What is POP3. Its Advantages and Disadvantages

As we have a general post office for the normal mail, so we have a POP for the email. POP3 stands for Post Office Protocol (version 3), comprised of mailboxes for email systems so that a user can retrieve email from a central location where the email is stored. Similarly, we have POP3 mailboxes allotted to us as we have normal post office boxes allocations. We can receive the email @ of our domain name, which is allowed by the POP3 account, as it ensures that we have mailboxes on the server to receive and send emails on that account. This way POP3 provides facilities to users to access mailboxes and download messages to their computers.

There are mainly two email access protocols. Most of the e-mail clients use the POP protocol, although some can use the newer IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol). In order to set up POP3 email accounts for your web address, your domain must be hosted on server, which has name servers.

POP3 allows a client to retrieve the mail, via a TCP or IP connection; it does not send email, which is usually said to be done via SMTP or some other method. Those computers like mobile ones, which do not have a permanent network connection, can benefit from POP, by holding their mail into its post box, until they can retrieve it.

Whereas POP2, used during 80’s used SMTP to send messages; the newer version-POP3- can be used even without a SMTP

Major Features of POP and IMAP protocols

These two protocols differ from each other in many ways and hence may not be compatible to each other. However, there are certain common characteristics. These are listed below, briefly:

  • Both rely on mail delivery to a, usually shared, "always up" mail server.Both
  • Allow access to new mail from a variety of client platform types.
  • Both Fully support the offline (download and delete) access model.
  • They both are open protocols, defined by Internet RFCs.
  • They both are native Internet protocols; no mail gateways required.
  • Both can handle email access only, whereas the email sending is done bySMTP
  • They allow access to new mail from a variety of client platform types.
  • They have client implementations available for PCs, Macs, and Unix.

Advantages and Disadvantages

POP3 has certain distinct advantages over and above the pOP2 systems. POP3 accounts allow users to have mailboxes on a server with their domain name. Post Office Protocol Version 3 provides a simple, standardized way for users to access mailboxes and download messages to their computers. The main advantage of this is that once the mail messages are delivered to the client PC, they can be read with or without connecting to the internet.

POP3 is the most popular protocol and is being supported by almost all email clients. Hence, it has become a standardized way for users to access and download messages to their computers.

The main disadvantage of the POP3 protocol is that it is inadequate for the mobile user. Since messages are downloaded to their mailboxes, the user will be able to access the messages from a PC only.