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POP mail vs. Web mail

What is the difference between POP mail and Web mail?


This could be a very lengthy topic, but I will give you the basics. POP3 (Post Office Protocol Version 3) is the defacto Internet mail standard today. Mail for a person comes into a server, and it is placed in a repository for that person. In Notes, that is an individual mail file. In other systems, it could be a single mail store with a tag for that person. That's not important for this discussion. The person then contacts the server with a POP compliant client (Notes, Outlook, Eudora, Netscape Mail, etc.) and downloads the mail to the local client. The mail is then stored locally. Most systems then flag the mail on the server as downloaded, and it is subsequently removed from the server at some predetermined interval. This helps keep the mail storage to a minimum on the server. POP3 uses the POP server task for downloading mail, and the SMTP server task for sending mail.

Web mail, in the Domino sense, is much like any HTTP based mail system. You are accessing your e-mail online, via a browser, using the server. You do not need a mail client, and you can access your e-mail from any machine capable of reaching the server. Your e-mail never leaves the server. Web mail is purely HTTP driven. You use the HTTP task for web mail. Mail delivery is handled the same as if you were in your Notes client.


This was first published in November 2001

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