IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol and is the other e-mail protocol along with POP.

E-mail clients using IMAP often leave messages on the server until the user deletes them. This allows multiple clients to manage the same mailbox - useful for support help desks for example.

IMAP is just one communications protocol on the web. Others include:

  • Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
  • User Datagram Protocol (UDP)
  • Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP)
  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
  • Post Office Protocol (POP3)
  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

IMAP on Wikipedia

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