing POP3 or IMAP for email access


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    Created 2016-03-07
    Modified 2016-03-07
    Views 857
    Author Ken

    You have two options for setting up your email client to access your email account hosted by Point B Web: POP3 or IMAP. The differences are explained below.

    POP3: This method has the email client (Outlook, Outlook Express, etc.) connect to the server and automatically download copies of your emails into your local inbox on your computer. You can configure it to also remove the original messages from the server once they are downloaded. Usually there is a setting for having them removed X days after being downloaded. You can set this to any number of days. This is a good option if you want to keep the last 30 days or so of your emails on the server as a backup. Obviously when using POP3, the messages that are downloaded and subsequently removed from the server will not be accessible via webmail because the webmail client accesses the mail directly on the server. Sent messages are stored in a local "Sent Items" folder and any other user created folders are also stored locally. POP3 is a good option if you only access email from the same computer most or all of the time. It also controls your disk space usage because everything is (eventually) transferred to your local computer, where you can use your own local backup utilities to archive and backup your email files. POP3 also allows you to access your messages (already downloaded) offline because they are stored locally.

    IMAP: This provides access to email messages directly on the server.Because of this, IMAP requires an internet connection to access your messages. Your server will show several basic folders: Inbox, Drafts, Sent and Trash. You can also create other folders on the server to organize your messages. Messages deleted from your inbox are sent to the trash folder and you need to empty that trash folder manually or configure your email client to empty it at certain intervals (if your email client provides that option). IMAP is best suited when you need to keep your messages on the server and available for access from multiple computers. The downside of keeping your emails stored on the server is that it will use the disk space quota on your hosting account. If you exceed the quota, you will no longer be able to send or receive email until space is cleared or your quota is increased. You will receive a warning message when you near your disk quota.

    It is highly recommended that you do archive your older messages periodically to your local computer or network storage device. While we do have automated backups on our servers, sometimes things can go wrong and it is safer if you maintain your own backups as well for your own protection. This can be done be creating a local file (in Outlook usually a "Personal Folders .PST or .OST file). Create folders within that file to organize messages and then drag messages from your server-based folders to your local personal folders. This will create copies of those messages. You can then optionally delete the originals on the server to free up space on the server (don't forget to empty the trash). Having the messages (or copies of them) locally also allows you to access them offline.


    See also:
    How do I configure Outlook to send and receive email from my domain using POP3?
    Configuring your domain's email using IMAP




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