What is the difference between SMTP and IMAP? with in tabular form and definition. SMTP and IMAP are two email protocols that are involved in the transfer of electronic messages. SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, while IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol.
Basically, an email protocol establishes a connection between the sender, the email server, and the receiver. SMTP is required to send an email message from a sender to an email server and subsequently carry the message between two email servers.
On the other hand, IMAP is needed to retrieve an email that is stored on an email server.
The difference between SMTP and IMAP is that both are intended for different functions. SMTP is only designed to send messages, while IMAP is designed to manage and retrieve messages.
Comparison table between SMTP and IMAP
|Full form||SMTP is an acronym for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.||IMAP is an acronym for Internet Message Access Protocol.|
|Sense||SMTP is an email protocol that establishes a way for electronic messages to be transferred from one sender to an email server, and then between two email servers.||IMAP is an email protocol that establishes a way to manage and retrieve electronic messages from an email server.|
|Function||The function of SMTP is only to send electronic messages to a server or between servers.||The role of IMAP is to manage and retrieve electronic messages from a server.|
|To transfer||SMTP transfers electronic messages from a client to a server, as well as between two servers.||IMAP transfers electronic messages only from an email server to a client.|
|Ports||SMTP works on port 25 (standard for mail transfer), port 465 (not RFC compliant), port 587 (encrypted with TLS), and port 2525 (not an official port but supports almost all email services). email).||IMAP works on port 143 (default unencrypted port) and port 993 (SSL / TLS secure port often called IMAPS).|
What is SMTP?
SMTP is an industry standard text-based protocol for email services. It establishes a mechanism for the transfer of electronic messages from a sender to an email server, as well as between two email servers. SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. It is only intended to ‘send’ messages.
On an SMTP server, an SMTP client sends commands in the form of texts such as HELLO, MAIL, RCPT, etc. These are answered by SMTP servers in the form of numeric completion codes like 220, 250, 354, etc. . This workflow is used to transfer electronic messages from one party to another. difference between smtp and imap
SMTP mechanisms were developed during the 1970s. Usenet, a communications network that emerged during the same period, had many similarities to SMTP servers. Later, during the 1980s, SMTP gained popularity as it complemented UUCP (Unix to Unix Copy Program) mail.
SMTP currently supports servers including IceWarp, Sendmail, Exim, Postfix, MagicMail, MailEnable, and HMailServer. Supported clients include Mozilla Thunderbird (after version 82.0) and NMH (after version 1.7). difference between smtp and imap
What is IMAP?
IMAP is a standard communication protocol for email services. Establishes a mechanism to retrieve electronic messages from an email server. These messages are always stored on the server. When the receiver starts the application and chooses a message, the protocol downloads it automatically.
IMAP is only intended to manage and receive messages on demand. The transfer is done only between a server and a client, unlike SMTP. IMAP server responses fall into three categories: status responses (OK, BYE, BAD, NO), server data (CAPABILITY, EXIST, FETCH), and command continuation request.
Almost all IMAP implementations allow multiple devices to connect to the server simultaneously. However, IMAP can be compared to POP3 for its communication service. POP3 stores all electronic messages in a digital ‘mailbox’. This is completely downloaded when the receiver opens the app.
Originally IMAP was a remote access mailbox protocol designed by Mark Crispin. After going through many alterations and updates, the latest version of IMAP2bis was released. Later it was renamed to IMAP4 to avoid confusion. difference between smtp and imap
Key differences between SMTP and IMAP
- SMTP is an acronym for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and IMAP is an acronym for Internet Message Access Protocol.
- SMTP is a mechanism that establishes a protocol for electronic messages to be sent to an email server or between servers, while IMAP is a mechanism that retrieves electronic messages from email servers. difference between smtp and imap
- SMTP is only designed to ‘send’ while IMAP is designed to manage and retrieve messages.
- SMTP can transfer messages from a client to a server, as well as between two servers. In contrast, IMAP can only transfer messages from a server to a client.
- SMTP works on port 25 (standard for mail transfer), port 465 (not RFC compliant), port 587 (encrypted with TLS), and port 2525 (not an official port but supports almost all email services). email). On the other hand, IMAP works on port 143 (default port without encryption) and port 993 (SSL / TLS secure port which is often called IMAPS).
SMTP and IMAP are required together as protocols for sending and receiving messages. They act as a connection between the sender, the email server, and the receiver. While SMTP is designed to send the message, IMAP is designed to retrieve it.
SMTP is one of the most used servers today. However, IMAP competes with POP3, which is a communication protocol that stores all messages in a mailbox and downloads the messages. This also allows the client to access messages offline.
What sets IMAP apart is its ability for multiple logins. So if a customer needs to access mail from different devices, IMAP works perfectly. POP3 is perfect for clients who have low or unstable Internet connections. difference between smtp and imap