What are Email Protocols (POP3, SMTP and IMAP) and their default ports?

Table of contents.

Email is an essential part of business and personal communication online. The email protocols define the mechanism of the email exchange between servers and clients. This way, they allow us to send and receive messages over the network correctly.

In this article, you will find the most common Email protocols explained – POP3, IMAP, and SMTP. Each of them has a specific function and mechanism. Read on to see which configuration will best serve your particular email needs.

What is an email protocol? An email protocol is a group of rules which ensure that emails are properly transmitted over the Internet. In fact, there is a list of email protocols that handle email transactions. Thanks to them we are able to send and receive emails from different machines, networks, and operating systems. Moreover, these mail protocols allow you to access and manage your emails from various email programs and devices.

Email protocols list

The standard email protocol list includes:

Each of them operates differently and provides a different service for managing your email account.

What is SMTP?

SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol , and it is responsible for sending email messages. This protocol is used by email clients and mail servers to exchange emails between computers.

How the email protocol SMTP works?

A mail client and the SMTP server communicate with each other over a connection established through a particular email port. Both entities are using SMTP commands and replies to process your outgoing emails. Thanks to the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, messages can be sent from the same account on different email applications.

What is POP3?

How email protocol POP3 works?

The POP3 abbreviation stands for Post Office Protocol version 3 , which provides access to an inbox stored in an email server. It executes the download and deletes operations for messages. Thus, when a POP3 client connects to the mail server, it retrieves all messages from the mailbox. Then it stores them on your local computer and deletes them from the remote server.

Thanks to this protocol, you are able to access the messages locally in offline mode as well.

Modern POP3 clients allow you to keep a copy of your messages on the server if you explicitly select this option.

What is IMAP?

How the email protocol IMAP works?

The Internet Message Access Protocol ( IMAP ) allows you to access and manage your email messages on the email server. This protocol permits you to manipulate folders, permanently delete and efficiently search through messages. It also gives you the option to set or remove email flags, or fetch email attributes selectively. By default, all messages remain on the server until the user specifically deletes them.

IMAP supports the connection of multiple users to a single mail server.

Default email ports

Email ports are communication endpoints that define how a message should be transmitted. That includes whether a message should be encrypted and exchanged securely.

To establish a connection between your email client and your mail server, you need the latter’s IP address and a port number. These attributes are assigned by IANA ( Internet Assigned Numbers Authority ).

Each protocol has its own port numbers to connect through and each port supports a different type of encryption.

The available SMTP ports are four and each of them underlies a different type of encryption for email sending.

  • 25 – This port serves to send messages in plain text, although if the mail server supports it, it can be encrypted with TLS . Therefore, many Internet service providers block it, as it represents a security risk.
  • Port 2525 is an alternative to the SMTP port 25 and can be encrypted over TLS.
  • 587 – This is the port IANA registered as the secure SMTP port, and it requires an explicit TLS connection. However, if the email server does not support TLS, the message will be sent in plain text.
  • Port 465 works over an implicit SSL connection and if the server does not support it, the operation will be aborted.
  • Port 110 is the default POP3 port and it is not encrypted.
  • The encrypted port for POP3 is 995 and works over TLS/SSL.

By default IMAP works on two ports like POP3:

  • 143 – this is the default port which does not provide any encryption.
  • Port 993 is the secure port for IMAP and it works over TLS/SSL encryption.

What is the difference between SMTP, POP3, and IMAP?

Incoming vs. outgoing protocols.

POP3 and IMAP are handling the incoming emails and they operate in different ways to retrieve or access your email messages. Thus, they are considered mail access protocols.

On the other hand, the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is behind the message transfer from server to server, or mail client to server. As this is the protocol handling the email sending from an email account, it is labeled as the outgoing protocol.

In short, thanks to IMAP and POP3, you are able to receive emails, and SMTP allows you to send messages.

IMAP vs. POP3

As we already mentioned, both of these protocols relate to email retrieval. All modern servers support both protocols, although they function in different manners.

While the POP3 protocol assumes that your email is being accessed only from one application, IMAP allows simultaneous access by multiple clients. This is why IMAP is more suitable for you, if you’re going to access your email from different locations or if multiple users manage your messages.

On the other hand, POP3 downloads your emails to your local computer, deleting them from the server. Thus, it reduces the space your email account uses on your web server.

To sum it up, there are 3 email protocols – SMTP, POP3, and IMAP. Each of them works on specific port numbers and operates differently. If you are having trouble connecting to an incoming or outgoing server, try using an alternative port number.

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POP, IMAP, and SMTP settings for Outlook.com

If you're trying to add your Outlook.com account to Outlook or another mail app, you might need the POP, IMAP, or SMTP settings. You can find them below or by viewing them in your Outlook.com settings .

Outlook and Outlook.com may be able to detect your account's mailbox settings automatically, but for other non-Microsoft accounts, you may need to contact your email provider for their settings.

If you want to add your Outlook.com account to another email program that supports POP or IMAP, here are the manual server settings you'll need.

POP access is disabled by default. See the section below on how to enable POP access in Outlook.com.

Outlook.com does not require Secure Password Authentication (SPA).

Incoming and outgoing servers are the same.

Enable POP access in Outlook.com

If you want to use POP to access your email in Outlook.com, you'll first need to enable POP access.

Select Settings   > Mail > Sync email .

Under POP and IMAP , select Yes under Let devices and apps use POP .

Select Save .

Enable mail provider settings

If you're trying to connect another email account to Outlook.com using POP, you might need to change certain mail provider settings to enable a connection that could be blocked.

For Gmail POP accounts, follow these steps .

For Yahoo POP accounts, follow these steps .

For any other email providers, contact them for steps on how to unblock the connection.

Outlook.com IMAP connection errors

You may receive a connection error if you configured your Outlook.com account as IMAP in multiple email clients. We’re working on a fix and will update this article when we have more information. For now, try the following workaround:

Go to account.live.com/activity and sign in using the email address and password of the affected account.

Under Recent activity find the Session Type event that matches the most recent time you received the connection error and click to expand it.

Select This was me to let the system know you authorize the IMAP connection.

Attempt to connect to the account via your IMAP client.

For more information on how to use the Recent activity page, go to What is the recent activity page?

If you use Outlook.com to access an account that uses a domain other than @live.com, @hotmail.com, or @outlook.com, you might not be able to sync your accounts using IMAP. To resolve this, remove the connected IMAP account in Outlook.com and reconfigure it as a POP connection. For instructions about how to reconfigure your account to use POP, contact your email account provider.

If you're using a GoDaddy account, follow these instructions to reconfigure your GoDaddy account to use POP . If using POP doesn't resolve your issue, or you need to have IMAP enabled (it's disabled by default), contact GoDaddy support .

Add your other email accounts to Outlook.com

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What are IMAP and POP?

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Understanding Email Client Protocols and Port Numbers

Welcome to our ultimate guide, unraveling the mysteries behind email protocols and port numbers 🚀.

A cute, cartoonish rocket ship with an email envelope on board, launching through a stylized cyberspace

In our day-to-day digital life, emails serve as a pivotal means of communication. But have you ever wondered how these emails navigate through the vast cyberspace to reach the inbox? Let’s delve into the world of email client protocols and port numbers, keeping things light and breezy for easy understanding!

1st Stop: Email Client Protocols 🌎

Two cartoon envelopes, one labeled POP3 and the other IMAP, being placed into different styled mailboxes.

Picture email client protocols as the digital postal service of the internet. They set the rules for how email clients and servers communicate.

Two Main Protocols: POP3 and IMAP 🚂

  • POP3 (Post Office Protocol version 3) : Imagine a mailbox that you empty once you download your mail—simple and great for single-device use!
  • IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) : Like a mailbox that keeps copies, ensuring you can view your emails from any device.

Sailing Through SMTP 🚤

port numbers pop3

SMTP, or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, is our digital postman, ensuring your emails are delivered safely to the right inboxes.

Quick Recap 🔗

  • POP3: Downloads and deletes from the server.
  • IMAP: Stores emails on the server, enabling multi-device access.
  • SMTP: Ensures your emails are delivered to the right spot!

2nd Stop: Port Numbers 🚀

port numbers pop3

Our protocols (POP3, IMAP, and SMTP) are like delivery vans, while port numbers are the specific docks these vans visit to ship or pick up email cargo.

A Look at Key Ports 🎉

  • POP3 : Primarily uses port 110 and port 995 for secure email retrieval.
  • IMAP : Operates on port 143 and uses port 993 for secure communication.
  • SMTP : Utilizes port 25, port 587 for mail submission, and port 465 for secure email sending.

Wrapping Up: Our Journey ✨

port numbers pop3

We’ve journeyed through virtual postal services (POP3 and IMAP) and met our digital postman (SMTP), discovering how port numbers guide them to their destination. Although emailing might seem straightforward, behind the scenes, a well-orchestrated system ensures your messages reach their destination. Thank you for embarking on this journey with us!

About The Author

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Adrian Antony

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IMAP, POP, and SMTP

For non-Gmail clients, Gmail supports the standard IMAP, POP, and SMTP protocols. The Gmail IMAP, POP, and SMTP servers have been extended to support authorization via the industry-standard OAuth 2.0 protocol.

IMAP, POP, and SMTP use the standard Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL) , using the built-in the native IMAP AUTHENTICATE , POP AUTH , and SMTP AUTH commands, to authenticate users. The SASL XOAUTH2 mechanism enables clients to provide OAuth 2.0 credentials for authentication. The SASL XOAUTH2 protocol documentation describes the SASL XOAUTH2 mechanism in great detail, and libraries and samples which have implemented the protocol are available.

Incoming connections to the IMAP server at imap.gmail.com:993 and the POP server at pop.gmail.com:995 require SSL. The outgoing SMTP server, smtp.gmail.com , supports TLS. If your client begins with plain text, before issuing the STARTTLS command, use port 465 (for SSL), or port 587 (for TLS).

Session length limits

Gmail POP sessions are limited to about 7 days. Gmail IMAP sessions are limited to about 24 hours. If the session was authenticated using OAuth credentials, it's limited to about the validity period of the access token used (usually 1 hour). A session in this context is one continuous TCP connection .

When the time elapses and the session expires, Gmail closes the connection with a message saying that the session expired. After that, the client can reconnect, authenticate again, and continue. If using OAuth, make sure that the access token used is valid (if you try to use an access token older than 1 hour, it might be invalid).

Libraries and Samples

Accessing mail using IMAP or POP and sending mail using SMTP is often done using existing IMAP and SMTP libraries for convenience. As long as these libraries support the Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL) , they should be compatible with the SASL XOAUTH2 mechanism supported by Gmail.

In addition to the SASL XOAUTH2 protocol documentation , you may also want to read Using OAuth 2.0 to Access Google APIs for further information on implementing an OAuth 2.0 client.

The Libraries and Samples page provides code samples in a variety of popular languages using the SASL XOAUTH2 mechanism with either IMAP or SMTP.

Except as otherwise noted, the content of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License , and code samples are licensed under the Apache 2.0 License . For details, see the Google Developers Site Policies . Java is a registered trademark of Oracle and/or its affiliates.

Last updated 2023-12-13 UTC.

A Quick Guide to IMAP, POP3, and SMTP Ports

A Quick Guide to IMAP, POP3, and SMTP Ports

Jessica Martinez

Jessica Martinez

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What’s SMTP? What is the purpose of an IMAP port? What’s the difference between an IMAP and a POP3 port?

Many technical terms in the world of email may be circling your head. As an email marketer it’s essential to familiarize yourself with these terms, understand what they are, and know their functionalities.

In this quick guide, we’ll resolve your confusion about IMAP vs. POP3 vs. SMTP and break down everything you need to know about them. We’ll also look at their advantages, disadvantages, and key differences between them.

Your guide to SMTP, POP3, and IMAP ports

What is smtp.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is a message transfer protocol used to send or “push” emails from one server to another. When you send an email, your email client needs to upload it to the outgoing mail server, and then that server needs to transfer it to the incoming mail server.

If you want to connect to an SMTP server , you need to know its IP address and the ports it supports or accepts mail through. What’s a port? It’s kind of like an apartment number on a physical address. They have two purposes: to submit it to the outgoing mail server and to relay it to the recipient’s server.

SMTP is key to email infrastructure, which is an important part of email deliverability .

Today, there are four common SMTP ports:

So, what port do you use? Port 25 is the historical home for all SMTP email activity. But, many ISPs and cloud providers block outbound port 25 traffic because of a history of spammers setting up their own spammy email servers and/or relaying mail through unsuspecting, poorly secured “open relaying” mail servers.

Most ISPs tell their users to configure their email client to connect to port 587 of their ISP’s mail server to hand off a new outbound email message. Some ISPs offer alternate ports (like 465 or 2525) for this purpose, to work around network issues or firewall blocking.

SMTP is used for transmitting mail between servers (and sometimes for initially submitting email to a server). Protocols like IMAP and POP3 are used later in the process, by the end user’s email client application or “mail user agent” (MUA) to download messages from their mailbox provider’s mail server. Let’s go over POP 3 next.

To learn more about SMTP, check our developer’s guide !

What is a POP3 server?

Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3), also known as a POP3 server is a receiving protocol that’s used to “pull” emails from a remote server to your computer. Emails are stored in the server and copied into the local email client. After this is done, you can choose whether or not it deletes the original messages from the inbox to save space on the server.

POP3 is relatively easy to set up and prone to fewer errors. Emails are downloaded to a local computer, so they can be viewed offline and attachments open faster. However, if you normally access your email from different devices and locations, it’s probably not the right fit.

As for what port does POP3 use? POP3 uses two standard ports: Port 110 and Port 995. Port 110 is the default; Port 995 is the designated POP3 SSL port but it can also accept SSL or TLS-encrypted messages.

What is IMAP?

Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) is a receiving protocol like POP3, with the main difference being the ability to fetch emails across multiple devices. IMAP is newer and supports folders, which POP does not. Some ISPs support POP, while others support IMAP.

For those who use multiple devices, this is the way to go. Changes made in one place are synchronized between the server and email clients. Plus, emails only exist within the server, providing better security than a local device. However, IMAP is more complicated to set up, you must be connected to the internet, and messages are slower to load.

There are two standard IMAP port numbers: Port 143 and Port 993. The IMAP default port is 143 and it works with TLS encryption, IMAP's port 993 is used for SSL encryption.

SMTP vs POP3 vs IMAP: What's the difference?

Smtp vs. pop3 and imap.

SMTP is the protocol used for transmitting email messages between servers, while IMAP and POP3 are protocols used to download messages from a mail server to a user’s email application for reading. In technical terms, SMTP is a message transfer protocol, and the others are message access protocols.

Plus, SMTP works between servers, hopping messages around until they get to the right destination. POP3 works between a server and a local client, and IMAP works between a server and multiple clients.

IMAP and POP3 are used later by the end user’s email client application or “mail user agent” (MUA). They download messages from their mailbox provider’s mail server.

POP3 vs. IMAP

We’ve talked a little about the differences between these two, but let’s run through them again. POP3 takes messages from a server and downloads them to a local device, often a computer. IMAP can be accessed across multiple devices and allows the creation of folders.

POP3 is a one-way message access protocol—changes made on the device will not be reflected on the server. IMAP is a two-way message access protocol—changes made on the server or device are synchronized across all devices.

Those are the key differences. It’s up to you which one works better for your business, but you’ll probably want to go for IMAP if you’re working with a team.

Understanding email protocol is key to understanding deliverability

Even decades after its inception, email is still an integral part of communication in an increasingly digitized world. Therefore, it’s important to recognize the different cogs in the wheel that operate behind the scenes to take full advantage of its capabilities.

We hope this quick guide on differentiating between an IMAP port and a POP3 port along with SMTP has helped you gain a better understanding of the different email protocols, their functionalities, features, and differences. Working knowledge of the intricacies of email protocols can help you understand email deliverability better. But you’ll need the tools, too.

With deliverability tools at your side, your campaigns can reach brand-new heights! Get started with Kickbox today .

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Read Gmail messages on other email clients using POP

You can open your messages from Gmail in other mail clients that support POP, like Microsoft Outlook.

Step 1: Make sure POP is the best way to read your emails

IMAP and POP are both ways to read your Gmail messages in other email clients.

IMAP can be used across multiple devices. Emails are synced in real time.

POP can only be used for a single computer. Emails aren't synced in real time. Instead, they're downloaded and you decide how often you want to download new emails.

Step 2: Set up POP

First, set up pop in gmail.

  • On your computer, open Gmail .

Settings

  • Click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  • In the "POP download" section, select Enable POP for all mail or Enable POP for mail that arrives from now on .
  • At the bottom of the page, click Save Changes .

Next, make changes on your email client

Go to your client, like Microsoft Outlook, and check these settings.

Troubleshoot problems

If you can't sign in to your email client, you might see one of these errors:

  • "Username and password not accepted"
  • "Invalid credentials"
  • You're asked to enter your username and password over and over

Step 1: Check your password

If you have these problems or can’t sign in, first check to make sure you’re using the right password.

Step 2: Try these troubleshooting steps

  • Update your email client to the latest version.
  • Use an App password: If you use 2-Step Verification, try signing in with an App password .
  • Allow less secure apps: If you don't use 2-Step Verification, you might need to allow less secure apps to access your account .
  • If you recently changed your Gmail password, you might need to re-enter your Gmail account information or completely repeat your Gmail account setup on your other email client.
  • If the tips above didn't help, visit https://www.google.com/accounts/DisplayUnlockCaptcha and follow the steps on the page. If you use Gmail through your work, school, or other organization, visit https://www.google.com/a/yourdomain.com/UnlockCaptcha In the web address, replace yourdomain.com with your domain name.

It's easiest to use Gmail on multiple email clients using IMAP. If you need to use POP instead of IMAP, set up "Recent mode." Recent mode shows your last 30 days of emails from Gmail.

Step 1: Turn on Recent mode

  • In your email client's POP settings page, find the "Email address" or "User name" field.
  • Add recent: in front of your email address. For example, recent:[email protected] .

Step 2: Change your POP settings 

Change your POP settings so that your emails are left on the server.

and then

  • Apple Mail : On the "Advanced" tab, uncheck the box next to "Remove copy from server after retrieving a message," if available.
  • Thunderbird : On the "Server Settings" tab, check the box next to "Leave messages on server."

If you see the "Account exceeded POP command or bandwidth limits error," it's usually because your POP clients have been accessing your Gmail account too frequently.

To fix this, change your client's settings so it won't check for new messages too frequently.

If emails you sent in your mail client are stuck in your outbox, try these fixes:

  • If you're sending email through Apple Mail and you currently have 'smtp.gmail.com:[email protected]' in the 'Outgoing Mail Server:' field of your settings, try changing the field to 'smtp.gmail.com' instead.
  • Make sure your SMTP settings don't have recent: on your email address.

If you create automatic responses on your mail client, like an out of the office response, it might cause issues, including:

  • If you're using your mail client on a computer and the computer goes offline, your automatic response won't be sent.
  • When you receive emails that are sent to you indirectly, like through a mailing list, the automatic response might show your email address when it replies to the sender.

To avoid these problems, try using Gmail’s out of office or vacation reply instead of the one in your mail client.

If the emails you read in your other email client are getting deleted from Gmail, check your POP settings.

  • Visit the Forwarding and POP/IMAP settings page .
  • In the "POP Download" section, make sure "Archive Gmail's copy" or "Delete Gmail's copy" aren't selected.
  • At the bottom of the page, click Save changes .

After you set up POP in your Gmail settings, your emails become available in batches. It might take a while to see all your emails.

Note: Gmail downloads a copy of every email you send or receive, except for emails in Chats, Spam, and Trash. To avoid duplicates, Gmail doesn't download emails sent within your mail client, but you can still see them if you log in to Gmail.

If you continue to have problems downloading emails, try using recent mode:

If that doesn't fix the problem, try deleting your Gmail address from your email client, then re-adding it.

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Default Email Ports - POP3, IMAP, and SMTP

  categories.

In this article you'll learn the difference between POP3 , IMAP , and SMTP . When configuring a new email account on a device, whether it be a computer, mobile phone, or tablet you'll need to make sure to use the correct settings for both incoming and outgoing mail to work properly. What is POP3? (Protocol to RECEIVE email messages)

POP3 (Post Office Protocol version 3) is a standard protocol to receive email messages from a remote server to a local email client. Local email client being a single device (computer, mobile phone, or tablet) that you setup your email account on. For many years, this email protocol has been made obsolete by the growing popularity of IMAP. However, some may still prefer to use POP3 to receive email since it reduces the amount of space used on the server (since emails are being stored on your device, where space is being used).

NOTE : When using POP3 you can access email offline since the email is stored locally on your device. Since this email is stored locally on the device the email was opened from this means that you cannot view this email on another device. In this day and age people use multiple devices to view email from, which is why we highly recommend using IMAP to receive emails.

What are the Default POP3 Ports? POP3, by default, will typically work on either of these two ports:

  • Port 110 ( non-secure ) - this is the default port
  • Port 995 ( secure ) - this is to be used to connect using POP3 securely

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is a widely used standard protocol to receive email messages from a mail server. If you wish to access your emails from multiple devices you'll want to use IMAP. Your email messages will be stored on the mail server allowing you to access and read those emails with another device that has your email account setup and configured.

A real world example would be reading email messages from Outlook or Thunderbird on your computer, Apple Mail on your iPhone, and Gmail app on a tablet. All four email clients (Outlook, Thunderbird, Apple Mail, and Gmail) would be configured for IMAP using the username and password for the email account you wish to access allowing you to read the same email messages from every device in real time.

What are the Default IMAP Ports?

  • Port 143 ( non-secure ) - this is the default port
  • Port 993 ( secure - SSL ) - this is to be used to connect using IMAP securely

What is SMTP? (Protocol to SEND email messages)

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is a standard protocol to send email messages securely (encrypted). You may also see SMTP referred to as SMTP Authentication.

NOTE : When using SMTP/SMTP Authentication you will need to make sure to use the hostname of your server. For example, instead of using mail.yourdomain.com for both your incoming and outgoing server settings you'll want to use ph50.peopleshostshared.com as your incoming and outgoing server (this was just an example so don't actually use ph50.peopleshostshared.com). You can retreive your server's hostname in the Welcome email we sent to you after you ordered your hosting account.

You will want to use the hostname of your server since it has an SSL. If you try to use mail.yourdomain.com, and yourdomain.com isn't secured with an SSL, your email will not work with SMTP Authentication.

What are the Default SMTP Ports?

  • Port 25 ( non-secure ) - this is the default port (often times blocked by your ISP - Internet Service Provider)
  • Port 26 ( non-secure ) - use port 26 if port 25 is not working and is blocked by your ISP
  • Port 465 (secure - SSL) -  this is to be used to send email via SMTP securely over SSL
  • Port 587 ( secure - TLS ) - this is to be used to send email via SMTP securely over TLS

We hope this article gives you more insight to the differences of POP3 (to receive email), IMAP (to receive email), and SMTP (to send email). Please contact support if you are having difficulty configuring your email client.

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How-To Geek

How to set up a pop3 or imap account in microsoft outlook.

Connect your account to Outlook on your laptop or tablet.

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What are pop3 and imap, how to access your email account through microsoft outlook, how to connect using pop3 or another email provider, how to remove an account from outlook.

Microsoft Outlook can access any email account---not just Microsoft accounts---as long as you've got the right information. Here's how to hook up your email account to Outlook, using either POP3 or IMAP.

POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) and IMAP (Internet Messaging Access Protocol) are two of the most common protocols for accessing email. Every email client you've had on your computer in the last 25 years---Outlook, Apple Mail, Thunderbird, Eudora, Pegasus, or anything else---has supported them. And every email provider allows you to access your email account using POP3 or IMAP.

We've covered the difference between POP3 and IMAP in detail previously, but here's a quick reminder.

The POP3 protocol downloads your email from the server to the client on your computer. It then deletes the email on the server, so the only copy of your emails is on your computer.

The IMAP protocol downloads a copy of your email from the server to the client on your computer. Any changes you make in your email client are synced with the server. So, if you delete a piece of mail on your computer, it deletes it on the email server, and vice versa.

IMAP is much more suited to a modern world where we access the same email account on multiple devices, such as your phone, laptop, and tablet. All the things you do with your email are synced if you use IMAP, so for example, if you send an email from your phone, you can look in the Sent Items folder using your tablet and the email you sent will be there. This is why we recommend you use IMAP unless you've got a good reason to use POP3.

To access your email account through Outlook, you'll need three things:

  • Microsoft Outlook installed on your computer.
  • Your username and password for your email account.
  • The POP3 or IMAP details for your provider, if you're not using a well-known provider like Gmail. You should be able to find any required details in your provider's Wiki or by contacting customer service.

The process is quite simple, and we're going to use a Gmail account as an example. Outlook uses IMAP by default, so we'll go with that first. Then, we'll show you how to set up an account using POP3. Start by opening Outlook and going to File > Add Account

Outlook's "Add Account" button.

In the panel that opens, enter your email address and click "Connect."

The textbox to enter your email address.

The Google login page appears with your email address already entered. If you're not accessing a Gmail account, this page will look different, but the principle is the same; you'll be asked for your email address and password. Click "Next."

The Google login page.

Enter your password and click "Sign in."

The Google password page.

A confirmation page will be displayed, asking you to confirm that you allow Microsoft Outlook to access your email. Click "Allow."

Google account access confirmation page.

Your account will now be added automatically using the IMAP protocol. If you want to add the Outlook app to your phone to see the mail account there as well, switch on "Set up Outlook Mobile on my phone, too." Click Done, and you're finished.

Outlook's "account added" page.

Outlook will now sync your mail, which may take a little time depending on how much is in your inbox. By default, it will only sync the last year of email, but you can change that if you want.

Your new mailbox will appear in the navigation pane on the left-hand side underneath any existing accounts you've set up. If you switched on "Set up Outlook Mobile on my phone, too," you'll be taken to a web page that asks for your mobile phone number so it can send you a link to download the Outlook app.

The Outlook web page that sends a link to the Outlook mobile app.

Outlook already knows what the IMAP settings are for Gmail (and obviously for their own Outlook.com or other Microsoft accounts) so they don't need you to enter the information. But what if you want to use POP3, or you're not using a Microsoft or Gmail account? You'll have to choose your protocol manually and enter it.

To do this, enter the email address you want to connect with as before, but this time click on "Advanced options" and switch on "Let me set up my account manually" before clicking "Connect."

The textbox to enter your email address with "Advanced options" highlighted.

This will open the "Advanced setup" panel. Click either the POP or IMAP option. We're going to use POP, but it works the same way for IMAP.

Outlook's "Advanced setup" panel.

Enter the POP settings you want to use (or the IMAP settings if you selected IMAP in the previous screen) and click "Next." If you're using Gmail, you can find the settings here . For other providers, you'll have to look in their help information or use your favorite search engine to find them.

The information you will need might include incoming and outgoing mail servers, port numbers, and what type of encryption protocol to use.

The POP Settings page.

Enter your password and click "Connect."

The POP Settings password page.

As before, Outlook will now sync your mail, and your new mailbox will appear in the navigation pane on the left-hand side underneath any existing accounts you've set up.

If you want to remove an account from Outlook, click File > Account Settings > Account Settings.

Outlook's "Account Settings" option

Select the email account you want to remove and click "Remove."

The "Account Settings" panel with the Remove button highlighted.

A confirmation window will pop up, which you should pay attention to. Removing the account will delete the emails from your computer. If you've used POP3, this means that you'll be deleting all of the emails in this account unless you've taken a back up of them.

Outlook account removal confirmation dialogue.

If you're sure you want to remove the account, click "Yes," and the account will be removed.

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A List of SMTP and POP3 Server

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Port 110: the port of POP3 and email services

port numbers pop3

Port 110 is traditionally used for the Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3), which is a standard protocol for email retrieval . POP3 allows users to access their email messages from a remote server and download them to their local devices. Port 110 is specifically designated for POP3 communication, allowing clients to connect to the POP3 server and retrieve their email. However, it’s worth noting that nowadays, secure alternatives like POP3 over SSL/TLS (POP3S) on port 995 are more commonly used to ensure encrypted and secure email retrieval.

Table of Contents

How the POP3 communication happens on port 110?

POP3 communication occurs through port 110 . The process involves several steps to retrieve emails from a server. First, a client establishes a TCP connection with the POP3 server on port 110. Once connected, the client provides login credentials for authentication. Upon successful authentication, a session is initialized, allowing the client to interact with the mailbox.

During the session, the client can issue commands to retrieve emails. These commands include requesting a list of available emails, marking emails for deletion, and downloading specific emails. The server maintains transaction updates, such as marking emails as read or deleted, based on the client’s commands. When the client requests to download an email, the server sends the relevant parts of the email over the established connection.

Finally, when the client has finished retrieving emails, it sends a command to close the session and terminate the connection. It’s important to note that communication over port 110 is typically plain text and lacks encryption. To enhance security, it is recommended to use secure alternatives such as POP3S (POP3 over SSL/TLS) on port 995, which encrypts the communication using SSL/TLS protocols, ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of the retrieved emails.

Difference between POP and IMAP ports

Port 110 is associated with the Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3), while the IMAP port typically refers to port 143 , which is used by the Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP). Although both protocols are used for email retrieval, there are several key differences between them in terms of functionality and features.

Firstly, POP3 is primarily focused on downloading emails from the server to the client’s device. It follows a “store-and-forward” model, where emails are typically deleted from the server once downloaded. On the other hand, IMAP provides more advanced email management capabilities. It allows users to manage emails directly on the server, enabling features like folder management, searching, and organizing emails into different folders. IMAP offers a more synchronized approach, where changes made on one device (e.g., marking an email as read) are reflected across all devices connected to the same IMAP account.

Secondly, POP3 is a simple and lightweight protocol that downloads entire emails to the client . Once downloaded, the client manages the emails locally. In contrast, IMAP keeps the emails on the server and provides a more interactive experience. With IMAP, clients can access email headers, download specific parts of emails, and synchronize changes between the server and client.

Another difference lies in their handling of email attachments. POP3 downloads the entire email, including attachments, to the client’s device. In contrast, IMAP allows clients to selectively download attachments or view them on the server without actually downloading them. This feature is particularly useful for devices with limited storage or when accessing emails from multiple devices.

Lastly, the security aspect also differs. Both POP3 and IMAP can operate over secure connections using SSL/TLS encryption. The secure versions are known as POP3S (POP3 over SSL/TLS) and IMAPS (IMAP over SSL/TLS), which use ports 995 and 993, respectively. However, it’s worth noting that POP3, by default, usually downloads emails to the client, making them vulnerable if the client device is compromised. IMAP, with its server-centric approach, allows for better control and security since the emails remain on the server and can be accessed securely from multiple devices.

In summary, while both POP3 and IMAP are email retrieval protocols, they differ in functionality and features. POP3 is focused on downloading emails to the client’s device, while IMAP offers more advanced email management capabilities with server-side synchronization. IMAP allows for selective email access, attachment handling, and better security through server-centric control. Understanding the differences between these protocols can help users choose the one that best suits their email management needs.

POP3 vs POP3S ports

The main difference between POP3 and POP3S lies in the security aspect of the communication. POP3 (Post Office Protocol version 3) is a standard email retrieval protocol that operates over port 110. It transfers email messages from the server to the client in plain text, which means the communication is not encrypted. This lack of encryption raises concerns about the confidentiality of the transmitted data, as it can potentially be intercepted and read by unauthorized individuals.

On the other hand, POP3S (POP3 over SSL/TLS) addresses the security vulnerabilities of POP3 by introducing encryption. POP3S operates over port 995 and utilizes SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security) protocols to encrypt the communication between the client and the server. This encryption ensures that the data exchanged during the retrieval process, including login credentials and email content, is protected from eavesdropping and tampering. POP3S provides a secure and encrypted channel for retrieving emails, enhancing the privacy and security of the communication.

To establish a POP3S connection, the client must initiate a secure SSL/TLS handshake with the server, which involves verifying the server’s digital certificate and establishing an encrypted session. Once the secure connection is established, the client can proceed with the usual POP3 commands and retrieve emails over the encrypted channel. The use of POP3S is recommended when accessing email services over untrusted networks or when the privacy and security of the email retrieval process are of utmost importance.

Port 110 and SSL

By default, port 110 is not associated with SSL/TLS encryption in the context of the Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3). The standard POP3 protocol operates over port 110 and uses plain text communication, which means the data transmitted between the client and the server is not encrypted.

However, it’s worth noting that there is an extension to the POP3 protocol called STLS (STARTTLS) that allows for opportunistic encryption . The STLS extension enables a plain text POP3 session to be upgraded to an encrypted session using SSL/TLS encryption. When the client issues the STLS command, the server responds by initiating a secure SSL/TLS handshake, establishing an encrypted channel for the subsequent POP3 communication.

The use of STLS on port 110 effectively enables encryption for POP3 communication, making it similar in functionality to POP3S (POP3 over SSL/TLS) on port 995. However, it’s important to understand that STLS support is not universally implemented or supported by all POP3 servers and clients. Therefore, while it is technically possible to use SSL/TLS encryption with port 110 via the STLS extension, it may not be widely available or supported in practice.

Unlike Port 22 for SSH, Port 110 isn’t frequently used with SSL. For stronger security and broader compatibility, it is generally recommended to use the dedicated port 995 for POP3S, which ensures an encrypted connection from the start without relying on the STLS extension.

What are TCP/IP ports?

A TCP/IP port is a unique numerical identifier used to differentiate specific network services or applications running on a device within a TCP/IP network. In TCP/IP communication, data is divided into packets, and each packet contains both source and destination port numbers. Port numbers range from 0 to 65535 and are assigned to different services or protocols.

Port numbers can be categorized into three ranges: well-known ports (0-1023), registered ports (1024-49151), and dynamic or private ports (49152-65535). Well-known ports are reserved for commonly used services, such as port 80 for HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and port 443 for HTTPS (HTTP Secure). Registered ports are assigned by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to specific applications or services. Dynamic or private ports are available for temporary or private use by client applications.

The use of port numbers allows network devices to direct incoming data packets to the appropriate application or service running on a device. When a client wants to communicate with a server, it specifies the destination IP address and port number to establish a connection. The server listens for incoming connections on a specific port, and the client’s data packets are routed to that port to ensure they reach the correct service or application on the server.

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Difference between SMTP and POP3

For sending and receiving messages, we use two protocols one is SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and another is POP3 (Post Office Protocol version 3). They are also called as PUSH and POP protocols respectively. They are agents, Message Transfer Agent, and Message Access Agent respectively to send and retrieve the messages.  Difference between SMTP and POP3:  

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Port numbers-FTP, TELNET, HTTP, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, BIOS, SSH, DHCP

This page describes well known port numbers defined in RFC 1700.It mentions Port numbers for FTP, TELNET, HTTP, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, BIOS, SSH, DHCP used in TCP, UDP and IP protocols.

Port Numbers : The end point of a logical connection is known as port. It is a 16 bit size number ranging from 0 to 65536. The port numbers from 0 to 1024 are known as well known ports and are used for specialized services or privileged services. For example as mentioned in the table below port 80 is used for HTTP while ftp port number is 21 etc.

Table of Port numbers used for FTP, TELNET, HTTP, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, BIOS, SSH, DHCP protocols

Port numbers are pre-assigned by IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority). They are specified in RFC 1700. Following table mentions port numbers for FTP, TELNET, HTTP, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, BIOS, SSH, DHCP protocols. These protocols are used in TCP or UDP connections in computer networks.

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COMMENTS

  1. Email Ports

    What are POP3 and Default POP3 Port Numbers? Post Office Protocol (POP) is used for retrieving emails from a remote email server. It's useful to download email messages from email server to your local email client for offline viewing. POP with version 3 ( POP3) is the new standard commonly used on the Internet.

  2. What Are Email Protocols

    The standard email protocol list includes: SMTP POP3 IMAP Each of them operates differently and provides a different service for managing your email account. What is SMTP? SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, and it is responsible for sending email messages.

  3. Post Office Protocol

    HTTP ( HTTP/3) HTTPS IMAP IRC LDAP MGCP MQTT NNTP NTP OSPF POP PTP ONC/RPC RTP RTSP RIP SIP SMTP SNMP SSH Telnet TLS/SSL XMPP more... Transport layer TCP UDP

  4. POP, IMAP, and SMTP settings for Outlook.com

    Mail POP, IMAP, and SMTP settings for Outlook.com POP, IMAP, and SMTP settings for Outlook.com If you're trying to add your Outlook.com account to Outlook or another mail app, you might need the POP, IMAP, or SMTP settings. You can find them below or by viewing them in your Outlook.com settings.

  5. Understanding Email Client Protocols and Port Numbers

    POP3: Downloads and deletes from the server. IMAP: Stores emails on the server, enabling multi-device access. SMTP: Ensures your emails are delivered to the right spot! 2nd Stop: Port Numbers 🚀. Our protocols (POP3, IMAP, and SMTP) are like delivery vans, while port numbers are the specific docks these vans visit to ship or pick up email cargo.

  6. POP3 Explained [2024]

    POP3, or Post Office Protocol version 3, is an Internet standard protocol that retrieves email messages from a server over a TCP/IP connection. It's the third version of the Post Office Protocol 3, which is defined in RFC 1939.

  7. Email Ports

    > Opera Mail Whenever you are configuring a POP3 client, bear in mind that you will need to provide the followings ...... Login credentials, POP3 server name or IP address and POP3 Port Number. POP3 Port Numbers Default POP Port number : 110 POP3 port number with SSL/TLS : 995 Benefits of POP3 > It saves server space and resources

  8. SMTP and IMAP vs POP3: Understanding the Differences

    What is IMAP? What is SMTP? How Does Sending and Receiving Emails Work? What's the Difference Between POP3 and IMAP? The main difference between POP3 and IMAP is that POP3 downloads emails from the server and stores them locally, while IMAP syncs emails across multiple devices and keeps them stored on the server.

  9. What is POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3)?

    Rahul Awati What is POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3)? Post Office Protocol 3, or POP3, is the most commonly used protocol for receiving email over the internet. This standard protocol, which most email servers and their clients support, is used to receive emails from a remote server and send to a local client.

  10. IMAP, POP, and SMTP

    Incoming connections to the IMAP server at imap.gmail.com:993 and the POP server at pop.gmail.com:995 require SSL. The outgoing SMTP server, smtp.gmail.com, supports TLS. If your client begins with plain text, before issuing the STARTTLS command, use port 465 (for SSL), or port 587 (for TLS).

  11. What are SMTP, IMAP, and POP3?

    Like IMAP, POP3 is an incoming email protocol, meaning that it is used to retrieve emails from a remote server to an email client. POP3 is a simple protocol that usually works in the following way: 1. The email client connects to the mail server (usually over TCP port 995, assuming a secure TLS connection). 2. Downloads emails. 3.

  12. A Quick Guide to IMAP, POP3, and SMTP Ports

    There are two standard IMAP port numbers: Port 143 and Port 993. The IMAP default port is 143 and it works with TLS encryption, IMAP's port 993 is used for SSL encryption. ... We hope this quick guide on differentiating between an IMAP port and a POP3 port along with SMTP has helped you gain a better understanding of the different email ...

  13. Email client protocols and port numbers

    The port numbers you set determine the protocol (IMAP or POP) your email client uses. There are four basic options, which are described below. IMAP secure is the recommended configuration: ... POP3 | Port 110 (Insecure Transport — No SSL function enabled) Step 3 — Choose an outgoing SMTP port. See also: SMTP on Wikipedia, SMTP quota.

  14. Read Gmail messages on other email clients using POP

    First, set up POP in Gmail. On your computer, open Gmail. In the top right, click Settings See all settings. Click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab. In the "POP download" section, select Enable POP for all mail or Enable POP for mail that arrives from now on. At the bottom of the page, click Save Changes.

  15. What is POP3 (Post Office Protocol Version 3)?

    They are: Port 110: Port 110 is a default TCP port used by POP3. But It has a disadvantage that it does not support encrypted communication. Port 995: Port 995 is majorly used for more secure applications. Port 995 is a TLS or SSL port used to provide more security. History of POP3

  16. Default Email Ports

    What are the Default POP3 Ports? POP3, by default, will typically work on either of these two ports: Port 110 (non-secure) - this is the default port Port 995 (secure) - this is to be used to connect using POP3 securely What is IMAP? (Protocol to RECEIVE email messages)

  17. How to Set Up a POP3 or IMAP Account in Microsoft Outlook

    Outlook uses IMAP by default, so we'll go with that first. Then, we'll show you how to set up an account using POP3. Start by opening Outlook and going to File > Add Account. In the panel that opens, enter your email address and click "Connect." The Google login page appears with your email address already entered.

  18. A List of SMTP and POP3 Servers

    25 (or 587) Secure (TLS) StartTLS 587 Secure (SSL) SSL 465 POP3 Server (Incoming Messages) Non-Encrypted AUTH 110 Secure (SSL)

  19. Port 110: the port of POP3 and email services

    Explaining POP3 and email services port 110, how does it work. Port 110 for POP3 vs Port 995 for POP3S, Quick and complete guide. ... and each packet contains both source and destination port numbers. Port numbers range from 0 to 65535 and are assigned to different services or protocols. Port numbers can be categorized into three ranges: well ...

  20. Gmail Email Settings: POP3, IMAP, and SMTP Servers

    Here's how you can check if IMAP or POP is turned on: Log in to your Gmail account on a computer. Click the Settings gear icon in the top right and then choose the See all settings option. Go to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab. Select the Enable IMAP option in the IMAP access section to turn on IMAP, or select the Enable POP for all mail or ...

  21. Difference between SMTP and POP3

    1. SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. POP3 stands for Post Office Protocol version 3. 2. It is used for sending messages. It is used for accessing messages. 3. The port number of SMTP is 25, 465, and 587 for secured connection (TLS connection). The port number of POP3 is 110 or port 995 for SSL/TLS connection.

  22. Port numbers-FTP,TELNET,HTTP,SMTP,POP3,IMAP,BIOS,SSH,DHCP

    Port numbers-FTP,TELNET,HTTP,SMTP,POP3,IMAP,BIOS,SSH,DHCP Port numbers-FTP, TELNET, HTTP, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, BIOS, SSH, DHCP This page describes well known port numbers defined in RFC 1700.It mentions Port numbers for FTP, TELNET, HTTP, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, BIOS, SSH, DHCP used in TCP, UDP and IP protocols.

  23. Spectrum Email Settings: POP3, IMAP, and SMTP

    IMAP or POP3: What Is The Difference? You must choose between setting up a mail address as POP3 or IMAP when configuring it in a client application. You may connect to the mail server to read your emails using an email client. The most popular standard protocols for retrieving emails are IMAP and POP3.