POP is a commonly used acronym in technology that stands for Point of Presence or Post Office Protocol.
It refers to the standard protocol used for retrieving emails from the server to the client email software.
Let’s understand in detail what POP means and its purpose.
What Does POP Stand For?
POP has two common full forms:
- Point of Presence – Physical access point that allows users to connect to a network service.
- Post Office Protocol – Standard email retrieval protocol that downloads messages from server to local mailbox.
Overview of Post Office Protocol (POP)
- POP is an application layer protocol defined in RFCs 1939 (POP3) and 1725 (POP2)
- POP enables email clients to retrieve mails from the server over TCP/IP connections.
- Common POP3 port numbers are 110 (non-SSL) and 995 (SSL).
- It supports core functions like downloading and deleting messages.
Key Features of POP
- Downloads email messages and attachments to local storage
- Removes copies from server after downloading
- Requires SMTP for sending mails
- Supports offline email access once downloaded
- More lightweight than IMAP
Limitations of POP
- No remote access to emails once downloaded
- No synchronization across multiple devices
- Chances of data loss if local emails are corrupted
- Security risks from infected attachment downloads
In summary, POP or Post Office Protocol allows email clients to easily download messages from the server for offline access. However, more advanced protocols like IMAP are better suited for today’s access-anywhere email requirements.