Differences between MAPI, POP and IMAP

Updated 4/8/2014 8:56:47 PM by Comcast Expert
Email

Introduction

Learn about the different ways certain email protocols work and how each one works with your Comcast Business email. An email protocol is an internet standard used for transmitting email and in some cases contacts and calendar items.

Also, learn how to configure Microsoft® Outlook to connect to your email using SMTP and POP or IMAP.

MAPI

MAPI is a proprietary Microsoft protocol that allows the Microsoft Outlook email client to fully utilize all of the features of an Exchange server including email, shared address books, calendars and public folders. When Outlook is configured as a MAPI client, also known as an Exchange client, email is stored in the cloud on Comcast's secure mail server with a copy on your computer. Messages retained in the cloud are accesible via webmail from any internet connected computer.

With MAPI, you can move messages from the cloud into a local file on your computer called a .PST file, a process through which copies of messages are deleted from the cloud and stored on your computer. This can allow for valuable storage space and help you create backups of your business-critical emails.

Outlook 2010 allows up to 13 MAPI/Exchange email accounts at a time. As an alternative, you can instead use the POP or IMAP protocol to retreive email.

See the Configure Microsoft Outlook to connect to your email account article for information on configuring Microsoft Outlook with MAPI.

POP

POP is the most common Internet standard for receiving email. When a POP email client retrieves messages, the messages are downloaded from Comcast's secure mail server in the cloud onto your computer. The messages are normally deleted from the cloud, although you can configure your email client to not delete downloaded messages for a short period -- for example, a few days.

POP is best used when you are only using one computer or device to access your email. If you plan to also use webmail and/or receive email on a mobile device, POP may not be the best option for you. POP is only used for receiving email and is commonly used in combination with the SMTP email protocol to allow email clients to both send and receive messages.

POP is an e-mail only protocol. Items such as contacts, appointments or tasks cannot be managed or accessed using POP.

If you’re using POP to receive Comcast Business email, Comcast’s Business Security Assurance Team recommends configuring your email client’s incoming server port number to 995 using an SSL-encrypted connection.

IMAP

IMAP is another common Internet standard for retrieving email. When an IMAP email client retrieves messages, it downloads a copy of messages from the cloud to your computer but leaves a copy in the cloud as well. The email client periodically synchronizes your mailbox between the cloud and the email client. When a message is deleted from the mailbox on the email client, it will be deleted from the cloud the next time the two are synchronized.

By keeping a copy of each message on the server, IMAP facilitates access to your email from more than one computer or email client -- for example, Outlook on an office computer and via webmail from a home computer. IMAP is only used for receiving email and is commonly used in combination with the SMTP email protocol to provide both send and receive capabilities to email clients.

IMAP is an email only protocol. Items such as contacts, appointments and tasks cannot be managed or accessed using IMAP.

If you are using IMAP to receive Comcast Business email, Comcast’s Business Security Assurance Team recommends configuring your email client’s incoming server port number to 993 using an SSL encrypted connection.

SMTP

SMTP is the most common internet standard for sending email. When using SMTP, email is sent from your email client through Comcast’s secure mail servers to the recipient. SMTP is only used for sending email and is commonly used in combination with either POP or IMAP to provide both send and receive capabilities to email clients.

Comcast’s Business Security Assurance Team recommends configuring your email client’s outgoing mail server to secured port 587. You must have a Comcast email address for authentication purposes if you are using the Comcast SMTP server to send email.

Configure Microsoft Outlook to connect to your email using SMTP and POP or IMAP

Follow the steps below to configure your Outlook 2010 client to connect to your Comcast Business email using SMTP and POP or IMAP

  1. Step 1:

    Open Outlook.

  2. Step 2:

    MailContactsCalendar

    Select the File tab, then select Account Settings. (Outlook 2007 users:  Select Tools from the main menu, then select Account Settings).

  3. Step 3:

    Exchange

    On the E-mail tab, select New.

  4. Step 4:

    Exchange

    At the Auto Account Setup screen, check the box for Manually configure server settings or additional server types. Then, select Next.

  5. Step 5:

    Exchange

    At the Choose E-mail Services screen, select Internet E-Mail. Then select Next.

  6. Step 6:

    Exchange

    Determine your incoming and outgoing server addresses by signing in to your Comcast Business online account and selecting Email from the Manage Services menu.

  7. Step 7:

    Exchange

    Select View DNS settings on the left side of the Email landing page. Your Comcast Business email account's IMAP, POP and SMTP servers will be listed in the DNS Name column for each Mail Access Type.

  8. Step 8:

    POP Configuration

    • POP Configuration Step 1:

      Exchange

      Enter the following information, then Select More Settings.
      Your Name: The name you would like to appear on outgoing messages.
      Email: Your full Comcast Business email address (for example, john@domain.com).
      Account Type: POP3
      Incoming Mail Server: Your incoming POP mail server is unique to your Comcast Business acount and must be retrieved by logging in via the Comcast Business homepage (see step 7 above).
      Outgoing Mail Server: Your outgoing SMTP mail server is unique to your Comcast Business acount and must be retrieved by logging in via the Comcast Business homepage (see step 7 above).
      User Name: Your fill Comcast Business email address (for example, john@domain.com).
      Password: Your Comcast Business email password.

    • POP Configuration Step 2:

      Exchange

      On the Outgoing Server tab, Select the box for My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication.

    • POP Configuration Step 3:

      Exchange

      On the Advanced tab, select the box for this server requires an encrypted connection (SSL). Ensure the Incoming server (POP3) server port number is set to 995 and the Outgoing server (SMTP) server port number is set to 587. Select OK when finished.

  9. IMAP Configuration

    • IMAP Configuration Step 1:

      Exchange

      Enter the following information, then Select More Settings.
      Your Name: The name you would like to appear on outgoing messages.
      Email: Your full Comcast Business email address (for example, john@domain.com).
      Account Type: IMAP
      Incoming Mail Server: Your incoming POP mail server is unique to your Comcast Business acount and must be retrieved by logging in via the Comcast Business homepage (see step 7 above).
      Outgoing Mail Server: Your outgoing SMTP mail server is unique to your Comcast Business acount and must be retrieved by logging in via the Comcast Business homepage (see step 7 above).
      User Name: Your fill Comcast Business email address (for example, john@domain.com).
      Password: Your Comcast Business email password.

    • IMAP Configuration Step 2:

      Exchange

      On the Outgoing Server tab, select the box for My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication.

    • IMAP Configuration Step 3:

      Exchange

      On the Advanced tab, change Incoming Server (IMAP) server port number to 993 and the Outgoing Server (SMTP) server port number to 587. For the incoming and outgoing mail servers, change the type of encrypted connection to SSL. Select OK when finished.

  10. Step 9:

    Select Test Account Settings to test the connections to the incoming and outgoing mail servers. If the test is succesful, select the Next button. If a test failed, review the configurations from Steps 7 and 8 above.

  11. Step 10:

    Exchange

    Select Finish to complete the email account setup.

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