Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Explore the Difference Between SMTP, POP & IMAP!

Email handling can be done through different methods which technically are referred as Protocols. These protocols are used for either receiving the emails or sending the emails. IMAP and POP protocols are used for receiving the emails and SMTP protocol is used for sending the emails.  When any user sends an email, the mail message is moved from the front-end email client to the mail server. This mail server will then use the destination email address to track the destination. So the emails will be stored to the mail server unless your mail client demands to download it. Here IMAP and POP play an important role.


When users use computers, none of them utilize these computers all the time. Computers are not online all the time and are turned off when necessary. POP (Post Office Protocol) is an Internet Standard for retrieving emails from the mail server where it is stored temporarily. In case all the computers were supposed to be online, protocols like POP wouldn’t be useful at all. This is because in that case the emails would have delivered directly to the recipient’s computer. But the problem is computers are turned off mostly and because of this, emails have to be stored somewhere else unless user is online again. POP performs the interaction between front-end client and server which is holding the email messages.
POP (Post Office Protocol 3) gives a standardized way for users in order to access mailboxes by downloading them to the computers. It works in three states; Authorization, Transaction and Update. While using the POP protocol, the email messages will get downloaded from the server to the local system. As emails are saved to the system, one can easily access the emails even when internet is unavailable.


IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is another Internet Standard for receiving or we can say retrieving emails from the email server. IMAP email client generally saves the email messages by downloading a copy of the messages from email server to the local system but keeps a copy of the messages in the cloud server as well. The difference is that IMAP email client will regularly synchronize local mailbox and mail server (cloud). In case any message is deleted from the local mails, it will be deleted from the cloud as well when both of these platforms (email server and local mailbox) are synchronized.
The most important feature of this IMAP email client is that the user can access the emails from more than one location or device. This is because the emails are stored in the email server and hence can be access through Mobile, system in another location, etc. Emails are stored in the central server and hence can be accessed anytime. Users can access the emails at home and work-station as well.


SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is the standard used by Mail Transfer Agent for sending emails and while using the SMTP, email messages are transferred from client to SMTP server. The messages can be then moved from one SMTP server to another also. IMAP and POP3 are used for retrieving the emails from SMTP Server. The most common model for SMTP is it using the TCP Transport service in TCP/IP suite. Emails which reach to SMTP are either forwarded to remote server or it is delivered to local mailboxes on the local server. The SMTP protocol is only used for sending emails and not for receiving them.


Post a Comment