Explain POP3/IMAP & Mail FAQs

Summary

There are two main ways that users can access their email. POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) is the standard way which has been around for decades. It is very similar regular mail. Messages are delivered to your computer, put in your mailbox, and are then your responsibility.

The other, newer, method is IMAP (Interactive Mail Access Protocol). As you might guess by the name, it is not like the mailbox on your house. With IMAP mail is delivered to the server, and you connect to the server to see your mail. The mail is not stored on your machine. When a message is marked as read, it is marked as read on the server, not on your computer.

At first this may seem kind of backwards, but what IMAP lets you do is access your mail from different programs, different computers, or even via a web page and your mail will always reflect all your changes.

Advantages of POP3
 
Advantages of IMAP
 
Disadvantages of POP3
 
Disadvantages of IMAP

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. What do you do about spam?

Spam, or unsolicited commercial email (UCE) is a huge problem. In 2001 it represented over 50% of email traffic; it is now over 95% of all traffic. Because of this abuse, we are extremely proactive. ALL mail is checked for spam and suspected spam is tagged with a (Spam? #) in the Subject where # is anything from 5.0 to 100+. Anything with a score of 6 or higher is almost certainly spam, and anything with a score of 9 or higher has a less than 1/10,000th chance of not being spam. These tags make it easy for you to sort/filter your mail.

We try to stop as much spam bneing delivered as possible, which includes rejecting most connections to the server before they even have a chance to try to send email through various methods desinged to weed-out suspicious and known-spammer connections. This means that only about 3% of spam ever gets to the point where it can be tagged and desposited into the Junk mailbox.

Q. Will you delete my spam for me before I download it?

No. Since spam filtering is not 100% effective we will never delete suspicious mail before you have a chance to see it. Currently, this is setup for 7 days which should give you plenty of time to check the Junk mailbox for errant messages without that mailbox becoming overwhelmed.

Q. Will you delete ANY email?

No. Once we've received mail for you we will deliver it. However, we BOUNCE (reject) any email with a virus-like attachment (.exe, .pif, .scr, etc). If someone sends you an .exe file they will get a bounce email telling them we don't accept executable attachments. They can zip the file and resend it. NB: This does not mean that .zip files are safe to open. Never open an unknown or unexpected attachment. If you're unsure and you recognize the person sendin it, email the person asking if they really sent you the file. If you do not recognize the sender, the best thing to do is probably delete the email without opening the attachment. Of course, once a message is in the Trash or has been in Junk for a week, it may be automatically deleted.

Q. All the mail from this user is getting marked as spam, but it's not. How do I change this?

Simply move the messages from the Junk mailbox to any other mailbox and they will be learned as not spam. This may take many messages.

Q. Someone tried to send me a 50 Megabyte photo and it keeps bouncing. What's the problem?

The email system is not intended for files that large. Files that large should be place on a public website, ftp, copied over SSH, or transferred in some other manner. Our email server will reject any message over 25MB in size (this is about the largest attachment size anyone allows in email and is the same limit Google's gmail imposes.

Q. Why isn't the login password encrypted?

The login password is only sent over a secure connection (SSL or Secure Socket Layer). Since the connection itself is secure, there is no reason to encrypt the password.

Q. Can I use a unsecured IMAP connection with my email account?

No.

Q. Can I use a secure POP3 connection with my email account?

POP3 access is only allowed for users who are using that access to pull their email into gmail (or a simialr service). this must be confifured on the server and will prevent access via IMAP. This is the only POP3 access that is allowed.

Q. Can I use a unsecured POP3 connection with my email account?

No.

Q. What is my email quota and can I change it?

By default mail accounts do not have quotas, though your domain admin may set quotas for account. We have only instituted quotas on a domain basis in cases where the space used was excessive (many gigabytes). If you find that your domain needs to store more than 5-10GB of space routinely, we recommend that you use gmail and import your mail, since it is very easy to add extra space to gmail very cheaply.