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Email Basics: Account Types

Redtail's Email Hosting Services provides you with the option of three types of accounts when setting up your email account in an external mail client such as Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.

Those account types are POP, IMAP, or MAPI. Each of these types are outlined below:

IMAP

When an email account is setup as an IMAP account, the your mailbox and respective folders are stored on our server. The mail and folders are synced over to your mail client and are not stored locally on your computer. Think of this setup as a window to your folders and messages on the server. Although the messages appear on your computer while you work with them, they remain on our mail server. This type of account allows for parity if you wish to check messages from multiple points (e.g. Outlook at work, Outlook at home, iPhone, etc.), as long as you utilize an IMAP setup at each location.

POP

When an email account is setup as a POP account, the manner in which the account functions and stores messages is the opposite of an IMAP account. Instead of just showing you what is in your inbox on the mail server, it checks the server for new messages, downloads all the new messages into your inbox on your computer's mail client and then deletes them from the server. This means that every time  the mail client accesses the server, the accounts are downloaded from the server and stored locally on your computer.

By default a POP account does remove the emails from our server, but you can adjust your server settings when establishing the account to opt to leave a copy on our server. It is best to only adjust this setting to retain messages for a short window rather than indefinitely, which can pose issues. We suggest 5-10 days. Using a POP account on multiple devices will require you to delete email on each device (if you've opted to leave a copy of the messages on our server).

MAPI

Redtail's third and final account option is a MAPI account. MAPI accounts are generally associated with Microsoft Exchange Accounts, but the Zimbra Connector for Outlook (ZCO) enables you to utilize this type of account within Outlook. This account type is similar to an IMAP account in that it stores your emails and account folders on our server. When compared to IMAP and POP accounts, MAPI accounts are blessed with added functionality, as they not only sync email but also sync contacts and calendar items. This account type must be used combining Outlook and the ZCO. For more detailed information on this particular setup, please review the document titled Why Should I Use the Zimbra Connector for Outlook (ZCO)?

Note: You do not have to use an external mail client to access your Redtail email. You also have the option to utilize Redtail's webmail client. For detailed information on how to access webmail, please review the document titled Accessing Webmail.

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