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Posted by on Aug 22, 2017 in Blog, Tips & Tricks |

Benefits of POP3, IMAP to Exchange Server

Benefits of POP3, IMAP to Exchange Server

Have you ever wondered what happens when you set up an email account on your computer, or how email is sent from one computer to another?

If you’re confused by those prompts you sometimes get for an incoming or outgoing server password and want to know your ‘pop3’ from your ‘SMTP’ for example, then this helpful and informative little blog is for you.

POP3: – Post Office Protocol 3

Emails are past from server to server regardless of the email handling method or service in use. This is an industry standard protocol that enables emails to be sent and received with ease.

You can connect to POP3 accounts using popular email systems such as Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express, Mozilla Thunderbird and Apple Mail. These systems connect to the POP3 and download any emails to your computer.

Most POP3 applications have a default setting not to delete downloaded emails from a server. Similarly, the majority of POP3 accounts have setting not to delete messages from the server. If this option is used however, servers are likely to fill up quickly and refuse incoming mail.


  • Your emails are stored locally, so you can access them when a Wi-Fi connection is intermittent or unavailable.
  • Email access can be faster from your computer.
  • Your address book can also work faster from your computer.


  • Once email is downloaded it can only be retrieved from your computer. This means that if your computer fails, email is lost.
  • Confusion can occur if access to email is gained both locally through a computer and remotely – if a user is travelling and needs access to their email at an internet cafe for instance. This is because web based email uses SMTP methodology to send email and means that sent messages will not be downloaded and available to your computer at home.

IMAP – Internet message Protocol

IMAP is another protocol, similar to POP3
Access is gained using an application on your computer. Most POP3 email applications support IMAP. Your emails are retained on the server but cached locally on your computer. It means emails can be written locally and then sent when you next go online.


  • Your email is stored on the server, with a local copy cached on your computer – you now have the best of both worlds! It means you can have more than one computer connected to IMAP at a time. This is useful if you have a computer at home and another at work for example.
  • Folders created locally will be replicated on your server.


  • Only received emails get synchronized. Emails written locally are not synched until sent, which means you could find yourself preparing the same email in two different locations.


Hotmail, Gmail, yahoo, BT are all examples of web based email services and are usually free. Typically users sign up to the service and are allocated some limited storage space together with one or more customisable email addresses. Access to email is gained by logging-in online.


  • All your emails are stored online in one place, so they can be accessed anywhere in the world.
  • Server settings are managed by your host provider which can save you the hassle of configuring your email accounts.
  • Advances in the way accounts are managed allows emails to be directed to newer domains


  • Your email address can often be long and difficult to remember: a chance to creative with numbers and symbols though!
  • The amount of disk storage space allocated can be relatively small, so, you may need to delete older files after awhile, to carry on using the service.
  • A stable and effective connection is needed to stay online.
  • If your internet service is slow then online searches can be impractical.

Emails managed by Microsoft Exchange Server

This is considerably more expensive than the other systems mentioned in this blog. Nevertheless, many large companies and organisations adopt this system. The exchange server can support typical work centred tasks such as emails, calendars, contacts, notes, address books. Meetings can also be arranged through the system.


  • Emails, contacts, calendars are stored on the exchange server and synched with your computer.
  • You can use multiple computers to access the system.
  • Folder structures are synchronized.


  • An expensive way to manage email.
  • Space on the server is usually set by an organisation’s server administrator, so it could change, without the consent of the user.

Edited by: Jeremy Sharpe – Freelance Public Relations Consultant

References used: