You can access Google’s Gmail email server in your browser, mobile phone or on your desktop using Microsoft Outlook or any other email client. The service support both POP3 and IMAP so what’s the difference?

POP3  – With a POP3 e-mail account, your e-mail messages are downloaded to your computer and then usually deleted from the mail server. The main disadvantage of POP3 accounts is the difficulty to save and view your messages on multiple computers. Also, messages that you send from one computer are not copied to the Sent Items folder on the other computers.

IMAP  – With IMAP, you have access to mail folders on the mail server, and you can store and process mail without downloading it to the computer that you are working on. Thus, you can use a different computer to read your messages wherever you are. IMAP can save you time because you can view the headers of your e-mail messages — who the message is from and the subject — and then choose to download only those messages that you are interested in reading. Your mail is saved on the mail server, which is usually safer, and is backed up by your mail administrator or ISP.

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