POP3 and IMAP are application-layer Internet standard protocols used by local e-mail clients to retrieve e-mails from a remote server over a TCP/IP connection. Virtually all modern e-mail clients and mail servers support both protocols as a means of transferring e-mail messages from a server.

They are both text-based. Both transmit more or less same amount of data.

Here is the brief comparison of both:

Intended message store Client Server
Download message YES YES
Download message headers YES YES
Download detailed email information NO YES
Download specific message part (single attachment) NO YES
Delete message YES YES
Send message NO (use SMTP) NO (use SMTP)
Get only unseen messages NO YES
Mark message Seen/Unseen NO YES
Server side search NO YES
Folders NO YES
Sent items NO YES
Push email NO YES

Mail.dll .NET email component

Mail.dll supports both POP3 and IMAP protocols (and SMTP), you can give it a try at:

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3 Responses to “POP3 vs IMAP”

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