The Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP for short) enables online access to an email inbox.
In contrast to Post Office Protocol 3 (POP 3 for short), the emails are not completely loaded from the server and then deleted. Instead, only the message you are currently reading is loaded. The message remains on the server and can be retrieved from there at any time.
Using IMAP offers you several advantages:
- Messages can be deleted directly on the server without being downloaded first.
- First, only the header (sender, date, subject) of an email is loaded. You can decide whether you want to download the email.
- You can retrieve the mailbox with different email clients at the same time. Use the mailbox on different computers, e.g. at home, in the office or on the road.
- Folders can be created on the server to better manage the messages.
- The server saves the status of an email (e.g. read/unread, answered etc.). This allows you to see at any time which emails have not yet been processed.
- Sent messages can also be archived in the IMAP mailbox. You have access to your complete email correspondence at any time.