Why settle for the predefined system that your browser’s configuration has, when you can determine how your email is transported? Many people have chosen between POP and IMAP while there are still many others who are unaware that they can take control of their emails the way they want to. The Post Office Protocol (POP) and Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) support multiple workflows that allow you to choose the best way to interact with email.
About POP3- Pros
With the Post Office Protocol (POP) your inbox operates like a post office. An email that is sent to you, arrives in your box, yet is not hoarded on any server. You can have your email on whichever device you choose. If or when you decide, the email can then be saved on your server. Any email you receive will always be stored locally, regardless if you are offline.
While POP has these great offerings, it also has its cons. You could lose all your mail if you have computer issues. This is due to the fact that the emails are not stored on your server because it wasn’t configured to do so. The best bet is to store the emails on the server, especially since they take up very little space. The advantage of local storage however, is always having your emails handy.
About IMAP – Pros
With Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) your email is accessible from any device that uses the internet. Your email stays on the server are privy to vital information about all the emails in your inbox. Whenever you download the email, it will only be temporary and will not be stored on whatever device you are using at the time. Once there’s internet, you have access to your email.
The con however is that accessing your emails will be a pain if the internet is slow or working on and off. You are able to grab a couple weeks worth of emails for local storage, but not attachments or images. Searching through your older messages may prove difficult without the internet. Sometimes you may want to consider monitoring an email provider for reliability too, using a service like Dot-Com Monitor or a free provider such as one on this list.
Time to choose
However you choose to interact, keep in mind you can switch anytime. POP is ideal if you often check your emails that have attachments. This will ensure that your information is always accessible. On the other hand, IMAP is suitable if you’re frequently using broadband or LTE network and multiple devices.