IMAP (Internet Messages Access Protocol)


IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol), originally developed in 1986 by Mark Crispin, is a client/server protocol used for accessing email messages.
It enables users to retrieve email messages from a remote web server using a local client and operates at the application layer. Its well-known port address is 143.
IMAP keeps received email messages on the internet server and functions efficiently even on slow connections.
As one of the two most widely used protocols for retrieving mail server information, IMAP is supported by almost every mail client and server, alongside POP3.
IMAP allows users to access, read, organize, and sort email messages without downloading them first, ensuring fast and efficient access from different devices without missing any messages.


How Does It Work?

IMAP functions as an intermediary between your email client and email server. Email servers manage the sending and receiving of email messages. With IMAP, messages remain on the server unless explicitly deleted. When accessing an email client like Microsoft Outlook, it connects to the email server using IMAP, displaying message headers. Messages are only downloaded when opened, preserving bandwidth.


Main Advantages

IMAP offers several advantages:

1. Access messages from anywhere using any device.

2. Messages are downloaded only when opened.

3. Attachments are not automatically downloaded.

4. IMAP can be used offline, similar to POP.


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