Articles on: Email, Mailing Lists, Spam Control

What is POP3?

What is POP3?


As shown in the figure above, the Post Office Protocol or POP is used to retrieve email messages from a mail server to a mail client.
The latest version, which is what's widely used, is version 3 - hence the term "**POP3**".

POP version 3, which is specified in RFC 1939, supports extensions and several authentication mechanisms.

Authentication features are necessary to prevent malicious individuals from gaining unauthorized access to users' messages.

Generally speaking, a POP3 client retrieves email in the following manner:

Connects to the mail server on port 110 (or 995 for SSL/TLS connections)
Retrieves email messages
Delete copies of the messages stored on the server
Disconnects from the server

Although POP clients may be configured to allow the server to continue storing copies of the downloaded messages, the steps outlined above are the usual practice.
Leaving them on the server is a practice that's usually done via IMAP.

Updated on: 21/06/2022

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