What is IMAP?
IMAP (or IMAP4) stands for Internet Message Access Protocol and allows an email client to access email on a remote mail server. Along with POP3, it is a popular email access and retrieval mechanism.
IMAP was designed basically with the idea of a ‘remote mailbox‘, which means that user’s would be able to leave their email on the server and connect to it from anywhere.
Some of the advantages of IMAP include:
- Multiple simultaneous connections to a single email box: This means users may share an email box, or a single user may have multiple devices accessing the same box at the same time.
- Maintaining state of messages on the server side: Has the message been read, replied to or marked for deletion? An IMAP server keeps track of these, so that when you read a mail while accessing the mailbox from your notebook and then later connect using your mobile phone, you will see this mail as already read.
- Partial message fetch: A user can choose to see just part of a message on demand.
- Connected and disconnected modes of operation – the connected mode allows for better response for very large messages and mailboxes.
- Other: There are other features like basic server-side searches, moving email between mailboxes, etc.
With servers becoming more powerful and the proliferation of smart mobile devices (cell phones, tablets, notebooks, etc.), an increasing number of users are using IMAP for everyday email.
If you are using an IMAP email account, the chances are that you have a very large mail box. While your service provider may give you a large amount of disk space, sooner or later it will get exhausted. That’s one reason to backup or archive your mail box. Even if you had an unlimited amount of space, it’s still probably a good idea to backup your email – after all it does contain valuable information.
MailVault makes it trivial to backup and archive IMAP email accounts. An organization can centrally store all corporate communications. It can derive further benefit from huge space savings, thanks to the email de-duplication process and compressed storage, which means that even if there are many copies of an email, only one will be retained and stored in a compressed format. Multiple users can access the email and based on privileges, users can only see their own mail, thus ensuring privacy.
MailVault is an easy to use mail archiving software that makes IMAP archiving a breeze.