POP v. IMAP

May 2, 2016

Post Office Protocol (POP) is an application-layer internet standard protocol used by local email clients,” according to Wikipedia.  POP email makes the client connect to the email server, download new messages, and delete messages on the server based on the configuration of the email client. This has become an issue since Microsoft changed the default settings in Outlook and Windows Live Mail.

Within the last six months to a year, email settings have been set to not remove anything from the server until the Deleted Items folder is emptied. This is a troublesome setting since most folks delete email and it then gets copied to the Deleted Items folder. The email isn’t deleted from the server until that Deleted Items folder is emptied - causing the server account to be over quota.

Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) is an internet standard protocol used by email clients to retrieve email messages from a mail server,” according to Wikipedia. It keeps a copy of all emails and all email folders on every device, including the server. Today BVTC offers 300MB of storage, so if users don’t delete unwanted email, the server fills up and stops receiving new email. Some customers made new folders and copied or moved email from their inbox to the new folder thinking that it will be for long term storage. With IMAP, this causes the client to create those new on the BVTC server and use up the same amount of storage. This doesn’t save any space with IMAP, but does save storage with POP.

In summary, POP is best with BVTC’s 300MB storage capacity. This allows our customers to keep email on their local device forever and it will keep the server cleaned up on its own. If customers have multiple devices checking the same account, just have one configured for POP and the other devices can run IMAP.

Any email client, Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android, etc. can all be set to do IMAP or POP. Just simply pay attention when you are setting it up. Most clients will default to IMAP, but a manual configuration can set it to POP. As a customer, all you need is your email address, password, and mail.bluevalley.net to get your email working.