When I retrieve new e-mail where is it stored?

The vast majority of e-mail programs use the POP3 protocol, which by default downloads all new mail to your computer and then deletes it from the e-mail server. Optionally one can tell the e-mail program to leave mail on the server for a given number of days, which can aid in downloading mail from multiple locations.

Web-based e-mail systems as well as the less common IMAP protocol leave all e-mail on the mail server. This makes Web-based e-mail perfect for checking one's mailbox from outside your office, at home, or at a friend's house, and then downloading your mail on your computer the next day as usual.

September 2005

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