Explain the different choices for POP3, IMAP, and email web interface

There are three available methods for accessing email: the web mail interface, a POP connection, or an IMAP connection. Each method offers a different way for you to connect to your email that is hosted on our mail servers. We strongly recommend that you only choose one method of access, and not vary between them when connecting to the same email account, which could result in moderate awkwardness during account interaction.

Web Mail Interface: Accessing email by a web interface has been made popular by free, personal email accounts such as Hotmail, AOL, Gmail, Yahoo and more. There are two ways to access the web interface. One option is to login to the WebControlCenter (WCC) at www.webcontrolcenter.com/customer.aspx. Go to the MAIL option under MENU and select MAIL ADMIN. From here, click on LOGIN AS USER. You can also login to your email account using the URL http://mail.EXAMPLE.com, where EXAMPLE.com is your domain name. When using this method, you are substituting the word “mail” for the standard prefix WWW. For more information about our web mail interface, please visit Knowledge Base article #1047: What is the Easiest way to Access my Email.

POP3: The POP method is the traditional way of accessing email, where messages are downloaded directly to your computer. This is where you or your computer assistant sets up an account within an email client such as Outlook, and from that point on every time you push the SEND/RECEIVE button, email messages are downloaded into the inbox on your local computer while simultaneously removing the messages from the mail server. To find out how to setup POP on your computer, visit Knowledge Base article #108: Email Address Setup for Microsoft Outlook Express on Microsoft Windows; or article #1085: Email Address Setup for Microsoft Outlook (97, 2000, XP or 2003).

IMAP: The IMAP connection is somewhat of a cross between POP and the web mail interface where the local email client synchronizes with the different storage folders that can be seen from the web interface (located on the email server). For example, if you create a folder in the web mail interface and call it FUNNIES and then use the synchronize feature in your Outlook client using an IMAP connection method to the email account, you can see messages in the FUNNIES folder. It works the same in reverse. If you add a folder named EVENTS to an account in Outlook using an IMAP connection, then the next time you log into the corresponding web interface, you will automatically see the same folder listed just underneath the Inbox!

By utilizing both the mail interface and an IMAP connection, a user can continue to use the resource intensive operations of an client side email program (such as junk mail scrubbing, content filtering, contact management, and events), as well as sustaining the convenience of sharing email messages online. Accessing messages online through the mail interface is like peering into a window of messages that are still located on the email server. This way, messages can continue to be shared between computers having IMAP and the web interface connections. However, it is not logically compatible with a POP connection. Beware, once a POP connection is made, all of the messages that were in the Inbox to be viewed by an IMAP connection or the webmail interface will be removed. From that point, it can only be seen on the computer that has the POP account setup.

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