A POP (Post Office Protocol) account for email is a type of email account that stores incoming mail on a mail server and allows users to download it to a device, such as a computer or mobile phone. In this setup, the mail messages are usually deleted from the server after being downloaded.
On the other hand, IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is another type of email account that also stores emails on a mail server. However, unlike POP, IMAP allows users to view and manage their emails directly on the server. This means that changes made to emails (such as marking them as read or deleting) are synced across various devices that are connected to the same IMAP account.
The key difference between POP and IMAP is in the way emails are handled. With POP, emails are typically downloaded to a single device, making it more suitable for users who prefer offline access to their emails or want to keep their inbox relatively empty. On the other hand, IMAP keeps emails synced across multiple devices, giving users access to their entire mailbox from any device or client application. IMAP is ideal for users who access their emails from different devices or want to have a consistent view of their mailbox.
For business email accounts, IMAP is generally considered the better option compared to POP. Here's why:
- Syncing across multiple devices: With IMAP, all devices accessing the email account are synced together, ensuring that any changes made (such as reading, deleting, or replying to emails) are reflected across all devices. This allows employees to seamlessly access and manage their emails from various devices, such as computers, laptops, smartphones, or tablets.
- Access to the full mailbox: IMAP allows users to view their entire mailbox, including all folders, subfolders, and sent items, regardless of the device they are using. This is crucial for business users who need to access their entire email history and file important messages into specific folders for easier organization.
- Centralized email management: IMAP allows for centralized email management, making it easier for businesses to backup, archive, and restore emails. This is important for compliance, legal, and data retention requirements, as well as for facilitating smooth transition when an employee leaves or a new employee joins the company.
- Collaborative work: IMAP provides features that facilitate collaborative work, such as allowing multiple users to access and edit a shared mailbox, granting delegated access rights, and enabling email sharing within teams or departments. Overall, IMAP's ability to sync, access the complete mailbox, and support collaborative work make it the preferred choice for business email accounts.