Difference between IMAP & POP3

In general IMAP email is stored on the server. POP3 email is downloaded to your email client.

It is important to consider web hosting space usage when using an IMAP account. IMAP will store all of your mail and attachments on the server and can quickly use up your web hosting space if left un-managed. If you decide to use IMAP settings in your email client (Outlook, MAC mail etc.) and your maibox becomes full, you could lose emails. Your account administrator (hosting account owner) will recieve an email when your mailbox is 80% full.

We reccomend using POP3 email accounts and to set your email client to leave a copy of your email on the server for 2 weeks. This means that if you have more than 1 device downloading mail it will be available for 2 weeks and then purged from the server automatically, keeping your mailbox at a manageable size. It is also a good idea not to leave your email on the server for Privacy reasons.

If you need more info give us a call or open a support ticket.

  • IMAP email access coordinates between the server and your mail application. Messages that have been read/deleted/replied to will show up as such, both on the server and in the mail application.
  • POP3 does not coordinate with the server. Messages marked as read/deleted/replied to in the mail application will not show up as such on the server. This means that future mail downloads with POP3 will show all messages as unread.
  • Outgoing mail is sent using SMTP.
  • We recommend using POP3 over SSL/TLS or IMAP over SSL/TLS since they provide increased security for your interactions with the remote mail server.


For more details about setting up secure emails, see our email settings tutorial.
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