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What is IMAP?

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is an email protocol used for storing email messages on a mail server, while allowing the end user to view and manipulate these emails as though they were stored locally on the user’s device.

Users are able to organise messages into folders, send and receive emails, and use third party applications, straight from their local device with an email client such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird.

IMAP supports multiple logins, allowing the user to have multiple devices connected to the same mailbox seamlessly. IMAP also allows for authentication in email clients for an added layer of security.

In contrast to the POP3 protocol, where emails are downloaded from the server, stored on the user’s device, and then deleted from the server; with IMAP the emails are always stored on the server and accessed from the server. This means that while you do need an internet connection to access your emails through IMAP, you can access them regardless of what device you’re using.

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