IMAP or POP: Which should you use?

This help document describes the differences between using IMAP and POP with your Cruzio email in a mail program, such as MS Outlook, Apple Mail, or Mozilla Thunderbird. When configuring your email into a mail program, you can choose between either POP or IMAP email protocols.

You may want IMAP setup if…

  • You check your email with different computers, smart phones or other devices. IMAP setups allow you to keep all of your messages, file attachments and folders in sync, and remembers the condition that you last left them in (read, replied, forwarded, etc) regardless of what computer or device you access your email from.
  • You use Cruzio Webmail in addition to an email program. IMAP lets you keep all of your messages, file attachments and folders synchronized between your webmail and your email program.
  • You want Cruzio to backup your email. IMAP messages, file attachments and folders archived online are automatically backed up daily on the Cruzio email server.
  • You use a computer or device with limited storage space. IMAP lets you store messages and file attachments online and takes up no space on your computer. However, you will be using the Cruzio email server for storage which does have a limit in how much space is available to store messages. So while it will take some time for your mailbox to reach its limit, you will need to keep an eye on mailbox storage limits by periodically logging into your webmail account and clearing out any old and/or large messages you no longer need. An automated email notification is sent whenever you approach the mailbox storage limit.
  • You use POP and leave messages on the server. IMAP is designed for this scenario, so you may want to consider making the switch to IMAP.

You may want POP setup if…

  • You check your email exclusively with one computer. POP works best when you only manage your email on one computer as POP downloads all of your messages and attachments from the Cruzio mail server to your computer.
  • You prefer to store your messages on your computer rather than the Cruzio server. If your internet service goes down for any reason and your messages are stored on the Cruzio server, you will not be able to get to any old messages until internet service is restored. With POP saving your messages to your computer, you can access any messages you’ve already downloaded any time, even if your internet is offline.
  • You want to perform your own email backups. When you download the messages from the Cruzio server, it is up to you to use your preferred software on your computer for backing up your emails. Cruzio will not be able to back up your messages once they are on your computer, but you will have more control over how the backups work, what they back up, and how frequently they run.
  • You must use an email program that does not work with IMAP. Some mail programs do not allow the use of IMAP. If you have to use one of these mail programs, then you will want to go with POP.
  • You want to manage your mailbox storage limits on your computer and prefer not to delete emails often. Even though the storage limit in your Cruzio webmail should take a while to fill up, in most cases your computer will provide a lot more storage space for your emails. If you computer has the space available and you prefer not to log into Cruzio webmail to periodically delete old messages, use POP. This will download the messages to your computer, automatically freeing up the space on Cruzio’s server for new email.

While POP has some advantages over IMAP, and IMAP has some advantages over POP, it really just comes down to a matter of preference. We do not recommend either one over the other, but we hope these lists help you choose which one will best suit your needs.