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Difference Between SMTP and POP

SMTP vs POP

Almost everyone with a computer and Internet connection has come across the words “SMTP” and “POP.” Although we may not understand them, we see them from time to time especially when a person is using email. These are email jargon we usually dismiss when, in fact, it is altogether important that we know the definitions and distinctions between the two acronyms. What exactly is the difference between these two words?
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and POP (Post Office Protocol) are both standards used for emailing. Simply put, SMTP is used when receiving and sending emails (like your very own mailman which picks up and delivers your mail to different locations), while POP is the protocol used for the storing of emails (like your very own Post Office Box for mail storage). SMTP is the protocol in general use at the moment.

SMTP has always been very reliable. Since its invention in the eighties, all emails are usually delivered to the receiver without encountering problems. This is why SMTP has become the standard for the transfer of the bulk of emails on the Internet. It is mainly used for outgoing email transport and makes use of the TCPport 25. SMTP is used by MTA or the Mail Transfer Agent. Nowadays, SMTP is more widely used for sending emails than receiving them because POP is used for accessing mail box accounts on an email server (like Internet Message Access Protocol and Lotus Notes). Receiving emails is dependent on the mail/client applications. User-level client mail applications use SMTP for sending out emails to a mail server where it is then relayed.

Still, SMTP was not safe from technicalities such as different issues for a lot of present users. One of the problems is the unavailability of a verification service for the sender of the mail. This was not a big problem during its invention because the Internet was used by very few people, usually only those hailing from the academy. Today, though, spam mail is a worldwide phenomenon. Not only that, transfer of different computer viruses is also quite large. Increasing the security for the SMTP has been made although it is still not very effective. Another issue is that SMTP is also dependent on the network/ISP settings. Also, if the message is not delivered, it is bounced back to the sender. SMTP also verifies proper configuration before sending a message. It verifies proper configuration and grants permission to a computer attempting to send a message.

POP gives a basic, standardized way for people to use their own mailboxes and for them to be able to download messages to their own computers. How? All emails are downloaded to your computer from the mail server. So even without an Internet connection, the emails are still accessible.
STMP servers also make use of a code for easier identification. A clear example would be configuring Hotmail with Outlook Express to produce the code: smtp.hotmail.com. Like the SMTP, POP also needs to be properly configured for an email client so retrieving of messages is permitted. An example of this is mail.hotmail.com which is POP configured with Outlook Express.

Messages stored under POP are stored on the server and are then moved to the computer’s hard drive. This is why having a backup is extremely important so all retrieved messages are safe. When an email client is configured with both SMTP and POP, a mailbox is now available for sending and receiving e-mails with just one central location. This mailbox is also protected by a password.

Summary:

1.SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and POP (Post Office Protocol) are both standards used for emailing.
2.Simply put, SMTP is used when receiving and sending emails (like your very own mailman which picks up and delivers your mail to different locations), while POP is the protocol used for storing emails (like your very own Post Office Box for mail storage).
3.SMTP is the protocol in general use at the moment.
4.POP gives a basic, standardized way for people to use their own mailboxes and for them to be able to download messages to their own computers.


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