main

How POP3 Email Works, and How to Administer it

If you are using an email client like Outlook, Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail to download and store your email into your computer, it is likely that you are using POP3 

It is helpful to understand a few basic principles and scenarios, as it can sometimes be difficult to figure out how your email is configured, what facilities are available and where to go to change things.

It is quite often possible to access your POP3 email through Webmail, but in order to do so you need to know what kind of POP3 email you are using, and where to look for Webmail Access

  • POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) is a standard protocol (set of procedures) for receiving e-mail. 
  • POP3 is a client/serverprotocol in which e-mail is received and held for you by your Internet server in a POP3 Mailbox 
  • Periodically, you check your mail-box on the server and download any mail, using an email client like Outlook, Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail
  • POP3 is designed to delete mail on the server as soon as the user has downloaded it. 
  • However, it usually can be configured to specify that mail be saved on the Internet server for a specified length of time. 
  • POP can be thought of as a “store-and-forward” service.
You can normally access POP3 email in the following situations and download your mail using an email client like Outlook, Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail
  1. POP3 Mailboxes Provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
  2. Email Forwarding through a Domain Name with no website (Domain Email through Domain Provider) which is forwarded to a another POP3 email address you own
  3. POP3 Email through a Domain Name with a website (Domain Email through Web Host)
  4. POP3 Email through a web-based email service such as Yahoo, or Gmail (with these you can enable POP3 mail access and download your mail)

POP3 Mailboxes Provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP)

A POP3 email address is usually provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) when you sign up for a Broadband contract. Sometimes the ISP will allow several mailboxes for different family members using the service

  • People often change ISP’s, and changing your provider usually means that you will need to change your email address
  • however in some instances people find they are able keep the same email address for years 
    • having moved away from their original ISP
    • their original ISP has been taken over by a different ISP 
    • for example: LineOne.net was taken over by Tiscali.co.uk which has now itself been taken over by TalkTalk.net. So someone with the email address johnsmith@nulllineone.net now receives their email through TalkTalk

Does your ISP give you Webmail access?

If your email address is somebody@nulltalktalk.net search Google for talktalk webmail

Take the last bit of your email address (after the “@” symbol) and google with that

 

Email Forwarding through a Domain Name with no website (Domain Email through Domain Provider)

You could have a domain name but no website – your domain name is registered with a domain provider such as http://www.123-reg.co.uk but you have no website or web hosting

For example if your domain name is www.john-smith.org, your domain email address could be info@nulljohnsmith.org

  • If you have a domain name but no website, your email will be managed through your domain control panel, provided by the domain provider. 
  • This scenario generally gives you very basic services only – so no webmail
  • In this case you can usually set up several email addresses for the domain – e.g. info@nulljohnsmith.org, john@nulljohnsmith.org
  • you can have each email address forward to another email address you own, from where you download your email using an email client like Outlook, Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail or check it in Gmail
  • The domain provider usually doesn’t allow POP3 access – (this would require them to store email for you, until it was downloaded by your email client)
  • Domain providers often offer POP3 mailboxes for an additional fee – which would also include webmail access

POP3 Email through a Domain Name With a Website (Domain Email through WebHost)

For example if your website is www.john-smith.org, your domain email address could be info@nulljohnsmith.org

  • Either you have a domain name registered with a domain provider which points to a website hosting offered by a different provider (domain provider with different hosting), 
  • or you have a domain name and website, your domain name is registered with a domain provider who also provides webhosting (an all-in-one package)
  • In either of these cases, your email will be managed through your web-hosting control panel 
  • Webhosts generally offer a comprehensive range of services – CPanel is an example
  • If you have a website, you can log into your Website Control Panel – such as: http://www.john-smith.org/cpanel – with a user name and password provided by the webhost 
  • This will give you a range of email facilities – here is an example what my webhost offers:

Email Section of CPanel

 With this kind of facility you could manage email sent to the email address info@nulljohnsmith.org in three ways – for example:

  • by clicking on Forwarders you can set up a mail-forwarder, to forwarded the email to another POP3 email address you own, and download from there into your email client
  • by clicking on Email Accounts you can set up a POP3 mailbox, which you can access:
    • through Webmail
    • by downloading your mail, using an email client like Outlook, Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail
    • your webhost will provide instructions and Mail Settings such as: 
      • POP3 Host Address : mail.john-smith.org (incoming email)
      • SMTP Host Address: mail.john-smith.org (outgoing email)
    • There are a number of other sophisticated tools such as auto-responders which can be useful to set up Vacation Replies or Out-of Office replies

Webmail access through Cpanel

Webmail access through Cpanel

 POP3 Email through a Web-Based Email Service such as Gmail or Yahoo

POP3 Email access can be enabled in Gmail –> Settings –> Forwarding and POP/IMAP to allow you to download your email and send using your email client

 Enabling POP email in Gmail

In Yahoo Mail the same facility is available

 Pop and Forwarding in Yahoo Mail

 

2 Responses to How POP3 Email Works, and How to Administer it

  1. Sharone Weith October 1, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    This is in-depth information about pop3. Is it more secure and effective as compared to iMap? Does forwarding work with pop3?

  2. Alan October 2, 2012 at 5:19 am #

    It can be confusing when you want to administer your email settings actually knowing where to look to do that. I wrote this partly to get clear about the situation myself!

    IMAP is not used nearly so widely – it has advantages, like being able to access the same set of email folders from a number of different computers, so folders like Sent Items are also synchronised. As far as I know the security is pretty much the same – but it depends on what the provider is offering. Gmail offers both, using an encrypted connection (SSL).

    With regards to POP3 and forwarding – it depends on the situation. POP3 email offered by your ISP sometimes can be forwarded at source without you having to download it first (ISPs vary a lot in terms of what they offer). POP3 email through a domain name with webhosting can usually be forwarded. Domain email without a website and webhosting has to be forwarded to another email address you own (they don’t generally allow you to download it directly from a POP3 mailbox without an additional charge). POP3 mail through a provider such as Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo can easily be forwarded.

Leave a Reply

Share