What is the difference between POP3 and IMAP

A message transfer agent receives mail from either another Mail Transfer Agent (MTA), a Mail Submission Agent (MSA), or a Mail User Agent (MUA). The transmission details are specified by the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).A MTA works in the background, while the user usually interacts directly with a mail user agent.

The most widely implemented open protocols for the MUA are the Post Office Protocol (POP3) and the Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP)


  • Using this email needs to be downloaded into local desktop before being displayed.
  • The downloaded email might be deleted from the server depending upon the setting of client.
  • All messages as well as their attachments will be downloaded into local desktop during new email process.
  • Mailboxes can only be created on local desktop.
  • There is only one mailbox (INBOX) which exists on the server.


  • No need to download email to local desktop, since email is kept on the server.
  • A whole message will be downloaded only when it is opened for display from its content.
  • Multiple mailboxes can be created on the local desktop as well as on server.

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