This tutorial explains the most commonly used Email protocols on the internet – POP3, IMAP, and SMTP. Each one of them has a specific function and way of work. Read on to see which configuration will best serve your particular email needs.

What is POP3 and which are the default POP3 ports?

The standard mail protocol Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3) is used to receive emails from a remote server to a local email client. POP3 allows you to download email messages on your local computer and read them even when you are offline. POP3 will store your mails locally and delete them from the server once it is downloaded. This means that if you access your account from multiple locations, that may not be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you use POP3, your messages are stored on your local computer, which reduces the space your email account uses on your web server. POP3 protocol assumes that your email is being accessed only from one application and may not be an ideal option if you want to manage your mails across different locations.

Default POP3 Ports:

By default, POP3 protocol works on two ports:

  • Port 110 – this is the default POP3 non-encrypted port.
  • Port 995 – this is the port you need to use if you want to connect using POP3 securely.

What is IMAP and which are the default IMAP ports?

The Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) is a mail protocol used for accessing email on a remote web server from a local client. IMAP can be thought of as a remote file server. It gives the user more capabilities by retaining email on the server and organizing it in folders. IMAP allows simultaneous access by multiple clients. So, it is quite suitable for you if you’re going to access your email from different devices & location.

Default IMAP Ports:

By default, IMAP protocol works on two ports:

  • Port 143 – this is the default IMAP non-encrypted port.
  • Port 993 – this is the port you need to use if you want to connect using IMAP securely.

What is SMTP and which are the default SMTP ports?

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is the standard protocol for sending emails across the Internet.

Default SMTP Ports:

By default, SMTP protocol works on three ports:

  • Port 25 – this is the default SMTP non-encrypted port.
  • Port 2525 – this port is opened on all SiteGround servers in case port 25 is filtered (by your ISP for example) and you want to send non-encrypted emails with SMTP.
  • Port 465 – this is the port used if you want to send messages using SMTP securely.