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QotD: Mail Protocols

Question: POP or IMAP?

My Answer: POP all the way. Actually, POP3S. IMAP has always been tricky to set up, tricky to move, slower, and a few other things I don't particularly care for. POP has always worked, whether it's partially retrieving messages, leaving them on the server for x days, or just grabbing messages directly. I know IMAP has a bunch of nice features; I've just never been able to get past the crap IMAP throws my way to use them hassle-free.

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20 Responses to "QotD: Mail Protocols"

  1. We've all heard so much about IMAP and how good it is but I've never been a big fan of it. I use POP on all of my accounts

  2. Just POPing e-mails around the world. 🙂

  3. I use IMAP (over SSL even) on every account I can. The one exception is my earthlink account - the one used here - because earthlink doesn't offer IMAP. But since they also don't offer SSL, I don't POP from there anyway - I instead forward my earthlink mail to another account which does use SSL (and IMAP). So I guess that really means I use IMAP everywhere.

    I even had my employer's sysadmin install an IMAP server just for me. 🙂

    I run my own mail server on a Linux box, on which I used to run only sendmail and elm. IMAP allowed me to easily transition to OS X Mail; without IMAP I would probably still be using elm.

  4. IMAP here. I haven't used POP in probably about five years. The biggest advantage for me is having read status marked on the server, so it's consistent between my desktop and laptop.

  5. IMAP all the way. Especially after I found out how to set which IMAP folder in Mail to use for storing Sent Messages, drafts and trash. (its in the Mailbox->Use this Mailbox For) This way I can seamlessly move between my 2 laptops, and desktop and always have the email filtered, sorted and stored the way I like.

    Old Mail that is needed infrequently, is stored offline on the desktop. Which causes problems every time I do a clean install of OSX.

  6. IMAP over SSL. Once you get the folders setup the way you want them, it's great and just works- everywhere. If you don't have multiple computers and don't care about being able to access all your mail via webmail, I can see why POP would be your prefered fetching method. I do avoid Entourage's IMAP implementation like the plauge though, it just gives me mailbox lock errors.

  7. QotD: Mail Protocols

    QotD: Mail Protocols: Question: POP or IMAP? My Answer: IMAP. It seems to be the default these days. I spent a lot of time in the OS 8/9 days looking for a good IMAP client. I used PowerMail for a...

  8. IMAP (except Gmail, which doesn't support it). I don't use my ISP's mail server at all. I receive most of my mail at DreamHost's mail server, where I have all of my web sites hosted. I'm also running IMAP on my Linux box, which I use to archive old mail.

  9. POP because the IMAP accounts I have are annoying when I have to delete messages because my account space is full.

  10. IMAP for everything I can. This is unbeatable for people who own multiple machines. I've also never had any trouble with it. Keeping all the different folders on the server and having them all sync automatically is extremely nice. Once a message has been moved, it's in the right folder on every machine, along with the status (read / unread) - just lovely.

  11. Definitely IMAP, either over SSL or via an SSH tunnel. When you have more than one computer, it's so much nicer than POP. Plus, you don't login every time you interact with the server. It keeps the connection open.

  12. IMAP, IMAP, IMAP!!! Like the others have said before me, IMAP makes it much easier when traveling and switching between multiple machines.

  13. IMAP (over TLS/SSL, duh). So I can have a consistent view of my mail from any machine anywhere.

    I'm the sysadmin where I work, so quota is not a problem.. 🙂

  14. It used to be IMAP over SSL for a long while, but as an experiment I'm now forwarding all my mail to my Gmail account to see how that works out.

    Much easier to just log in there than download a mail client and configure if I'm someplace else.

  15. IMAP (over SSL like everyone else), using dovecot. Super-easy to set up (I converted from uw-imap in all of twenty minutes) and works nicely with maildir.

  16. POP. The way IMAP slows down every single actoin you take by talking to the server is not worth the time gained by not having to sort messages on every machine.

  17. POP, leaving mail on the server for a few days so I can look at the recent stuff from anywhere. I like the promise of IMAP, but at least the way my host does it it's incredibly slow.

  18. I used to use IMAP so I could get to things from everywhere, but it never worked well, and it went against my hosting disk quota. Now I just forward it all to GMail.

  19. I use IMAP SSL. It's particularly good having all my email on the server because it is backed up with everything else, I use multiple computers, I travel a lot (so my webmail uses the same IMAP store), I'm subscribed to numerous mailing lists and am sometimes on limited/expensive bandwidth so I want the server to sort messages and trap spam & viruses before I even see the messages (I use procmail & other tools on a Mac OS X Server - we host our own email accounts). I couldn't do all this with POP - not very easily/well anyway.

  20. IMAP over SSL. I used to be a big fan of POP3/SSL but I have a nasty habit of modifying my mailbox manually (e.g. saving messages that were left on the server), and when I did that, most clients (Eudora, mainly) re-downloaded ALL my messages, including attachments. I got tired of dealing with it.

    Also there's less impact if I accidentally leave a client running on multiple computers; IMAP doesn't (seem to) mark a message as read just because it was downloaded somewhere...