Differenc between IMAP and POP email account

It can be a little confusing to learn about different ways to get email on your phone or in an email client such as Thunderbird or Outlook, but this breakdown of the key differences between POP and IMAP should help you decide which way to go.

There are two ways your devices and clients can communicate with the server:

1. A one-way communication path (POP). Your device asks server for data and pulls it from the servers -- but that's it. Things you do on your device have no effect on the server. If you read a message on your phone, then log in to webmail, you will see that same message marked as unread. It may start to feel like Groundhog Day.

2. A two-way communication path (IMAP). Unlike with POP, your devices talk back to the servers and sync your changes automatically with IMAP. When you sign in to your webmail account in a web browser, actions you've taken on your email client or mobile device (like putting a message in inbox) will also appear in webmail. This all happens automatically once you set up IMAP, so you don't have to read or sort all your mail twice. This is really helpful when accessing your emails from multiple devices.


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