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The way we interact with email has changed in recent years. Previously, most staff and faculty members checked their email from only one place—their office computer. Many people now check their email from home as well as from work, and also might log into webmail at a friend's computer or an Internet cafe. To work in this new environment, it is important to understand the differences between POP and IMAP, and how webmail and other email clients interact with one another.

POP (Post Office Protocol)
downloads all your mail to your local computer, removing it from the server. POP is primarily designed for people who check their mail from one computer only. It can work just fine to POP your mail at work, and then use webmail at home, where you will see only your new messages.

IMAP (Internet Mail Access Protocol)
is a way of viewing the mail that is on the server. If you don't delete it, it stays on the server. IMAP is great when you want to be able to see the same thing from multiple locations. You can set up IMAP at home and at work, and then check your email remotely with webmail, pine, or any other IMAP client, and see the same thing in all places, including any folders stored on the server.  A word of caution when using IMAP:  You can easliy go over quota if you don't keep your mail under control!


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