We Think Solutions supports both POP and IMAP on all of its servers. Which option you choose will depend on the number of email devices you use and the reliability of your internet connection. If you only use one device (eg your Desktop computer) to access your mail then we would recommend that you use POP. This will make backing up your messages easier. You can also search through all of your email archive easily since all messages are stored on your computer.
If you use more than one email device to access your account then we recommend that you use IMAP to access your mail. This will ensure that you see the same set of messages across all of your devices. Reading a message on your Desktop computer will also mark the message as “read” on all your other devices. This will also save on local storage space since only some of your emails are cached locally on your device. This would be invaluable if you are accessing your email on a smartphone where local storage is limited.
To setup POP access on your Outlook please go to Setting up Email Account with Outlook 2003. To use IMAP on your Outlook please go to Setting up Email Account with Outlook 2010 using IMAP. You can also access your Logging into Webmail. Please message us if you need help setting up your mail on a different device.
POP vs IMAP
There are two ways to access your incoming mails: POP and IMAP. Here are the basic differences between the two.
The older method is the Post Office Protocol or POP. It was first developed in 1984 and has undergone several revisions. Its latest version, Version 3 (POP3), was developed in 1988.
POP was designed with only one user in mind. By default all messages retrieved via POP are downloaded to your email client (Outlook or Mobile device) and are then deleted from the server. All of the parts of the message including any attachments are also downloaded. Modern email clients like Outlook however now have an option that will allow you to leave a copy of all retrieved messages in the email server. This gives the user the option of accessing their email via POP on another device (ex another computer or their mobile phone). Once the messages have been downloaded they are stored locally on your computer. You can be offline and still have access to all of your email messages.
The downside to this is that if your email client is not configured to leave a copy of your messages on the server and something happens to your computer, all of your messages are lost forever. This can be easily mitigated by backing up your local email inbox (ie your Outlook PST file) on another drive or to a CD/DVD.
IMAP or Internet Message Access Protocol was started in 1986. It too has undergone several revisions with the current version, IMAP4, started development in 2003. IMAP was developed as an alternative to POP and was designed to address the many limitations of POP.
Using IMAP multiple email clients can access the same email account. When an email client connects to the server it first downloads a list of all emails stored on the mail server. Only when the user selects a particular message for reading will the email client download the selected message’s content. Other information like Folders and the state of each message (read, unread, flagged etc) are also stored on the server. This means that when you move a message to a folder on your Desktop computer, you will also see the message in the same folder on your other email clients like your Tablet or mobile phone. Similarly, marking a message as “read” or deleting a message on your mobile phone will also show the same message as “read”, delete it on your Desktop computer and other devices.
The downside to this approach is you will need to be connected to the internet in order to see your messages. Only a portion of your messages are cached locally so you will not have access to all of your messages if you are offline. There is also a possibility of losing your messages in case the email server encounters problems.
We Think Solutions regularly backs up your email account. Every morning our server creates a “Daily” archive of your email account which includes all messages (if any) stored on the server. This Daily Backup set is stored for up to 5 days on the server’s secondary drive.
Every Saturday a “Weekly” backup set is also created and transferred to our backup server. This is essentially the same as the Daily Backup set. The two most recent Weekly Backup sets are retained on the backup server which is located in a different physical location than our primary servers.
On the 15th of each month the server also creates a “Monthly” backup set. Again this is the same as the “Daily” backup set. The two most recent Monthly Backups are retained on the backup server.
These backups are done as a courtesy to our users. However, these Backups should not be relied upon for “Mission Critical” email systems. If this is an issue please consider moving your email to dedicated mail service like:
These services have SLAs that guarantee at least a 99.9% uptime
Each email address comes with 1GB of free storage on our server. If your organization has several email addresses you can share this free storage among your users. An additional fee of $1/GB/month will apply to any excess storage requirements. Note that you should consider a cloud-based email solution such as Google Apps/GMail if your ongoing storage requirements are beyond 2 or 3 GB/user. A basic Google Apps account costing $5/month offers 30GB of free storage and for an additional $2/month this can be increased to 100 GB.