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Mail can be incoming and outgoing. POP (post office protocol) and IMAP(Internet Message Access Protocol) are for incoming mail, smtp (Simple Mail Transport Protocol) is for outgoing mail.

eMail Software

If you are running with Windows, the chances are you'll have Outlook or Outlook Express... of which I prefer Outlook Express. Configuring these is fairly straight-forward. If you choose not to go with Microsoft, you have the choice of Netscape, Eudora, Pegasas and a few others. I have been using Netscape mail since version 7 appeared (2002) and it has never let me down.


Any server connected to the internet can send mail. Normally the fastest way to send mail is to use your ISP (Internet Service Provider) which is normally your connection to the internet. You will have your own log-in and the ISP should give you details of how to send your mail.

Pop / Pop3

POP is a system whereby your mail is delivered to the server hosting your mail. When you access the server, the mail is delivered to your local machine and removed from the server. Your local machine is the only place where there is a copy of your mail.. don't lose the important ones. Pop3 is the latest edition of the Pop system. The mail programs nowadays normally have the option that you can leave the messages on the server.


This sort of incoming mail is useful if you are travelling or if many people need to see the same mail. The messages themselves stay on the server and are accessible to everyone with the log-in details. The disadvantages to this are the space required to store the mail. Also, if you decide not to keep a local copy then you need a connection to the internet every time you want to read a message. You can move the messages from directory to directory and even from your local machine back to the server.

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Edinburgh, EH10 6AQ
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Last modified: August 14, 2006