Everything You Need to Know About POP

Everything You Need to Know About POP

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POP is an internet standard that enables the downloading of email messages from an email server to a computer. POP has been updated twice since its inception as POP1 in 1984. In 1985, the Post Office Protocol Version 2 (POP2) was published. In 1988, the Post Office Protocol Version 3 (POP3) was released, introducing new authentication mechanisms and other features.

  • How POP Works
  • How POP Differs from IMAP
  • POP’s Disadvantages

How POP Works

Email messages are stored on a POP server until you login (using an email client) and download them to your computer. The POP standard is devoid of message-sending capabilities. Emails are sent via the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).

How POP Differs from IMAP

POP and IMAP are similar in that both are used for email retrieval. However, POP is older and defines only basic email retrieval commands. IMAP enables device synchronization and online access. POP stores and manages messages locally on a single computer or device. As a result, POP is typically easier to implement and more reliable and stable.

POP’s Disadvantages

POP is a restricted protocol that enables an email program to download messages only to a computer or device, with the option of maintaining a copy on the server for future downloads. While POP enables email programs to track retrieved messages, this process can fail at times, resulting in messages downloading again. Additionally, POP makes it impossible to access the same email account from multiple computers or devices and have their actions sync.

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