Email Platforms Explained

We know how important emails are but do you understand the differences between POP, IMAP and Microsoft Exchange? In this blog, we are going to cover each platform and explain what the differences are.

Email Platforms Explained

Did you know that the very first email was sent in 1971? According to Internet Live Stats, 2,690,160 legitimate emails are sent every second - over 200 billion a day! We know how important emails are but do you understand the differences between POP, IMAP and Microsoft Exchange? In this blog, we are going to cover each platform and explain what the differences are.

POP (post office protocol)

POP (Post Office Protocol)

POP or Post Office Protocol was created in the mid 80's to allow people to download emails directly to their computers. According to envisionup, a POP-based email service is simple, your email client (such as Outlook, MacMail or Thunderbird) connects to the mail server, downloads your emails to your computer and then deletes them from the server.

The first version of POP was created in 1984, with an updated POP2 coming early in 1985. POP3 is the current email protocol and has proven to be one of the most popular email protocols.

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of POP? The main advantage is it is still fast and robust and is useful if you only check your emails from one device. However one of the main disadvantages is if you delete an email, it is permanently gone. This also means that if your hardware fails then you could lose all of your emails.

IMAP (Internet Access Protocol)

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)

Created in 1986, IMAP has proven to suit the modern day world. When it was created the idea was to keep users from having to use one email client to access their emails. IMAP gives them the ability to read their emails as if they were "in the cloud".

Compared to POP, IMAP allows users to log into different email clients and view the same emails. With IMAP the emails are kept on remote servers until the user deletes them, whereas POP deletes them as soon as they are downloaded to the device. Did you know that if you use Gmail, you are using IMAP?

IMAP isn't without problems though. According to Howtogeek, because IMAP stores emails on a remote server, users typically have a limited mailbox (depending on the settings provided by the email service). If you have a large number of emails that you want to keep, it could result in a problem sending and receiving emails as the mailbox is full.

Microsoft Exchange

Microsoft Exchange

Designed to be more than just an email platform, Microsoft began developing the messaging API (MAPI) not long after IMAP & POP were first developed. Put simply, MAPI provides a way for email clients and other apps to communicate with Microsoft Exchange servers. MAPI is capable of IMAP-style syncing of emails, contacts, calendars and other features. An email of MAPI, is Microsoft outlook.

Microsoft Exchange is an ideal solution for businesses as all emails are always available on multiple devices. Each user has an individual mailbox on the server running Exchange. According to TechnoAdvantage, in Microsoft Exchange, the emails are delivered directly to a server and allows a centralized email location for backing up purposes. Similar to IMAP, the emails are stored on the server, but the Exchange actively protects your communications with built-in anti-spam, phishing threat protection, and multiple levels of anti-malware engines.

At Edmondson's IT we understand that emails are an essential and valuable tool for businesses. This is why we provide everything to help your business get up and running. From designing custom email signatures to providing a safe and secure hosting platform, we are here to help your business. Click here to see how we can help!

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