Outlook E-mail account types


POP3 Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3) is the leading e-mail account type on the Internet. With a POP3 e-mail account, your e-mail messages are downloaded to your computer and then usually deleted from the mail server. The main disadvantage of POP3 accounts is the difficulty to save and view your messages on multiple computers. Also, messages that you send from one computer are not copied to the Sent Items folder on the other computers. There are some workarounds for these issues.

IMAP With an Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) account, you have access to mail folders on the mail server, and you can store and process mail without downloading it to the computer that you are working on. Thus, you can use a different computer to read your messages wherever you are. IMAP can save you time because you can view the headers of your e-mail messages — who the message is from and the subject — and then choose to download only those messages that you are interested in reading. Your mail is saved on the mail server, which is usually safer, and is backed up by your mail administrator or ISP.

MAPI Messaging Application Programming Interface or MAPI is used in Outlook with a mail server that is running Exchange. MAPI is a lot like IMAP, but it provides many more features when you use it from within Outlook with an Exchange account.

HTTP These accounts use a Web protocol to view and send e-mail. HTTP accounts include Windows Live Mail. Outlook does not natively support HTTP accounts, but there are add-ins that allow you to use Outlook with certain providers. For example, Microsoft Outlook Live includes the MSN Connector for Outlook, which allows you to access your Windows Live Mail account from within Outlook.

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