4 Types of Email Servers Explained [2023]

calendar iconJuly 9, 2021

Businesses use different methods to access their work emails, including mobiles, apps, programs, and others. 
Most emails are sent and received via an email server. They have different functionality and thus it is important to understand the difference between them in order to get the most of your email account.

And the way these businesses access their emails depends on which mailing server is being utilized.

These servers work together to ensure that emails are a) sent on any platform b) by any individual 

c) to any recipient, and d) from anywhere in the world.

Some options are significantly more efficient than others – it all depends on your business’s IT needs and support. 

Therefore, it is best to choose an email hosting service that offers different types of mailing servers.

Below are four different types of email servers:

1. Webmail (Web-Based Email) Servers

This is an Email type that most users are familiar with. It is an email service that enables users to access and use electronic mail using a standard web browser.

Many free email hosting providers host their servers as webmail. 

Webmail allows users to access their emails while on the go – since they can check their emails anywhere they have access to the Internet.  

2. SMTP Servers

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)  is the industry-standard protocol for sending emails. SMTP server is an application that’s primary purpose is to send, receive and/or relay email messages from an email client to a receiving mail server.

When you send an email using SMTP, the server processes your email and further decides which server the message should be sent to. Then, it relays the message to that server.

3. IMAP Email Servers

IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol, an Internet standard protocol used by email clients to retrieve email messages. It is often used by business email accounts.

Email messages are stored on mail servers. Whenever users check their email, the email client contacts the server to connect the users with their messages.

IMAP allows users to preview, delete and organize their email data on the server, before transferring them to their devices.

With IMAP, messages are read directly from the server – without downloading or storing them. And so, it’s possible to check emails from several different devices.

4. POP3 Servers

In addition to IMAP, POP3 is another protocol for receiving email.

POP3 is short for Post Office Protocol. The number ‘3’ stands for ‘version 3’.

POP3 works by downloading emails from an email server to a single computer, then deletes the message from the server – to make space for other incoming messages.

In other words, it allows you to download email messages to your computer and read them while you are offline.

However, messages are only accessible from the same device they were downloaded to – can’t be accessed from multiple locations. 

Confused between IMAP and POP3? Read our blog post on ‘Understanding the Difference: POP3 and IMAP’. 

Explore LDC’s business email solution.