What is POP and what is IMAP?

What is the difference between POP and IMAP?

POP and IMAP are different methods of allowing a mail program (like Outlook, Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail) to connect to our mail servers.

POP3 stands for Post Office Protocol 3
IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol

Both methods have their own strengths and weaknesses.


  • works on the premise that your desktop mail client is the primary place to store mail.
  • emails you view in your client are removed from our server. This means you're less likely to use all the available space.
  • is suitable for people that access their email from only location.
  • is very suitable for people that send/receive large emails - you're less likely to run out of server space with POP3.
  • is a little less stable than IMAP - sometimes POP3 will drop messages, or send them multiple times.



  • works on the premise that the mail server is the primary place to store mail.
  • email is synchronised between your email client and our servers. So if you read a message in Outlook, and then check your webmail, that email will still be in your webmail inbox and will also be marked as read.
  • is more stable than POP3.
  • is very useful if you're accessing your email from multiple devices, such as your home computer, work computer & a smartphone/tablet.
  • if you send/receive large emails, your server space will fill up very quickly.



How do use IMAP or POP3?

When you're setting up your webmail client, you'll be given the option to choose between IMAP or POP3. Please see our article on how to configure Outlook for instructions on how to do this.


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