Email Hosting - IMAP vs POP

Ben Greiner -


There are two things that every modern business needs:

  1. A custom domain (like
  2. And an email host that provides IMAP mailboxes.

If you're using AOL, Gmail or for business, then stop and get your own domain. It costs as little as $10 per year. If you're trying to squeeze productivity out of a "free" POP email account, pay the $2 per month to get an IMAP account with lots of storage.

We use and recommend Rackspace Email Hosting:

  • 25GB Mailboxes - IMAP ($2/mo) or Exchange ($10/mo). You can even use both (IMAP and Exchange)!
  • Excellent Spam Filtering.
  • Email Archiving available (additional $3/mo per mailbox).
  • Check email from all your devices ... Desktop, Web and Mobile.
  • Our Pro Support clients get Rackspace discounted IMAP pricing and no minimums.

A summary of POP vs IMAP is below. Contact us if you have any questions or need assistance with domain name or email hosting.


POP (Old School)

  • Email must be manually managed (no syncing). Prone to duplicates
    and missing messages if you check from multiple locations. 
  • Best only when you will be primarily accessing your email from a 
    single location, like your office or home. When you are away 
    from your desk, you can still access your email from a web 
    browser --  but only if you closed your home email client or
    choose to keep copies online. 
  • When accessing your email account through a web browser, 
    you may not see previous messages that were downloaded to 
    your desktop email client.
  • Does NOT work well with smart phones, like iPhones or Blackberries.


IMAP (Modern)

  • Email is always (and automatically) in sync.
  • Best when you will be accessing your email from multiple 
    locations (home computer, work computer, iPhone).
  • Allows you to create portable folders. These folders will 
    appear in each email client you use to access your account. 
    Your account will look the same at work, at home, and at your 
    friend’s house.
  • If your laptop is stolen your email is still safe on the server.
  • Because your email messages are stored on the server, 
    you must monitor your mailbox size. You may need to delete 
    messages periodically. However, email storage is cheap!
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