did you know that there's more than one way to go about configuring your email account?

Let's discuss the two Main protocols you can use to set up your email account, and what is unique about each of them. This will help you to choose the right email protocol to suit your needs.

First, "POP", or Post Office Protocol, is the more well known email protocol and has been around for a long time. However, it was initially designed to work best with a dial-up internet connection. For this reason it has its own set of pros and cons.

With POP set up, new emails are downloaded to your computer where they are accessible at any time. These emails are usually deleted from the server either immediately or after a set interval. This means that your server doesn't run out of space. It also means that the only copy of your emails are those that are on the device they were downloaded to. So, if that device were lost, stolen, or irreparably damaged, you would lose all emails that were downloaded from the the server up till that point, which is why its recommended to do regular back ups of your emails when using a POP configured email account.

POP protocol is not ideal for synchronisation of email between multiple devices - each device downloads the email as "unread" no matter if it has been read on another device or not. Any changes, follow-ups, or deletions made will not be visible on your other devices.

Next, "IMAP", which stands for Internet Message Access Protocol, which is a more modern way of configuring your email account (although its been around almost as long as POP). It is the preferred email protocol for most devices today.

IMAP allows for synchronising emails and mail folders across multiple devices. It can do this because the server keeps a copy of each email and all editions made to it. This does mean that you may find your mailbox space running out faster, though. Email applications typically keep emails cached on the device from a specific time frame (e.g. emails from the last year), therefore downloading or searching for older emails does require that you are connected to the internet..

On the other hand, having important emails remain on the server means that even if any (or all) of your devices were lost or corrupted you would not completely lose access to your emails and folders because they are still on the server.

Summary - If you really don't plan to use your email account on more than one device, then it's probably OK to continue with a POP account. However, with the data-loss risks involved you do need to be diligent about backing up your emails on a regular basis.

For the most part, we advise going with an IMAP account. Doing so significantly reduces the risk of data-loss; since most people today are using more than one internet-enabled device, the ability to access and synchronise emails between devices is also a defining factor in choosing the IMAP configuration.

Need help setting up your email account? Want to migrate from POP to IMAP configuration with your existing accounts? Contact us, and we'll gladly assist!

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