What does IMAP Refer to and its relation to server hosting?

September 25, 2007 / Dedicated Server Hosting

What does IMAP refer to and its relation to server hosting?

IMAP Stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. It was originally developed in 1986 at Stanford. IMAP is gradually replacing POP as the main protocol used by email clients in communicating with email servers. IMAP includes more functions than the similar and popular POP mail protocol. It can used by customers who need to keep their mail on a remote server.

By using IMAP an email client program can not only retrieve email but can also manipulate messages stored on the server, without having to actually retrieve the messages. So messages can deleted, have their status changed, multiple mailboxes can be managed, etc. The latest version of IMAP which is IMAP4 is similar to POP3 but supports some additional features.

For example, with IMAP4, you can search through your email messages for keywords while the messages are still on the mail server.

Leaving your messages on the server is very convenient since it means that you can retrieve them from anywhere in the world. When you are setting your delivery options, “IMAP” appears in the e-mail address so that the GUMail system will leave your e-mail messages on the server. People who send you an e-mail should not include “IMAP” as part of your e-mail address.

When does we require IMAP Extension?

IMAP extension required when you require to use email piping i.e. converting your emails into tickets. However, if you choose to use only the web interface you could still Help Desk Pilot. Your customers would have always to log into the web-based interface (customer panel) to submit new tickets/issues.

What are the advantages of IMAP?

  1. Its main advantage is that the user can see all the message headers at a glance, and open only those which required this saves significant download time especially if users often forward or delete messages without reading them.
  2. Freedom for users to download attachments at any time from anywhere.
  3. IMAP enables server-based searching and selection to minimize data transfer.
  4. It support for simultaneous update and update discovery in shared folders.
  5. It’s Superior online performance.
  6. Its ability to manipulate remote folders other than INBOX is fundamental to online and disconnected operations. This means being able to save messages from one folder to another one, being able to access archived messages subsequently, and allowing for multiple incoming message folders.
  7. Once you create a Spam screen folder on the server, SPAM automatically filtered there. The folder can periodically reviewed if you use an IMAP mail program to check your filters.

To make it short, IMAP is a fantastic way to work with email and is eventually picking up with the growing diffusion of DSL lines and the increasing need for mobile connectivity more and more companies are migrating to this great protocol.

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