Have you recently upgraded to Windows 8 or newer? Are you used to using good old Pop 3 to set up your e-mail accounts? You could be in for a shock!

Before we go into further detail about why this is highly likely to be a problem for you, we’ll give you a little history lesson relating to the typical internet protocols.

For many years, the internet has used two main email protocols:

  • Post Office Protocol (POP)
  • Internet Messaging Access Protocol (IMAP)

What is the difference?

POP is a very basic e-mail protocol and unless you specifically instruct it to do otherwise, will simply download each new mail to your local mail client software (Microsoft Outlook for example) and then delete it from the server.

IMAP on the other hand is far more advanced and syncs your mail client with the server. This ensures that both the server and the e-mail client match each other perfectly.

Superior technology

IMAP is clearly the superior technology. Trying to access your email via POP from a variety of different computers and devices is certain to leave you with a mess. With IMAP, you will have no such problem because your inbox, outbox, and all your other mailboxes will be identical everywhere you access them.

Why is there a problem?

Whereas you used to have a choice regarding which protocol that you use, Microsoft’s latest incarnations of windows have made the decision for you because they do not support POP. The new Windows operating systems are designed for an increasingly mobile world and one where most people use multiple devices to check their mail.

What can I do?

Whilst the onset of panic is only natural, just because you have upgraded to Windows 8 or newer does not mean that you are obliged to use their mail client and therefore make the switch from POP to IMAP.

You simply need to install another one as just about any other mail client currently available supports POP.

To help narrow the field, we have drawn up a list of 3 e-mail clients which are known to support POP.

  1. Opera Mail
  2. Scribe
  3. Postbox