Email Post Office Protocol (POP3)

Use the web to communicate with business POP3 email

POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) is a client/server protocol for receiving e-mail. With email post office protocol, mail is held on a server until the client downloads it. POP3 is preceded by older post office protocols and is an alternative to IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) which allows users to save mail on a server.

POP3 is provided by ISPs and can usually be configured as a service on enterprise mail servers such as Microsoft Exchange to allow users to download mail at home. While you can use email post office protocol to receive email, you will also need SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) to send it. Some things to keep in mind as you prepare for POP3 include:
  1. If you have a website, your host probably provides POP3 email services.
  2. You can use your own POP3 server or get an online hosting service.
  3. POP3 email can be downloaded to a browser or an email client application.

Use a host for your business POP3 email

If you have a website, check with your host for POP3 email information. Most hosts provide at least one email address for your business. If not, online hosting is an alternative to pricey enterprise email servers, and you don't have to worry about supporting or maintaining a server.

Host your own POP3 mail server

If you want an on-site server, a POP3 mail server is an inexpensive alternative to enterprise packages like Exchange. There are free open-source servers available, especially Unix- and Linux-based applications.

Get a POP3 email client

Once you've set up your hosted or live server, your employees will need a way to get their email. Users can either download their email from the web or use a POP-3 client. When you use a client, your other post office protocols will need to be set up. The outgoing (SMTP) and POP3 settings, including the name or IP address of the servers, must be configured in the client mail properties.

  • Only need one email address? Weigh the benefits of featuring your own domain name (jdoe@mycompany.com) against the cost of a web domain. Most people think that a domain name sounds more professional than a free email account. If this is not a concern to you, consider a free email account with your ISP, Yahoo or Gmail.

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