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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > (emails) How does IMAP work?

(emails) How does IMAP work?
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Jun 20, 2012, 02:25 PM
 
Hey!

I have used POP for over 10 years now and I often considered using IMAP, but I never really tried. Now I'm thinking again. How does it work for real?

I always thought POP would mean a total download of the emails to your computer, then you can filter/delete/manage them in whatever way, and at a point you should delete the original emails from the sever or have it done automatically every two weeks or so. But IMAP? I always thought IMAP would mean that your emails are entirely on the server, you open your mail application and whatever you do, you actually only use the server itself. But I wonder if that is truly practical - what if I'm on vacation or (unlikely these days, but though) the internet connection is down? Wouldn't it be most practical if it was something of both - that you download everything, but that it checks/syncs everything all the time, or is that how it works in truth and it's me who is mistaken?

I'm really curious, but I just don't know if I really understand this well enough...
Help, anyone!?

Thanks!
Pete
     
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Jun 20, 2012, 02:36 PM
 
IMAP synchronizes devices.

Stuff is on the mail server, but ALSO on the computer and on the iPad and on the iPhone etc.

Mail that is read on one device is marked as read on all others and on the server. If it's deleted on one device, it's deleted off the server and all other devices, too.
     
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Jun 23, 2012, 03:16 AM
 
You don't "need" to keep a local copy of your iMAP mail on your Mac, you can set mail not to but by default (and in this case by default I mean not wilfully stupid) is to do so. again, your iDevices only store a limited subset (recent) mail on the actual device. The bulk of your mail remains on the server.
     
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Jun 23, 2012, 04:08 PM
 
OK so I'm in the OPs situation, and I want to keep all relevant email on my computer for purposes of documentation and historical records. What is the advantage for me to go IMAP, apart from being able to read email on my iDevices, which I really don't need? I am also confused about IMAP email retrieval, I thought that with the latter you access your mail through a browser, rather than via an email client such as Entourage. At least that's how how my friend who has a @yahoo account does it. And just how is this synch going to work, will Entourage on my desktop synch with Mail on the iDevices?

Email has always worked for me without problems, is there a compelling reason to switch?
     
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Jun 23, 2012, 04:39 PM
 
The point of IMAP is the synchronization.

One of my jobs' email service is POP, and every single e-mail comes in both on the iPhone and on the Mac, and I need to delete/mark read every single e-mail on both machines.

And when I need to find a reply to an email, I need to look on both devices if I can't remember where I sent the e-mail from. With my IMAP accounts, sent e-mails are synced or at least searchable from any device.

Also, I keep per-project folders on the IMAP server, so I can access those e-mails and their attachments from anywhere using my iPhone, without even necessarily keeping all that stuff on the phone itself.

IMAP is *so* practical.

POP is just…annoying.
     
cgc
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Jun 23, 2012, 05:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
...
IMAP is *so* practical.

POP is just…annoying.
Yeah, but there are times where POP is useful such as when you share a POP email account with other people (e.g. a family account). IMAP is the way to go for most, but POP still fills a niche.
     
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Jun 23, 2012, 08:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
Yeah, but there are times where POP is useful such as when you share a POP email account with other people (e.g. a family account). IMAP is the way to go for most, but POP still fills a niche.

What advantages does POP have when sharing an email account? Do you mean share an email account within the same client on the same computer? Even then, how is this an improvement over IMAP?

There is no niche for POP, it is utterly pointless, restrictive, and outdated IMHO.
     
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Jun 23, 2012, 09:05 PM
 
I'm with Besson. POP just causes problems. It had a place when email took up a significant amount of storage space but nowadays its negligible for 99% of all users. IMAP makes much more sense.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Jun 23, 2012, 09:14 PM
 
PeterParker:

The design of IMAP and how it syncs between server and client and creates a cache in the client (optionally) I guess has been made clear to you, but if you aren't already aware you should also know that IMAP supports server side message filtering (including spam messages), does not necessitate a local backup (unless you want to backup a local address book), allows easy access from multiple computers while preserving all message flags, will work on your mobile device without consuming local storage, and makes sharing an account far easier (I'm not really sure what cgc was getting at).

If you are contemplating switching to IMAP, stop contemplating and do it, it's kind of a no brainer to me.
     
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Jun 24, 2012, 06:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What advantages does POP have when sharing an email account? Do you mean share an email account within the same client on the same computer? Even then, how is this an improvement over IMAP?

There is no niche for POP, it is utterly pointless, restrictive, and outdated IMHO.
Knew this was coming...folks here hate POP for anything and cannot see anything from anyone else's POV.

My family shares one email account on numerous devices. The email account is POP which is convenient as messages are displayed as new to those that haven't read them yet.
     
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Jun 24, 2012, 07:31 AM
 
Sharing one email account is getting rare these days since its easy for everyone to get their own for free.

Those of us who dislike POP have to work with mail servers and a wide variety of mail users for a living and POP causes us headaches. IMAP as a rule does not.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Jun 24, 2012, 07:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Sharing one email account is getting rare these days since its easy for everyone to get their own for free.

Those of us who dislike POP have to work with mail servers and a wide variety of mail users for a living and POP causes us headaches. IMAP as a rule does not.
So from an administrative perspective, IMAP rules/POP sucks, and from a user perspective it's a wash. If you want to see how fast an angry pitchfork and torch wielding mob can form, say "POP rules" or "SSDs suck" on MacNN
     
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Jun 24, 2012, 08:43 AM
 
I would say that reorganising things so that each of your family have their own email address would be the way to go. The cost and set up etc are trivial, the benefits enormous. who on earth wants to be getting mail meant for other family members. If someone want everyone in the family to get a mail then cc or bcc it.

Other than that IMAP has pretty much everything over POP.

Or why not push the boat out and get a set of family emails on a hosted exchange server. even better AND you get to sync up contacts and calendars as well.
     
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Jun 24, 2012, 01:38 PM
 
A family should have individual accounts and a distribution list that includes everyone, to allow for private or group messaging.
     
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Jun 24, 2012, 02:08 PM
 
Hey,

seems to be a hot topic, IMAP... Well, I have now GMX email address for nearly 12 years (GMX is a German email provider...), and it's still POP and they only offer IMAP for a fee, a tiny one, to admit, but still...
So thanks everyone! I think I started to understand for the first time. To be honest, I forgot the 'main' question or so, although your replies were totally helpful - my main concern was rather the whole question of backupping, what do you do if the computer fails; I guess you can simply re-setup the IMAP account then, download everything, even with read/unread markers and then continue, so that's a good advantage even for private people I believe and I suppose I'll switch at a point in the future.

(Btw, as a family, we have many email accounts and we like that very much. It's sort of strange to get weird emails from whoever sometimes, so that's a step, too; but I know, if something gets habitual, so...)

Thanks!
Pete
     
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Jun 24, 2012, 02:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
Knew this was coming...folks here hate POP for anything and cannot see anything from anyone else's POV.

My family shares one email account on numerous devices. The email account is POP which is convenient as messages are displayed as new to those that haven't read them yet.

So they leave the messages on the server, and somehow figure out between them when to delete the messages?

I'd love to see this from somebody else's POV, I'm just coming at this from a technical standpoint in my failing to see a use for POP.
     
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Jun 24, 2012, 02:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
So from an administrative perspective, IMAP rules/POP sucks, and from a user perspective it's a wash. If you want to see how fast an angry pitchfork and torch wielding mob can form, say "POP rules" or "SSDs suck" on MacNN

It's not a wash if your hard drive ever fails and you have no backup, for starters. It's also not a wash when you accidentally all of your mail to one device that you wanted to make available to another.
     
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Jun 24, 2012, 03:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I'd love to see this from somebody else's POV, I'm just coming at this from a technical standpoint in my failing to see a use for POP.
I don't get it either.

There are free IMAP accounts; I don't understand how anybody would NOT want to use separate IMAP accounts over a shared POP account. It makes no sense to me (and I'm not an admin).

It's pretty annoying to me that GMX.de doesn't offer a free IMAP account; I've had an e-mail address there for over ten years, and it's relegated to near irrelevance due to the POP annoyance.

And of course, the hugely annoying work e-mail I mentioned above
     
cgc
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Jun 24, 2012, 03:40 PM
 
All email clients are set to delete after one month from server so it's never been a problem. IMAP also has the habit of having all those folders on your email client which is annoying. I like all my emails in the consolidated inbox in Mail.app then I move them to whatever folder I desire. Never had a HDD crash in 20 years...always detected signs and copied to a new HDD...plus I have a TM and Mozy backup so not a concern...and I keep important emails backed up on folders on the email server (in this case, Yahoo).

IMAP may be fine if one person uses the email but this works great for us. We use Yahoo Plus which has IMAP and I had it enabled for a while but reverted to POP due to convenience.

This argument is nearly identical to the SSD vs HDD arguments in other threads. Just because YOU don't see a benefit doesn't make the person with the differing opinion wrong, it's just different.
     
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Jun 24, 2012, 03:54 PM
 
It's just that there really *isn't* any benefit.

With SSD vs. HD, there is cost and capacity as downsides.

There is nothing POP does that isn't handled more effectively by separate free IMAP accounts, in addition to the other benefits that provides.

Originally Posted by cgc View Post
IMAP also has the habit of having all those folders on your email client which is annoying. I like all my emails in the consolidated inbox in Mail.app then I move them to whatever folder I desire.
I don't understand this.

IMAP has an inbox folder, a sent items folder, a trash folder, a spam folder, and a drafts folder by default.

These are mapped to the appropriate folders in your mail client.

What other folders are you seeing?
     
cgc
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Jun 24, 2012, 04:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I don't understand this.

IMAP has an inbox folder, a sent items folder, a trash folder, a spam folder, and a drafts folder by default.

These are mapped to the appropriate folders in your mail client.

What other folders are you seeing?
Multiple copies of each (we share Yahoo, and I have a GMail for work-related stuff, and a Verizon one I rarely use, if ever). All have their own copies of these folders. Just one more reason for me not to use IMAP. I looked around at "IMAP vs POP3" and there really aren't many reasons to go one way or the other. Some state IMAP keeps data on the servers so it's better but I see that as not so important for me as I do backups to external HDDs and to Mozy. IMAP is most useful for one person checking email from multiple devices...which we don't do.

I'm open to changing, as a matter of fact I currently have created a new email account just to play with IMAP (using Zoho.com). Other than the two benefits listed above (e.g. syncing multiple devices and online storage), why should anyone go IMAP vs POP3? I was easily swayed from cloning to using Time Machine so I'm curious... Thanks in advance.
     
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Jun 24, 2012, 04:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
All email clients are set to delete after one month from server so it's never been a problem. IMAP also has the habit of having all those folders on your email client which is annoying. I like all my emails in the consolidated inbox in Mail.app then I move them to whatever folder I desire. Never had a HDD crash in 20 years...always detected signs and copied to a new HDD...plus I have a TM and Mozy backup so not a concern...and I keep important emails backed up on folders on the email server (in this case, Yahoo).
You can configure all of these folders to your liking though, including putting all of your sent, trash, drafts, etc. in your Inbox, if that's what you want to do for some reason.

You are very smart to have a resilient backup system, and lucky to never have suffered a failed HD, but my point that I hope we can agree on is that most people don't have a reliable backup, and many people experience data loss because of failed SATA HDs.

IMAP may be fine if one person uses the email but this works great for us. We use Yahoo Plus which has IMAP and I had it enabled for a while but reverted to POP due to convenience.
I hope you appreciate that your usage is actually pretty weird. I'm not saying it's bad, just unusual.

What is normally true is that IMAP is better when there is more than one person using email - the reverse of what you said.

I don't understand the convenience argument. Having spam messages filtered, my own server side filters, the ability to access my same email account from multiple devices (including my iPhone), not having to worry about resorting to a backup when the single drive in my laptop fails, and having message flags that are consistent across devices is convenient. I take this convenience for granted, I can't imagine how POP and convenience can be used in the same sentence.

This argument is nearly identical to the SSD vs HDD arguments in other threads. Just because YOU don't see a benefit doesn't make the person with the differing opinion wrong, it's just different.
Not following your argument here, at all.
     
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Jun 24, 2012, 04:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
Multiple copies of each (we share Yahoo, and I have a GMail for work-related stuff, and a Verizon one I rarely use, if ever). All have their own copies of these folders.
How is this desirable? This is just a waste of hard drive space, no? Why no people need physical copies of each message (that they'd need to backup) when they can just access the same folders via their IMAP accounts? This is like giving people offline copies of their favorite website.

Just one more reason for me not to use IMAP. I looked around at "IMAP vs POP3" and there really aren't many reasons to go one way or the other. Some state IMAP keeps data on the servers so it's better but I see that as not so important for me as I do backups to external HDDs and to Mozy. IMAP is most useful for one person checking email from multiple devices...which we don't do.
Fair enough, but I hope you appreciate the idea that only checking your mail from one device and having such trust in your local backups is the exception, not the rule.

I'm open to changing, as a matter of fact I currently have created a new email account just to play with IMAP (using Zoho.com). Other than the two benefits listed above (e.g. syncing multiple devices and online storage), why should anyone go IMAP vs POP3? I was easily swayed from cloning to using Time Machine so I'm curious... Thanks in advance.
I've listed a few other reasons, here they are again, as well as some new ones:

- effortless switching of email clients, no need to fuss with import/export scripts
- server side spam filtering
- custom server side filters/rules
- if you wish to minimize your local disk space consumption you can opt to disable offline copies
- shared mailboxes across accounts (although very few people do this)
- message flags that are retained within your account, rather than your email client
- the ability to clone an IMAP account using nothing but the IMAP protocol
- mobile device support
     
cgc
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Jun 24, 2012, 08:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
...
What is normally true is that IMAP is better when there is more than one person using email - the reverse of what you said.
Only if each person doesn't want to see the email...otherwise when person A reads it person B won't see it (or won't see it as unread)?
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I don't understand the convenience argument. Having spam messages filtered, my own server side filters, the ability to access my same email account from multiple devices (including my iPhone), not having to worry about resorting to a backup when the single drive in my laptop fails, and having message flags that are consistent across devices is convenient. I take this convenience for granted, I can't imagine how POP and convenience can be used in the same sentence.
I have server-side spam filters w/ POP3. I have server-side filters as well with POP3. I can access the same email account with POP3 (although read messages are marked as new until read on that device (not done so not a concern). "Critical" emails, if there is such as thing for me at home, are backed up three ways as previously stated (e.g. on email server folders, Time Machine, and Mozy online).

We have two options: agree I'm right or agree it's a unique circumstance.

Regarding the SSD vs HDD remark by me I think I was saying MacNN users are pretty hard-core vs HDDs and fight tooth and nail to defend that...kind of like IMAP vs POP. The topics evoke the same emotions.
     
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Jun 25, 2012, 12:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
Only if each person doesn't want to see the email...otherwise when person A reads it person B won't see it (or won't see it as unread)?
Sorry, I'm not following your train of thought here?

I have server-side spam filters w/ POP3. I have server-side filters as well with POP3.
Yes, but they cannot involve filing messages into certain folders, right?

I can access the same email account with POP3 (although read messages are marked as new until read on that device (not done so not a concern). "Critical" emails, if there is such as thing for me at home, are backed up three ways as previously stated (e.g. on email server folders, Time Machine, and Mozy online).

We have two options: agree I'm right or agree it's a unique circumstance.
Maybe I'm just particularly dense tonight, but I also don't know what you mean here.

Regarding the SSD vs HDD remark by me I think I was saying MacNN users are pretty hard-core vs HDDs and fight tooth and nail to defend that...kind of like IMAP vs POP. The topics evoke the same emotions.
I don't know exactly what the popularity of POP vs. IMAP is around here, but I don't understand why this would invoke some sort of heated debate, because I don't see the room for debate. I'll back off in my saying that POP is totally useless because people apparently still like it, but I think there is no room for debate in saying that as far as email protocols go it is absolutely inferior to IMAP speaking purely at a technical level.
( Last edited by besson3c; Jun 25, 2012 at 12:34 AM. )
     
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Jun 25, 2012, 03:38 AM
 
Keeping old emails on a server located in the USA could subject them to government access. Any email stored for over 180 days can be obtained by the government without a search warrant.
     
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Jun 25, 2012, 04:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by tightsocks View Post
Keeping old emails on a server located in the USA could subject them to government access. Any email stored for over 180 days can be obtained by the government without a search warrant.

That's true, although if you PGP encrypt your email their search warrant won't do much good.
     
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Jun 25, 2012, 10:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
That's true, although if you PGP encrypt your email their search warrant won't do much good.
And exactly none of your friends will encrypt the email they send you. Or be able to decrypt yours.
     
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Jun 25, 2012, 01:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
And exactly none of your friends will encrypt the email they send you. Or be able to decrypt yours.
They would if they have your public key.

I'm not saying that this is practical, just throwing this out there. I will admit though that one disadvantage to IMAP is the government search warrant thing.
     
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Jun 25, 2012, 02:55 PM
 
Alright, alright... (this thread is getting popular, god heavens!)

How about this: Isn't the truth the whole email thing has gotten rather personal? When I told my dad six weeks ago or so he might lose his .mac-email-account (I hadn't found out he wouldn't, really), he was rather confused; first he said he didn't care, then he said (quote) 'I just got up one morning and found I don't really want that - do I simply have to pay something?' (he's still on 10.5, so...) ...

Hmm! I have my GMX address for over 10 years or so and I think I just feel rather attached to it, as my mum to hers and my dad to his... So maybe that's just something that's playing into all this - IMAP is probably superior in any way, and if you have a resonably fast and stable internet connection, there is, after all I have seen, no reasonable counter-argument at all and many pro arguments - however, I'm not switching as I really see no necessity and find my POP account alright, just got used to all that, you see... dunno... emails are just rather personal, as you have the whole stack of many thousands over the years, with all kinds of things, birthday cards, long ones, irrelevant ones, you know...

Just thinking!
Pete
     
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Jun 25, 2012, 03:10 PM
 
None of what you have stored on your computer is going away just because you're signing up for an IMAP account.

BTW, .Mac/MobileMe/iCloud e-mail is IMAP.
     
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Jun 28, 2012, 06:34 AM
 
Alright, after all, there is one thing, though... My original question really was - if I'm looking for a (nearly) totally robust backup solution for my emails, isn't IMAP the best way to handle things?
     
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Jun 28, 2012, 06:38 AM
 
Yes.

It's not a substitute for separate, local backup, though (as through Time Machine or such).
     
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Jun 28, 2012, 11:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by PeterParker View Post
Alright, after all, there is one thing, though... My original question really was - if I'm looking for a (nearly) totally robust backup solution for my emails, isn't IMAP the best way to handle things?
Mozy and some of the other online backup companies offer free storage (up to 5GB) which may be enough space for to backup your email.
     
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Jun 28, 2012, 03:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
Mozy and some of the other online backup companies offer free storage (up to 5GB) which may be enough space for to backup your email.

That's kind of irrelevant though. If we are talking IMAP, all backing up stuff on your computer does is backup your offline cache, which is pretty useless, as well as any local folders you might have and your contacts (the latter which doesn't consume much space).

Backing up your local cache is sort of useful in saving yourself from having to re-download and re-cache all of this stuff in the event of having to restore your machine via backup, but I think it is foolish to think of backing up your offline cache as some sort of way to backup your email messages themselves.

If there are messages in your offline cache that should be on your IMAP server (for whatever reason), I guess it's possible to disable connecting to your IMAP server, create a local folder/mailbox, drag the messages there to copy them there, reconnect to your IMAP server and drag the messages back to the server, but this is confusing and would need to be done just right.

For most people, it's probably best to tell them that they don't have to backup their offline cache if they are trying to minimize the amount of space their backups take, and don't have any local folders.
     
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Jun 28, 2012, 08:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
That's kind of irrelevant though. If we are talking IMAP, all backing up stuff on your computer does is backup your offline cache, which is pretty useless, as well as any local folders you might have and your contacts (the latter which doesn't consume much space).
...
Is it possible to backup an IMAP email account? If not, I'd consider that a limitation but only if your mail server isn't good about backing stuff up and providing good security to avoid some nefarious person erasing emails (unlikely) but it brings up another potential problem of all your emails being online and thus susceptible to getting downloaded by a hacker. My emails are deleted after 30 days leaving little on the server to "steal." I doubt a hacker would target a normal person's email but it could be something to consider.
     
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Jun 28, 2012, 08:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
Is it possible to backup an IMAP email account? If not, I'd consider that a limitation but only if your mail server isn't good about backing stuff up and providing good security to avoid some nefarious person erasing emails (unlikely) but it brings up another potential problem of all your emails being online and thus susceptible to getting downloaded by a hacker. My emails are deleted after 30 days leaving little on the server to "steal." I doubt a hacker would target a normal person's email but it could be something to consider.

It is possible to backup an IMAP account, there are scripts to mirror one IMAP account to another, for instance (http://imapsync.lamiral.info/).

Whether backups are done often depends on whether the service is free or not. I believe I've read that Google doesn't backup all GMail accounts because it would be too cost prohibitive to store a copy of all of your data. This could be wrong our out-of-date, but it wouldn't surprise me if this were true.

However, what an email host will offer that you won't have on your standard PC is a SAN or RAID array with a ton of redundancy built in, including offsite redundancy if the company is big/wealthy enough. This is not a copy of your data, but chances are your data is not on jeopardy because of ample redundancy.

As far as security goes, email messages and indexed are stored on the file system, and as such require authentication in order to assume ownership of these files. The likelihood of decrypting the encryption that is required these days for authentication and/or circumventing Unix/Posix permissions is much less than a hacker installing a keystroke logger and figuring out your password based on traffic coming out of your home PC, your physical security being compromised, installing malware, etc.

The point is, these local risks are greater for most people, so therefore security is not really an important variable with POP vs. IMAP. If you use an email client that caches to a database rather than flat files (e.g. a Microsoft email client), you're probably better off, but...

Data mining thousands and thousands of emails is probably not that attractive to hackers anyway as opposed to figuring out passwords, turning your machine into a zombie, and the like. Data mining is computationally expensive, complex, and relatively slow.
     
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Jun 30, 2012, 03:29 PM
 
Sorry for being dense, but I though that if I access an IMAP email through a client such as Mail or Entourage, it can download the emails I want to backup onto my HD. Is that not so?
     
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Jun 30, 2012, 03:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by jmiddel View Post
Sorry for being dense, but I though that if I access an IMAP email through a client such as Mail or Entourage, it can download the emails I want to backup onto my HD. Is that not so?
You can if you create a local IMAP folder and put the messages you want to backup there, but otherwise if the mail resides on the server you can only backup the cache.
( Last edited by besson3c; Jun 30, 2012 at 03:55 PM. )
     
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Jun 30, 2012, 04:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
You can if you create a local IMAP folder and put the messages you want to backup there, but otherwise if the mail resides on the server you can only backup the cache.
There's no such thing as a "local IMAP folder." IMAP folders are always on the server. Local folders are never in IMAP.
     
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Jun 30, 2012, 04:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
There's no such thing as a "local IMAP folder." IMAP folders are always on the server. Local folders are never in IMAP.

I meant to say local IMAP *account* folder. Probably best to just say a local folder created by your email client.
     
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Sep 14, 2012, 05:02 PM
 
With Apple Mail you can set IMAP account preference to save copy of messages on your computer. These will be backed up (if you want) during regular backups.

FROM APPLE MAIL DOCUMENTATION:
To be more specific about which messages and attachments you want to keep on your computer, select the account in the Accounts pane of Mail preferences, click Advanced, and then choose an option from the “Keep copies of messages for offline viewing” pop-up menu. Keeping copies of messages and attachments on your computer ensures they are included in Time Machine backups and improves junk mail filtering.
When you go offline, you’re disconnected from the mail server. Any changes you make to messages are also made to the copies of the messages on your computer. When you go back online, the changes are copied to the server.

Local copies are in your user Library Folder under Mail.

If you prefer of course, you can set preference not to save copies.
     
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Sep 15, 2012, 01:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
It's pretty annoying to me that GMX.de doesn't offer a free IMAP account; I've had an e-mail address there for over ten years, and it's relegated to near irrelevance due to the POP annoyance.
After having complained to a colleague about exactly this recently, he pointed out that GMX *does* in fact offer free IMAP; they just don't document it (to sell their paid accounts).

The account has now been reactivated across devices. Yay!
     
   
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