old-computer-installing-windows-xp_2118317If you are still using the POP3 to retrieve email, then I have some bad news for you. You are 17 years behind its last revision. Which can feel like an eternity in the grand scope of technology.

POP (Post Office Protocol) was originally created in 1984 for the purpose of making it easier to download emails from a remote server (Outlook, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, AOL, etc.) to your computer. However, its last revision took place in 1998! This form of email retrieval includes a limited one-way flow of communication from a remote server to a single computer.

Unfortunately POP3 is only allowed to transfer emails to a single device and these emails do not remain in the server after being downloaded into your computer. Thus, your emails are only stored on your computer after download, not on the server. After an email is downloaded to your computer via POP3, the email information is erased from the server, necessitating the need for a separate backup system to be in place such as a hard-drive device. If in the unfortunate event your hard-drive dies or computer gives out, then all downloaded emails from a POP3 server are completely lost.

This made sense in the ‘90’s when technology was limited and typical households only had one desktop computer. However, in today’s day in age, laptops and smartphones with Internet accessibility are proliferating. Everywhere you turn there is likely to be a business or restaurant advertising their “free Wi-Fi” available for patrons, we even have Internet access on public transportation systems, and public parks. As consumers, we’ve adapted to the seemingly unlimited Internet access all around us. Plus, our technology is quickly advancing and must be supported with upgraded system facilitators such as IMAP.

Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) uses a remote server to download email information just like POP3, however, your emails are securely retained in the remote server after the download is complete. In addition, IMAP emails can easily be accessed through multiple devices including a home computer, work computer, tablet or smartphone. This is significant in our present times where students, businessmen and everyday people are continually checking their email from multiple electronic devices (desktop, work computer, PC, smartphone) in order to keep up with their daily communication.


Keeping information properly synched between multiple devices is absolutely essential. Otherwise, communication efforts can be greatly inhibited with limited access and transferability. IMAP allows valuable email information to be backed up simultaneously on the remote server as well as your other electronic devices. Any changes made off- line will be automatically updated once online access is re-established.

If these benefits do not already persuade you to upgrade from POP3 to IMAP, keep in mind that IMAP offers added security through email encryption that POP3 does not. It just makes sense to upgrade your electronic settings to better facilitate the trend of fast-paced communication these days. Plus, it’s easier than you think to make the switch. It only takes about 5 minutes to switch your email configuration.

Here are some step- by- step instructions on how to do just that.

If you have any questions related to this topic, then please contact our knowledgeable technicians here at Huntleigh Technolgoy for professional assistance. Also, if you have an email nightmare you’d like to share, then leave a comment below!

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