What is IMAP and how to use it?

IMAP is the abbreviation for Internet Message Access Protocol. This is a network protocol that regulates communication between two computers. Such a protocol is always used when two computers need to communicate with each other. It’s practically the language of computers.

IMAP is used as the language for sending e-mails. The Internet Message Access Protocol was introduced as a counterpart to POP, another network protocol for e-mail traffic. The difference between the two protocols lies in the way messages are downloaded from the mail server: When a user receives an email, it first goes to the mail server and is stored there. With POP, the messages are downloaded directly to the recipient’s PC when the mail is retrieved and deleted on the mail server. The special feature of IMAP is that the e-mails are left on the mail server and the recipient only receives a copy of the corresponding e-mail. The messages themselves remain stored on the mail server. The same applies to folder structures: If the e-mails are divided into several folders, these are still on the mail server with IMAP. Internet users only see a copy of the folder structure of the mail server on their computer.

The advantages of IMAP are particularly evident when using multiple computers. Since the mails and folder structures remain on the mail server, they can be viewed from different PCs. If a computer is lost, the e-mails are still stored securely on the server and can be retrieved at any time. Especially customers who use several computers should therefore set up their mail account with IMAP.

You can find more information about IMAP here.