Emails are undoubtedly a key aspect of communication in your day-to-day work. When you’re dealing with emails for your London business, it is helpful to understand the different accounts you may have. There are three main types of email account. These are:
• Microsoft Exchange
totality services offer email support as part of our managed IT services London. Read our guide below to see what they are and how they work:
POP is the oldest type of email on this list, with its original version dating back to 1984. It stands for “Post Office Protocol” and was built so that email clients like Outlook and Apple’s Mail app could connect to email services remotely to download and send emails.
This type of email account works by downloading email data to the first client that connects to it. However, once your emails have been downloaded to one device, they are deleted from the email server. From this point on these previously downloaded emails cannot be accessed from another device. This means if you open up Outlook on your laptop and download new emails from the server using POP, your laptop is the only place those emails now live. If you try to access them using POP on your phone or on another computer, they won’t show up.
There have been multiple versions of POP over the years, with POP3 being the most widely used until now. Recently, POP3 has been phased out by Microsoft due to insufficient security measures with Basic Authentication.
• Easy to set up.
• No message syncing.
• Once the email is downloaded to a device (e.g. a computer), it disappears from the server.
• No contact, calendar, or data syncing.
After POP was around for some time, a newer type of email account was created. IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol and is indeed a step up from POP. It allows you to access emails remotely and from any device.
These newer features mean that unlike POP, IMAP talks back and forth with the mail server. For example, if you download a new email in Outlook on your desktop computer, it will also download to your iPhone. And if you read a message on your iPad, it will show as read on your laptop too. Moving emails from one folder to another is also synced. Overall, IMAP makes it easier to access and check your emails faster.
While IMAP is great at syncing, it also takes more processing power and can be prone to more mistakes. Some security issues can also arise with IMAP as usernames and passwords are not encrypted in the login process. This could make it easier for an attacker as they are able to read the default plain text. Unfortunately, alongside Microsoft’s removal of security protocols for POP3, it also disabled IMAP4 in April of this year.
• Full message syncing.
• Multiple device and client support.
• Flags and to-do items sync.
• Messages saved on server and downloaded to every new account.
• Very simple to enable and use.
• Syncing issues can arise.
• If multiple people are using the same account, message syncing can create confusion.
• Not supported by all email providers.
The last type of email in this list is the most advanced and best suited to modern businesses.
The Exchange protocol was built to allow users to sync emails, contacts, calendars, and many other features between email clients and services. It functions as a collaborative platform to allow you to access messaging from a range of devices. It’s easily accessible via Microsoft 365 as ‘Hosted Exchange’ at a cheap per mailbox, per month cost. Another added benefit is that it can be set up locally on servers if you require it.
Microsoft Exchange functions vastly different than previous email accounts, as it offers a platform for business network management. It can also be used in conjunction with many reputable email clients, such as Outlook. In contrast to previous accounts Exchange upholds the strongest security measures. Its variety means that security can be optimised for your business policies and leads to more secure controls. However, Exchange is a more complex system, requiring IT administrators to oversee team structure and permissions.
A major and recognisable product under the Microsoft Exchange server is Office 365. This cloud-based messaging system is highly optimised for a range of modern work styles (hybrid, remote). Its huge growth over the past few years proves its position as a staple in the day to day. As of September 2022, there were 345 million users active on Office 365.
• Full email message syncing
• Messages also stored on the server
• All mobile email clients support Exchange
• Contacts, calendars, and data all sync
• Syncing issues can occur (very rarely)
• More complex to manage
If you’re a London based business and would like advice in setting up or migrating your mailboxes to Microsoft Exchange, simply get in touch and we’ll be happy to talk you through the process. We can also manage and support your mailboxes going forward if required.