SMTP, POP3 and IMAP

Written by | Tech

If you are using an email program like Apple Mail, Outlook, MS Outlook, Eudora Mail, ThunderBird Mail and IncrediMail, chances are you have setup these program using the SMTP, POP3 and/or IMAP Settings of your ISP or email provider.

Some ISP requires you to pay in order for you to access your email using a 3rd party application, like Yahoo! Mail Plus Service, while other provide it for free, like AOL and Gmail.

So what does SMTP, POP3 and IMAP means and why is it important or what benefits you get from it.

I’ll try not to discuss the settings and on how to setup your mail program to run using the SMTP, POP3 and IMAP of your email provider. I’ll just let you do the work on how to do that yourself.. hehehe… 😉

Let me tell you the story of each settings or protocols.

SMTP a.k.a. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
This protocol allows the email program to send your email . Without this SMTP, your email program will be reduced to an email bot lols.. Since it will only send email without doing anything esle.

POP3 a.k.a. Post Office Protocol version 3
This is protocol is use by the email program to access all the email sent to you on the mail server remotely. The email needs to be downloaded on your computer before you can even read it, and the copy of the email on the mail server is deleted or removed. So you will not have a copy of the email.

IMAP a.k.a. Internet Message Access Protocol
This protocol works like POP3, it download the email on your computer but leaves a copy of your email on the server. So to matter what happen to the email that you downloaded you still have a backup copy saved on your Mail Server.

For reference about this, please visit the sites below:
Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMTP
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop3
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imap

Enjoy!!! 🙂

Last modified: March 2, 2009

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