This is a guest post by Nuur Hassan who is a freelance website designer, content writer & SEO consultant.
Many of my clients put forward the question that which emailing system is the best amongst Microsoft Exchange, POP or IMAP. Though these three are emailing systems and have the same purpose, there are a lot of differences between them. Choosing an email system for your professional network is a complicated task and you should take it very seriously. There are various reasons such as cost, security, expected performance and many other things which makes it all the more delicate task.
Of course when selecting, suitability plays an important part as well. But applying the general aspect of emailing system in businesses and industry, we will try to establish that which one is the best. In order to do that we will look at each of the three systems individually, discuss their pros and cons and I hope you will reach the conclusion which is best suited for your business.
I would also give my personal opinion at the end of the article, the only reason I would do so is that I have extensive experience in the industry. I thoroughly understand these email systems, their faults, their qualities and their application. It would be a cruel injustice on my part that I would not use my experience and knowledge in helping you make the right decision.
So which one of the three Exchange, POP or IMAP?
Let’s get ourselves acquainted with the three emailing systems. Below are their brief introductions and also their pros and cons:
Microsoft Exchange Server
This is a very dynamic and advanced email system. As you must’ve guessed that it is designed by Microsoft which is the biggest organization is software industry. Therefore it is needless to say that Microsoft Exchange Server is the most large scale emailing and electronic messaging software server. The best thing I like about Microsoft Exchange is its diversity. It can support an organization requiring a few users to literally thousands of them.
Microsoft Exchange Server is not only an email service anymore. It has vigorously improved itself to become a “complete package” which includes value added services like calendars, notes, task management options, meetings and discussion controls, instant messaging, inter departmental communication and plenty of other useful features. It started from Exchange Server 2003 but currently the most popular and widely used version I have known is Exchange Server 2007. Microsoft has added more lively features to it like voice recognition.
POP stands for Post Office Protocol. It is a very efficient email client. POP receives emails from a mail server which means that it needs to be linked and configured with an email support service like Gmail or outlook.
The configuration settings aren’t a problem, you can find many step by step tutorials on the internet. Without configuring your POP server the email address won’t receive any emails, they would be bounced back.
POP is a cost effective solution which works reasonably well. I have found it very suitable for clients who are looking to manage only a few email addresses. There are two versions of POP, the initial one was called POP2 and the latest one is called POP3. With POP2, it is a compulsion to use SMTP to send out messages; however POP3 can be used without SMTP as well.
The ever evolving IMAP which stands for Internet Message Access Protocol is supported by almost all the email clients and servers. It is similar to POP in many ways.
IMAP functions by allowing a local client to see emails on a remote server. Security and troubleshooting is sometimes the issue as it is with POP as well, but all in all it works well. Again, this is recommended for organizations with relatively smaller number of email accounts and users.
The latest version of IMAP called IMAP 4 is one of the most established internet protocols for retrieving emails.
Conclusion and my opinion
There is no doubt that both IMAP and POP are most cost effective than Microsoft Exchange, but I would go for Microsoft Exchange for various reasons. It is very secure, the service and maintenance is excellent. Extra services and convenience in using for business communication is where MS Exchange takes the cake. When competing in the business world, you cannot afford small distractions and hold ups. Conclusion in my view: always go for MS Exchange.
Nuur Hasan is a website designer, a freelance content writer and online marketer. Nuur has been making money online for couple of years now. In his spare time, he browses exchange hosting as it is valuable for any business.