SMTP, POP3, and IMAP: understand their differences

Posted by jason stewart on March 12th, 2020

Finding a best email hosting provider has always been a major concern for a company's IT department. What is the best solution? How to maintain security without losing productivity? Does cheap email hosting provide corporate email? To help you understand the subject a little better, we have prepared this text showing the main differences between SMTP, POP3, and IMAP, as well as which of the latter two to choose for your company. Come on

What is SMTP

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is a unique standard protocol for sending emails. It is through it that messages travel from the sender to the recipient, like a virtual postman that has existed since the 1980s, when electronic mail technology began to be developed. SMTP is so efficient that it is still used today, without many changes in the last 30 years.

What is POP3

While SMTP is a sending protocol, both POP3 and IMAP are used for receiving, storing and organizing messages on the client-side. The Post Office Protocol is for remote access to the server and allows the user to download all incoming emails to a local device

This protocol is generally used for offline interaction with messages, providing data on sending, receiving and changes, in addition to allowing downloaded messages to be automatically deleted from the server to free up space or for security reasons.

What is IMAP

The Internet Message Access Protocol is a more modern model with more features than POP3; although that alone does not guarantee that it will always be the most appropriate choice

In the case of IMAP, emails on the server are synchronized across multiple devices, without having to download their content to local storage. This way, the information is always available on the server and can be accessed at any time.

Usage differences in corporate email

Although similar, the two protocols exist because they give the corporate environment different ways of handling the exchange of messages by e-mail. See how each of them influences your company in the following items:


The main difference in this regard is that POP3 slightly limits the productivity related to corporate e-mails to the office. Meanwhile, IMAP makes it possible to sync an account across multiple devices. Apart from personal email hosting, this gives more mobility to the operation and allows the collaboration of more employees in the same inbox.


By downloading messages to a local hard drive, POP3 offers more control for viewing and modifying important messages and documents. When downloaded, a record is generated with dates, times and other specifics that can serve as evidence of any future anomaly

IMAP, on the other hand, handles this verification by synchronizing the server and can offer a history of modifications, sends, and receipts that help IT work.


Another factor to be weighed when choosing the protocol is the security of corporate e-mails. There are different advantages between POP3 and IMAP: in the first, the employee views and interacts with messages in a restricted way to the company's internal environment, which helps in security monitoring. In IMAP, on the other hand, messages are always synchronized on the server, which helps to avoid information conflicts and can make your content more protected - especially when your cloud is well managed.

In other words: in the end, the choice for an ideal email protocol depends on what you seek for control and security in your company, especially the one that best suits the profile of your workers and the nature of the business. Whether POP3, IMAP or both together, the important thing is to be concerned with a well-organized, productive and secure system.

We need to talk about security in corporate email

In general, managers and employees of companies tend not to give much importance to the security aspects of corporate email. Whether due to ignorance of issues related to the necessary care, or even motivated by the impersonality of the tool, the truth is that this is a topic little discussed in organizations

In this post, we will talk about corporate email. We will help you to identify the responsibility for corporate as well as cheapest email hosting use, listing the features that support security. And yet, we will present a suggestion that can help you in management and organization. Good reading!

Corporate email security responsibility

The corporate e-mail was designed for use for professional purposes - thus configuring itself as a work tool, owned by the institution. In this sense, the email holder is directly responsible for the application of individual good practices that guarantee the security of the tool and, by extension, of the company itself.

On the other hand, it is naturally up to the institution to provide broader resources that help offer email security, opting for solutions that facilitate the application of protection requirements.

Essential features for security in corporate email

Ready! Now, the joint responsibility between the company and the user (employee) for account security has become clear. Therefore, we will list some resources that help to avoid frequent threats and that should be observed when choosing an email server:


Due to the ease and agility it provides, e-mail has become a tool used to transmit any type of corporate information, from proposals and budgets to contracts and proof of financial transactions. It is no coincidence, therefore, that some of the most relevant and sensitive information from companies is stored in their employees' email accounts.

Thus, making a periodic backup of this database is essential to ensure security. The scope of this copy must be decided internally by the managers; however, it is recommended that a complete backup be made. The most important thing is that your company hires a service that offers reliability.


This is another important feature on a corporate email server. Although it is not necessary to apply it to all communications, encryption must be used in any relevant information, ensuring that, even if third parties have undue access to the message, they will not be able to read its content.

With the continuous increase in threats and attempts to steal information, its use is increasingly recommended.


The use of digital signature in e-mail messages, in addition to providing greater security for transactions, indirectly proves to be a competitive differential for the company. The action of showing concern for the information it manipulates is seen by the market as an unequivocal proof of the institution's commitment and responsibility, increasing its credibility.

Besides, digitally signed emails can be used as documentary evidence, if necessary. Finally, the subscription increases the speed and reduces costs in communications that require legal authenticity.


Based on the characteristics presented as fundamental in this text, The Email Shop corporate email service proves to be one of the most interesting solutions offered by the market today.

It is robust and at the same time flexible platform, allowing access in different environments. The Email Shop has encryption and digital signature features, which ensures more security for corporate email. It expands the range of options available to organizations that seek security and practicality in communications at a reduced cost.


Like it? Share it!

jason stewart

About the Author

jason stewart
Joined: February 24th, 2020
Articles Posted: 72

More by this author