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The slow death of POP3 and services that still use only POP3

Way back in the early 1990s there was an awesome new way to use whatever email client you liked with your email service, so long as both the email program and the server used the same version of the Post Office Protocol, also known as POP3. This was awesome, in the early 1990s. We only had one client device, so POP3 had no facility for managing email on multiple devices. A few years earlier, a new email protocol called Internet Message Access Protocol, aka: IMAP, was introduced and it was superior to POP3 in both security and the ability for multiple devices to all manage your email remotely. IMAP did not catch on right away, but was firmly established as the dominant method for multiple client access to the same email box by about 1993.


Over two decades ago.

Yet, as recently as a few weeks ago people complain that their modern day smart phone is broken because they cannot delete emails from their computer and their phone… and every time it turns out they are using POP3, in 2014! The service providers are often to blame, as Verizon Broadband, Comcast, and Yahoo! (Free version) only offered POP3 for many years, but it is 2014 and even most of these email service providers all offer IMAP. Unbelievably, Verizon FIOS does NOT! But you can still use FIOS for broadband and sign up for any real email service (Yahoo, AOL, Gmail, etc).

If you have multiple devices connecting to your email, and you don’t like not being able to delete messages from more than one of your devices; contact your service provider and switch to IMAP and you will be much happier.

Switching Comcast Email to IMAP:

    Once on IMAP the new settings are:
    Incoming server:
    Outgoing server:
    Authentication ON
    Incoming Port: 993 with SSL ON
    Outgoing Port: 465 with SSL ON

Switching Yahoo! Free Email to IMAP:

Verizon does not support IMAP – so don’t use Verizon for email at all – switch to a free GMail, Yahoo, or AOL account… it will be less trouble.

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