What is POP3 vs IMAP?

POP3 (Post Office Protocol version 3) and IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) are both protocols used for retrieving email from a mail server. POP3 downloads email messages to the local device and often removes them from the server, while IMAP synchronizes email messages across multiple devices, keeping them on the server.

IMAP is generally considered better than POP3 for most users, as it allows access to email from multiple devices and keeps messages synchronized. However, POP3 can be preferable if you need to download emails to a single device and want to store them locally without keeping them on the server.

To know if you are using POP3 or IMAP, check your email client settings. Look for the incoming mail server settings, which will indicate either POP3 or IMAP. Additionally, the port numbers can give a clue: POP3 typically uses port 110 (or 995 for secure connections), while IMAP uses port 143 (or 993 for secure connections).

Yes, POP3 is still used, though its usage has declined in favor of IMAP due to the latter’s better support for accessing email from multiple devices. Some users and organizations still use POP3, especially in cases where emails need to be downloaded and stored locally without keeping them on the server.

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