Finest IMAP Internet hosting In 2020: Learn This Comparability Earlier than Urgent Ship

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Examine IMAP Internet hosting

The Web Message Entry Protocol (IMAP) is an e mail receiving protocol that permits you to use the identical handle on completely different gadgets and purposes. It’s broadly obtainable, however not all hosts are equal in supporting it.

One of the best IMAP hosts provide well-designed webmail purchasers, assist with configuration settings for webmail purposes, beneficiant mailbox quotas, and administrative administration of particular person inbox settings.

We talk about the perfect IMAP hosts intimately under, however should you simply need to know what hosts to make use of, listed here are the 5 greatest:

  1. SiteGround – Nice internet hosting with loads of e mail performance
  2. Bluehost
  3. A2 Internet hosting
  4. InMotion Internet hosting
  5. HostPapa

How Did We Decide the Finest Hosts for IMAP?

We put collectively a listing of the hosts that supply IMAP and different email-related options that can assist you use it to its most potential. Then we sorted it utilizing our hundreds of knowledgeable and person critiques.

What’s IMAP Internet hosting?

Compare IMAP hosting

Examine IMAP internet hosting

What’s IMAP?

Web Message Entry Protocol, or IMAP, refers back to the means e mail is dealt with on-line. You probably have a central mailbox many individuals must entry, or it is advisable to be free to examine e mail from a number of areas, select IMAP internet hosting.

There are two methods to obtain emails: POP and IMAP. Whereas POP is widespread, we’re more and more switching to IMAP as essentially the most environment friendly means to make use of e mail. Hosts have now acknowledged that IMAP is a extra wise means to make use of e mail, even when it requires extra assets on their aspect.

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In the event you’re out there for a brand new website hosting supplier, be sure you try our person critiques, our A-Z internet hosting information and our high three standard internet hosting picks:

How Does E mail Work?

A number of steps occur whenever you log into your IMAP e mail account.

  1. The shopper connects to the IMAP server
  2. The shopper authenticates with a username and password
  3. The login is accepted
  4. The person receives e mail messages
  5. Some purchasers provide offline entry.

E mail Shoppers

The method behind emailing is pretty simple. First, the sender will compose a message on their pc. They have to use an e mail shopper to do that. This e mail shopper may be web-based like Gmail or it might be a desktop utility like Outlook Specific or Apple Mail.

Email client
E mail shopper screenshot courtesy of Aaron Escobar at Flicker below CC BY 2.0

What Occurs When You Press Ship

Then, when the sender hits “send” from their e mail shopper, the e-mail is off and working. The textual content and the e-mail attachments are despatched to the SMTP server. This stands for Easy Mail Switch Protocol.

That is an outgoing server that really manages each outgoing and incoming mail. That is the e-mail server that’s supplied by a internet hosting firm or your ISP. You’ll be able to ship mail to individuals on the identical SMTP server as you or to somebody utilizing a unique one. The method is pretty comparable both means.

The Mail Should Get Via

So, as soon as the SMTP server receives your outgoing mail, it communicates with the DNS (Area Title Service) server. That is the way it finds the server IP handle that holds the area title of the e-mail’s supposed recipient. Then, the SMTP server will switch the e-mail to the recipient’s e mail server.

The recipient’s e mail server then transfers the e-mail to the IMAP and POP servers. Whether or not it’s POP3 or IMAP will rely upon which incoming mail server the recipient’s e mail shopper is set-up to make use of. Then, the recipient opens their e mail shopper and the e-mail is downloaded from the server for them to learn.

What’s an e mail Consumer?

An e mail shopper is an utility that web customers work together with to view and ship mail. These allow you to learn, set up, compose, and reply to e mail messages. The e-mail shopper is answerable for downloading messages from the mail server and importing them whenever you hit “send”.

Selecting and Setting Up E mail Shoppers

E mail shopper Platform
Outlook Microsoft Home windows, macOS
Apple Mail macOS, iOS, watchOS
Alpine Multi-platform
Mozilla Thunderbird Multi-platform
Gmail Internet-based

Desktop or Internet-based, It’s Your Selection

Stand-alone e mail purchasers may be set up as an utility in your pc’s desktop. For instance, Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Specific are e mail purchasers like this. Equally, Apple Mail is an e mail shopper that comes pre-installed on working programs from Apple. Most individuals use a free web-based e mail shopper like Gmail or Yahoo.

These are accessed by way of the net browser. It’s doable to make use of exterior purchasers talked about above with these providers should you desire. There are numerous extra obtainable from an online search.

Thunderbird screenshot

Selecting a Mail Server

To make use of an e mail shopper, all it’s important to do is ready up an e mail account. Typically you can be required to configure settings within the e mail shopper that permit it to work together together with your SMTP mail server.

Email server
E mail server courtesy of Compudemano at Flickr below CC BY 2.0

ISP vs Devoted IMAP Host

Utilizing the mail server supplied by your ISP will work for private e mail communication, however companies that must ship mass emails for advertising and marketing campaigns might run into issues.

ISP servers might prohibit the variety of emails you’ll be able to ship. In consequence, companies will need to use e mail internet hosting from a website hosting supplier or a separate e mail internet hosting firm. More often than not, e mail internet hosting is included in website hosting plans and also you received’t be required to look elsewhere.


Put up Workplace Protocol (POP, or POP3) e mail is the strategy that the majority Web Service Suppliers (ISPs) used to advertise because the default and most well-liked methodology. With POP, emails are downloaded from the server and saved regionally in your pc.

Usually the e-mail is deleted from the server as soon as they’ve been downloaded, so the ISP doesn’t must retailer all of that knowledge on its servers.

Why IMAP is Higher,

With Web Message Entry Protocol (IMAP) works in a different way. The e-mail shopper stays in sync with the mail server. You’ll be able to nonetheless learn emails whenever you’re not related to the web, offering you downloaded the entire message previous to disconnection.

As soon as an e mail is deleted on one system, it syncs with the server, and all different gadgets replace their synced copy to mirror the change.

ISPs Are Transferring to IMAP, Because of the iPhone

There was a sea change amongst ISPs within the final couple of years.

They’re bending to demand and providing extra help for IMAP over POP. That is partly as a result of we’re all utilizing cellular gadgets, and IMAP is the one sensible strategy to handle our e mail accounts.

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E mail In every single place, On Any Gadget

IMAP is beneficial with a number of gadgets as a result of it permits you to entry your e mail from wherever. You need to use a webmail shopper, a desktop shopper, a smartphone, or a pill whereas maintaining the identical mailbox.

It matches in with our transfer to cloud computing, the place the emphasis is on distant storage and syncing, somewhat than native storage and backups. If a tool is misplaced, stolen, or broken, you don’t lose your messages. You simply log into your e mail handle in your new system.

Push notifications

Together with the transfer from desktop to cellular gadgets, IMAP is well-suited to those gadgets’ push notifications. Push expertise that alerts you to new emails as they arrive in, somewhat than polling for brand spanking new emails each couple of minutes; IMAP permits you to select whether or not to obtain e mail when a push notification is available in.

Internet Email Sign
You Can Get e-mail from Anyplace with IMAP. Picture courtesy of mattwi1s0n at Flickr below CC BY 2.0.

Push Notification Downsides

Regardless of the comfort of cellular gadgets and push notifications, there are a couple of downsides. These notifications may be distracting. IMAP entry additionally requires an web connection to work.

That is extra of a difficulty with cellular connections, however even when a wired connection goes down, you’re caught with out entry to e mail. E mail purchasers do can help you compose messages to be despatched later when the connection comes again on-line.

Enterprise customers must weigh the comfort of IMAP with the danger of downtime.

IMAP Internet hosting Options

Most internet hosting suppliers can help you create e mail accounts and entry them utilizing IMAP. Some impose limitations which you need to be conscious of:

  • Test the variety of mailboxes you’ll be able to create.
  • Ask what the utmost mailbox measurement is
  • Ask what settings you want
  • See which purchasers your supplier really helps
  • You need to examine which safety features are supported.

Storage Limits

You need to take note of your storage limits, although e mail messages are small. E mail storage consists of attachments, and the extra knowledge there’s in mailboxes, the much less you need to use in your web site.

Host Help

Your supplier ought to have choices you need to use to configure your shopper. Each shopper is completely different. Good suppliers could have a knowledgebase of standard purchasers and different data it is advisable to use purchasers that aren’t talked about.

Separate IMAP E mail Internet hosting

In some (uncommon) instances, IMAP e mail isn’t provided as a part of a internet hosting plan. In the event you want devoted e mail internet hosting, some corporations to offer this as a separate service. You’ll be able to usually use it alongside together with your important area title, even when it’s hosted elsewhere.

Learn The Superb Print

Whereas there are some free IMAP e mail providers, examine the phrases rigorously. Many don’t present a few of the extra superior options you may count on, resembling labeling and nested messages.

Some providers additionally restrict provision to POP with out IMAP, and so they might prohibit you from sending too many messages to forestall spam.

On the plus aspect, e mail internet hosting will not be costly and normally consists of webmail, which works good with IMAP. In its place, you can use Google Apps.

IMAP Internet hosting Options

There are numerous choices obtainable for separate e mail internet hosting suppliers. They’ll permit for bulk e mail sending and helps purposes for high-volume e mail sending. Typically, you’ll be able to ship tens of hundreds of per thirty days with out working into restrictions.

IMAP Plans Can Be Expensive

Plans could also be barely dearer than private and small companies can afford. Because of this, this type of plan is healthier suited to bigger companies.

Your Internet Host’s E mail Would possibly Be Good Sufficient

For most individuals, e mail internet hosting that’s included with their website hosting plans ought to be enough to satisfy their wants.

Most internet hosting corporations embody spam safety and anti-virus safety in your emails as good.

Imap Professionals and Cons

All programs have their execs and cons and IMAP isn’t any completely different. Listed below are the principle ones to bear in mind as you make your selections.


  1. It’s extra appropriate when utilizing one mailbox on a number of gadgets
  2. It makes extra sense when multiple particular person is working from a mailbox
  3. You’ll be able to entry mail from any system
  4. It really works good with push notifications.
  5. Your entire mail is saved on the server, so it can’t be misplaced in case your system has an issue
  6. You’ll be able to both use a desktop e mail shopper or entry the identical messages in webmail
  7. Saves knowledge and time by not mechanically downloading attachments


  1. Some e mail purchasers behave surprisingly when utilizing auto-responders
  2. Wants an web connection
  3. Customers might hit storage limits
  4. IMAP takes up extra space on the server
  5. Push notifications may be distracting
  6. IMAP can’t be used with POP
  7. Hardly ever, you’ll be able to lose messages with server failure

My Decisions: The Prime Three IMAP Hosts

Given an enormous variety of decisions, I believed I’d begin you off with my three favorites. They’ll get you began, after which you’ll be able to transfer on from there.


SiteGround IMAP compare

SiteGround at all times has many nice issues to supply with their website hosting plans. They provide you limitless e mail accounts and e mail databases.

Your use of their e mail servers is proscribed to the disk area allotted for the particular plan you select. As with all their plans, SiteGround consists of free web site migration, an internet site builder, and the industry-standard 99.9% uptime assure.


Bluehost IMAP compare

If you host with Bluehost, you’ll be paying comparable costs for his or her shared plans as with SiteGround. However, you additionally get free area title registration.

Their plans gives you various ranges of e mail storage capacities with higher-priced plans providing limitless accounts and storage. Bluehost’s e mail internet hosting is appropriate with third-party purchasers and consists of spam safety.

Your e mail customers can have completely different account controls to customise their e mail account nevertheless they like.

InMotion Internet hosting

InMotion IMAP compare

InMotion Internet hosting additionally has safe IMAP e mail provided with their plans. Their e mail internet hosting consists of real-time spam filtering. InMotion makes use of super-fast SSD servers so even their shared internet hosting plans pack an enormous punch.

All of their plans include free advertising and marketing and safety instruments. One in every of our favourite issues about InMotion is that they allow you to decide the datacenter that your web site is hosted in. It is a uncommon factor to seek out from shared internet hosting packages.

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Ceaselessly Requested Questions About IMAP

What’s IMAP?

IMAP stands for web message entry protocol. It’s a protocol for storing and retrieving e mail.

How lengthy has IMAP been used?

IMAP was first developed in 1986 by Mark Crispin, a programs programmer on the Stanford Information Methods Laboratory. It was created as an alternative choice to POP (put up workplace protocol).

Is IMAP used to ship e mail in addition to retrieve it?

Technically, you need to use IMAP to ship e mail, nevertheless it doesn’t usually deal with that. It’s extra widespread that you just’d use IMAP for storage and retrieval, whereas utilizing an SMTP server to ship.

What’s the distinction between IMAP and POP?

In easy phrases, IMAP permits you to retailer e mail on a distant server, and obtain a replica of that mail. If you learn, delete, or archive an e mail in your pc, the adjustments are replicated on the distant server, so the native and distant copy are at all times the identical.
With POP, the e-mail is downloaded from the server onto your pc in a one-way switch. You’ll be able to select whether or not these emails are retained on the server, or deleted as soon as they’ve been downloaded. Both means, should you delete an e mail in your pc, the server doesn’t replicate that change. So should you join one other system to the identical POP mailbox, the message could also be downloaded once more.
The simplest strategy to perceive the distinction is to consider one mailbox that you just use on a number of gadgets: a pc, a telephone, and a pill. When you delete an e mail in your pc with IMAP, the change is replicated on the e-mail server, after which, in your telephone and pill. In distinction, should you obtain e mail with POP on all gadgets, after which learn, archive, or delete messages, the gadgets shall be always out of sync.

How does IMAP deal with folders?

IMAP and POP are completely different in the way in which they retailer emails in folders.
With POP, emails are downloaded from server to pc, however there’s no switch in the other way. Essentially the most notable influence of that is the despatched mail folder. With IMAP, despatched emails are saved centrally on the server so you’ll be able to entry them from wherever.
Likewise, you’ll be able to create folders in an IMAP account and people folders will seem on all gadgets. In the event you create folders when utilizing POP, they may solely apply to your native pc.

Why ought to I select IMAP when organising my e mail account?

Most of us use gadgets which might be always related to the web, and we use the identical mailbox on a number of gadgets. IMAP is good for this, as a result of it at all times retains a replica of emails on the server. IMAP additionally works good with web-based e mail like Gmail, and the place a number of group members are working from one shared mailbox.

Are there any disadvantages to utilizing IMAP as an alternative of POP?

POP is inherently quite simple and quick, so it will possibly obtain messages rapidly. This quick switch may be advantageous if the recipient has to hook up with dial-up to retrieve their e mail.
IMAP is also a extra complicated protocol than POP, and it requires extra server assets.
However maybe the most important consideration is mailbox area. With POP, you’ll be able to select to delete your whole messages from the mailbox as soon as they’ve been downloaded, which frees up area on the server. IMAP doesn’t do that, so that you may find yourself working out of server area should you don’t delete outdated emails repeatedly.

Do all website hosting plans help IMAP?

Most website hosting corporations embody IMAP help normal with their plans.

Which e mail software program helps IMAP?

All main e mail purposes help IMAP. If you’re in search of a free shopper, we advocate Thunderbird.

Is it doable to purchase e mail internet hosting by itself?

Sure. Some website hosting corporations provide devoted IMAP internet hosting for enterprise e mail. The charges are normally stylish on the variety of mailboxes you want, and you may additionally profit from extras like built-in anti-spam software program, uptime ensures, and devoted help groups.

Does IMAP use extra bandwidth?

IMAP maintains a continuing connection to the server, nevertheless it doesn’t essentially use extra bandwidth. Many e mail purchasers have a setting that solely downloads the header data from every IMAP message: the title, sender, topic line, and so forth. The precise content material of the message is simply retrieved when the message is chosen, and the identical goes for any attachments. In the event you obtain a considerable amount of e mail, this ‘on-demand’ retrieval may be quicker and extra environment friendly than downloading every thing.

What internet hosting options ought to I search for if I would like IMAP?

Test that the host gives IMAP in addition to POP. Make sure the plan you propose to purchase permits you to create a enough variety of mailboxes. Discover out what the storage limits in your mailboxes are. On many plans, your mailbox area and server area are shared, so that you’ll want to make sure that your e mail mailboxes don’t encroach on the area you want for information.

How do I transfer e mail from my outdated POP account to my new IMAP account?

Essentially the most simple strategy to obtain that is to arrange each mailboxes in an e mail shopper, resembling Thunderbird. Permit the entire messages to obtain out of your POP server onto your pc. Then, choose the entire POP emails within the inbox, and drag them into the inbox of your IMAP account.
You’ll be able to repeat the method with any e mail folders that you just’ve created in your POP account, in addition to your Despatched Objects.

How typically will my system examine for brand spanking new emails?

With POP, you’ll be able to select how typically your system checks your mailbox. With IMAP, the server and system keep in sync so long as there’s a community connection. In the event you get a brand new e mail into an IMAP mailbox, you’ll be able to have a Push alert pop up kind of immediately, assuming your system is related to the web on the time.

Ought to I take advantage of Microsoft Alternate or IMAP?

Microsoft Alternate requires a Home windows server, so the fee must be factored into this choice. However should you’re utilizing different Microsoft applied sciences, it’d make sense to make use of Alternate for full integration. Alternate is designed for full workplace collaboration, somewhat than simply an e mail service.

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