• Also known as
  • POP3

The Post Office Pro­to­col 3 (POP3) is an email pro­to­col for receiv­ing mails from a remote mail server to a local mail client. It sup­ports down­load­ing and delet­ing mes­sages from a remote mail server.

POP3 is designed to delete mail on the server as soon as the user has down­loaded it. How­ever, some imple­men­ta­tions allow users or an admin­is­tra­tor to spec­ify that mail be saved for some period of time. POP3 can be thought of as a "store-and-for­ward" ser­vice.

An alter­na­tive pro­to­col is Inter­net Mes­sage Access Pro­to­col (IMAP). IMAP pro­vides the user more capa­bil­i­ties for retain­ing e-mails on the server, orga­niz­ing it in fold­ers, and access­ing the mails using web­mail clients or sev­eral dif­fer­ent email clients on dif­fer­ent devices.