29 June 2020

Difference between SMTP and IMAP

Both SMTP(Simple Mail transfer protocol) and IMAP(Internet Message Access Protocol)  are protocols that are used to send and receive emails. The main difference between SMTP and IMAP is that SMTP is used to send email and communication, while IMAP is used to retrieve email from a server. Here this article gives the difference between SMTP and IMAP to better understand about this topic.

What is SMTP?

SMTP stands for simple mail transfer protocol. This type of protocol allows applications to transmit email messages over the internet. SMTP handles your own outgoing mail. Your email application is connected to your mail server via SMTP and sends the message.

What is IMAP?

IMAP stands for internet access message protocol is an email protocol that deals with managing and retrieving email messages from the receiving server. IMAP deals with message retrieval. You will not be able to use the IMAP protocol to send an email. Instead, IMAP is used for receiving messages.

The main key difference between SMTP and IMAP:

  1. SMTP is used for sending emails but IMAP is used for retrieving emails.
  2. SMTP is used between servers, and IMAP is only used between client and server.
  3. SMTP is the prevalent protocol for outgoing email whereas IMAP is only one of two prevalent protocols for email retrieval.