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Email Client Setup: Comparing POP vs. IMAP

POP and IMAP are both incoming connection types when connecting an email client or mobile device to your FatCow mailbox. This article describes the differences between each type, and explores scenarios when one type might be preferred over the other.

What is POP and IMAP?

POP (Post Office Protocol). This is a method that your email client can use to connect to our email server for retrieving messages. This connection type allows you to download messages from our email server onto your computer. When looking at your email via your email client, you're looking at your downloaded copies of those messages, not your original messages that still exist inside of your FatCow mailbox.

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol). This is a method that your email client can use to connect to our email server for retrieving messages. This connection type allows you to read messages from our email server without downloading the messages onto your computer. When looking at your email inside of your email client, you're looking at the original messages that exist inside of your FatCow mailbox.


When do I choose POP? When do I choose IMAP?

While it's possible to connect using either method from any email client or mobile device, we have a few recommendations for you to consider. Ultimately you get to decide which connection type you want to use.

  POP IMAP
I want to store a backup of my email on my personal computer.    
I want to be able to check my email on multiple devices.    
I want to store email on my FatCow mailbox (note our email storage limits).    
I do not want my mailbox to get so full that it can't receive messages anymore.    
I want to use my phone to check my email.    
I want to be able to read my email even if I'm not connected to the internet.    
I expect to get a lot of incoming email.    
I only want to worry about deleting my email once (Why does this matter?)    
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