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What is a IMAP?

If you've ever set up an email account before, you've probably been asked which
email protocol you would like to use: POP or IMAP. To the uninitiated, this question can be
positively mind-boggling. However, the selection that you make will have a major impact on
your experience of sending, receiving and otherwise using email messages. While POP, or
Post Office Protocol, used to be the most popular type of email protocol, IMAP - or Internet
Message Access Protocol - is the go-to choice of most people these days. Learn more
about what IMAP is, how it works, how it compares to POP and its main advantages below.

IMAP: The Basics

As its name implies, IMAP allows you to access your email messages wherever you are;
much of the time, it is accessed via the Internet. Basically, email messages are stored on
servers. Whenever you check your inbox, your email client contacts the server to connect
you with your messages. When you read an email message using IMAP, you aren't actually
downloading or storing it on your computer; instead, you are reading it off of the server. As a
result, it's possible to check your email from several different devices without missing a

Mail Servers, Email Clients and IMAP

The easiest way to understand how IMAP works is by thinking of it as an intermediary

between your email client and your email server. Email servers are always used when
sending and receiving email messages. With IMAP, though, they remain on the server
unless you explicitly delete them from it. When you sign into an email client like Microsoft
Outlook, it contacts the email server using IMAP. The headers of all of your email messages
are then displayed. If you choose to read a message, it is quickly downloaded so that you
can see it - emails are not downloaded unless you need to open them.

IMAP versus POP

If you think that IMAP and POP are interchangeable, think again. POP works by contacting
your email server and downloading all of your new messages from it. Once they are
downloaded, they disappear from the server. If you decide to check your email from a
different device, the messages that have been downloaded previously will not be available
to you. POP works fine for those who generally only check their email messages from a
single device; those who travel or need to access their email from various devices are much
better off with IMAP-based email service.

Using IMAP

Unlike POP, IMAP allows you to access, organize, read and sort your email messages
without having to download them first. As a result, IMAP is very fast and efficient. The server
also keeps a record of all of the messages that you send, allowing you to access your sent
messages from anywhere. IMAP does not move messages from the server to your
computer; instead, it synchronizes the email that's on your computer with the email that's on
the server.

Main Advantages of IMAP

There are several advantages to using IMAP. First, it allows you toaccess your email
messages from anywhere, via as many different devices as you want. Second, it only
downloads a message when you click on it. As a result, you do not have to wait for all of
your new messages to download from the server before you can read them. Third,
attachments are not automatically downloaded with IMAP. As a result, you're able to check
your messages a lot more quickly and have greater control over which attachments are
opened. Finally, IMAP can be used offline just like POP - you can basically enjoy the
benefits of both protocols in one.

As the world becomes more mobile than ever, IMAP is becoming more and more popular.
The proliferation of smartphones, laptops, tablets and other devices is making the demand
for IMAP stronger than ever. While POP will remain popular with people who
only access their email via one or two devices - and those who have slow connections to
the Internet - IMAP is sure to remain the protocol of choice for most of today's busy people.

NOTE:- By default , IMAP protocol works on two ports.

1- PORT 143 - This is the default IMAP non-encrypted port

2- PORT 993 This is the port you need to use if you want to connect using IMAP

What is SMTP?

SMTP is part of the application layer of the TCP/IP protocol. Using a process called "store
and forward," SMTP moves your email on and across networks. It works closely with
something called the Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) to send your communication to the right
computer and email inbox.

SMTP spells out and directs how your email moves from your computer's MTA to an MTA on
another computer, and even several computers. Using that "store and forward" feature
mentioned before, the message can move in steps from your computer to its destination. At
each step, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is doing its job. Lucky for us, this all takes place
behind the scenes, and we don't need to understand or operate SMTP.

SMTP at work.

SMTP provides a set of codes that simplify the communication of email messages between
email servers (the network computer that handles email coming to you and going out). It's a
kind of shorthand that allows a server to break up different parts of a message into
categories the other server can understand. When you send a message out, it's turned into
strings of text that are separated by the code words (or numbers) that identify the purpose
of each section.

SMTP provides those codes, and email server software is designed to understand what
they mean. As each message travels towards its destination, it sometimes passes through a
number of computers as well as their individual MTAs. As it does, it's briefly stored before it
moves on to the next computer in the path. Think of it as a letter going through different
hands as it winds its way to the right mailbox.
Nothing fancy about it.

SMTP is able to transfer only textit isn't able to handle fonts, graphics, attachments, etc.
maybe that's why it's called simple. Fortunately, Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions
were created to lend a hand. MIME encodes all the non-text content into plain text. In that
transformed format, SMTP is coaxed into transferring the data.

SMTP sometimes stands for "stop."

Most of us don't know this, but our Internet Service Providers typically have a limit to the
number of emails we can send out over a certain amount of time. Most of the time, it's
limited to a set number per hour or per day.

Each ISP relies on its SMTP to determine (and govern) the email that can be sent out by
one connection. (It is a protocol, after all.) For some people who work at home or manage
large mailing lists, that could be a problem. After they hit their limit, the ISP will simply stop
sending emails. If they think you're a spammer, they might even shut down your account.

That email limit varies by ISP. For example, the typical Comcast Cable Internet customer is
limited to 1,000 emails per day. (Their business customers have a limit of 24,000 emails
daily.) Verizon and AT&T do it differently. They put a limit of 100 on the number of recipients
you can have on one sent email.

If you're curious about your ISP's limit, check their policy.

By default, the SMTP protocol works on three ports:

Port 25 - this is the default SMTP non-encrypted port
Port 2525 - this port is opened on all SiteGround servers in case port 25 is filtered
(by your ISP for example) and you want to send non-encrypted emails with SMTP
Port 465 - this is the port used, if you want to send messages using SMTP
What is a POP3?

POP3, which is an abbreviation for Post Office Protocol 3, is the third version of a
widespread method of receiving email. Much like the physical version of a post office clerk,
POP3 receives and holds email for an individual until they pick it up. And, much as the post
office does not make copies of the mail it receives, in previous versions of POP3, when an
individual downloaded email from the server into their email program, there were no more
copies of the email on the server; POP automatically deleted them.

POP3 makes it easy for anyone to check their email from any computer in the world,
provided they have configured their email program properly to work with the protocol.

Mail Server Functionality

POP3 has become increasingly sophisticated so that some administrators can configure the
protocol to "store" email on the server for a certain period of time, which would allow an
individual to download it as many times as they wished within that given time frame.
However, this method is not practical for the vast majority of email recipients.

While mail servers can use alternate protocol retrieval programs, such asIMAP, POP3 is
extremely common among most mail servers because of its simplicity and high rate of
success. Although the newer version of POP offers more "features," at its basic level, POP3
is preferred because it does the job with a minimum of errors.

Working With Email Applications

Because POP3 is a basic method of storing and retrieving email, it can work with virtually
any email program, as long as the email program is configured to host the protocol. Many
popular email programs, including Eudora and Microsoft Outlook, are automatically
designed to work with POP3. Each POP3 mail server has a different address, which is
usually provided to an individual by their web hosting company. This address must be
entered into the email program in order for the program to connect effectively with the
protocol. Generally, most email applications use the 110 port to connect to POP3. Those
individuals who are configuring their email program to receive POP3 email will also need to
input their username and password in order to successfully receive email.

By default, the POP3 protocol works on two ports:

Port 110 - this is the default POP3 non-encrypted port
Port 995 - this is the port you need to use if you want to connect using POP3 securely

The OSI Model

The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to

implement protocols in seven layers. In the OSI model, control is passed from one layer to
the next, starting at the application layer in one station, and proceeding to the bottom layer,
over the channel to the next station and back up the hierarchy.

The OSI Model Layers

The OSI model takes the task of internetworking and divides that up into what is referred to
as a vertical stack that consists of the following 7 layers:

Physical (Layer 1)

OSI Model, Layer 1 conveys the bit stream - electrical impulse, light or radio
signal through the network at the electrical and mechanical level. It provides
the hardware means of sending and receiving data on a carrier, including defining cables,
cards and physical aspects. Fast Ethernet, RS232, and ATM are protocols with physical
layer components.
Layer 1 Physical examples include Ethernet, FDDI, B8ZS, V.35, V.24, RJ45.

Data Link (Layer 2)

At OSI Model, Layer 2, data packets are encoded and decoded into bits. It
furnishes transmission protocolknowledge and management and handles errors in the
physical layer, flow control and frame synchronization. The data link layer is divided into two
sub layers: The Media Access Control (MAC) layer and the Logical Link Control (LLC) layer.
The MAC sub layer controls how a computer on the network gains access to the data and
permission to transmit it. The LLC layer controls frame synchronization, flow control and
error checking.

Layer 2 Data Link examples include PPP, FDDI, ATM, IEEE 802.5/ 802.2, IEEE
802.3/802.2, HDLC, Frame Relay.

Network (Layer 3)

Layer 3 provides switching and routing technologies, creating logical paths, known as virtual
circuits, for transmitting data from node to node. Routing and forwarding are functions of
this layer, as well as addressing, internetworking, error handling, congestion control and
packet sequencing.

Layer 3 Network examples include AppleTalk DDP, IP, IPX.

Transport (Layer 4)

OSI Model, Layer 4, provides transparent transfer of data between end systems, or hosts,
and is responsible for end-to-end error recovery and flow control. It ensures complete data

Layer 4 Transport examples include SPX, TCP, UDP.

Session (Layer 5)

This layer establishes, manages and terminates connections between applications. The
session layer sets up, coordinates, and terminates conversations, exchanges, and
dialogues between the applications at each end. It deals with session and connection

Layer 5 Session examples include NFS, Net Bios names, RPC, SQL.

Presentation (Layer 6)

This layer provides independence from differences in data representation (e.g., encryption)
by translating from application to network format, and vice versa. The presentation layer
works to transform data into the form that the application layer can accept. This layer
formats and encrypts data to be sent across a network, providing freedom from compatibility
problems. It is sometimes called the syntax layer.

Layer 6 Presentation examples include encryption, ASCII, EBCDIC, TIFF, GIF, PICT,

Application (Layer 7)

OSI Model, Layer 7, supports application and end-user processes. Communication partners
are identified, quality of service is identified, user authentication and privacy are considered,
and any constraints on data syntax are identified. Everything at this layer is application-
specific. This layer provides application services for file transfers, e-mail, and
other network software services. Telnet and FTP are applications that exist entirely in the
application level. Tiered application architectures are part of this layer.

Layer 7 Application examples include WWW browsers, NFS, SNMP, Telnet, HTTP, FTP