If you’ve kept up with mobile technology in 2010, there’s no way you haven’t accessed your email via the web. Even for just a peek. On a friend’s phone… At dinner… While they were in the bathroom.
There’s no denying it: in an unintentional homage of vaguely Biblical significance, the trend toward mobilizing your data online to the Big Guy in the Sky has become known as cloud computing. The dream? To access your data anywhere, at anytime, with (almost) anything.
So you want the goodness for your email?
Allow me to introduce you to your new friends: POP and IMAP. Both are standard email protocols for accessing your email via a remote server. Both can deliver your email to your waiting hands, no matter where you are. But each work in two very different ways.
Here’s the difference:
POP (Post Office Protocol) delivers your mail from the server at once, in a one-time pop. You connect to your mail server (through an Internet connection), download a copy of your awaiting messages via POP, and then disconnect. Pop!
POP is a one-way ticket. By default, POP deletes mail from the server once it has been retrieved by you. You can opt to leave a copy of the message on the server to be downloaded again later if necessary (by another device or program, for example), but there is no two-way synchronization between your device and your mail server.
The advantages are:
* A local copy of your email.
* Very little remote server storage space overhead required (if emails are deleted from the server as they are retrieved).
* Consolidation of many email accounts and servers to deliver to one inbox.
Traditionally, this is how most personal email systems were set up. For one, online storage used to be comparatively very expensive, so it made a lot of sense to clear email off the server once it was downloaded elsewhere.
However, POP is not without its limitations. The disadvantages are:
* No remote copy (if emails are deleted from the server as they are retrieved)
* No remote web access or synchronization between several programs or devices.
* All mail is stored in one (and only one) place.
* Local copies of messages still requires disk space to store messages.
* Local copies of messages are vulnerable to data loss or security threats.
Now, as mobile technology grows more ubiquitous, more and more users are seeking to permanently store and access their email online.
IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is true two-way email management. Any change you make in any IMAP client will synchronize with the server.
This means any email read on your device will also automatically appear read when you check your account later via webmail or your desktop computer. Any messages or folders you read, move, or delete will be updated across all devices. No matter which client you use, you will see the same inbox, with the same settings.
IMAP also supports offline use, so any changes made without an Internet connection will be updated when you connect to the server again. All messages are permanently stored on the server until purposely deleted.
IMAP can work alongside POP. You can forward all incoming messages from many email accounts via POP to one IMAP account, which is then used to manage and synchronize all mail activities.
For instance, if you use a web-based email service like Gmail or Hotmail to manage your mail, you can set up other email accounts (such as your work or Internet Provider email account) to forward all incoming messages to your web-based IMAP account using POP.
There are some unique advantages to IMAP:
* You can keep a local archive, as well as rest assured knowing a copy is stored on the mail server.
* With a persistent Internet connection, only email headers are downloaded, so you can see your mail faster. The full message is only downloaded when you request to read it.
* Size of your message archive is limited only by your account’s server space, not your personal device(s).
What if you don’t use a popular webmail to access your email? Mail2web.com can turn any email service into webmail.
Mail2web.com allows you to access your own private or business email server by POP and IMAP, giving you to access your privately hosted and secure email from anywhere in the world, from any device. Mail2web.com supports TLS/SSL connections and APOP authentication for data security. Mail2web.com can also help you access your email account if your Internet connection blocks popular webmail hosts.
Web accessible email has become an absolute must for any serious business or personal user. If you need to access your business or personal email from anywhere, on any device, at anytime, Mail2web.com may be just the answer you’ve been looking for.