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Advantages and Disadvantages of POP3

POP3 email accounts needs a piece of software, usually called an email reader in order to send and receive email. Common applications that serve as email readers are: Outlook Express, Netscape Messenger, Outlook, AOL email, Pegasus, Eudora, Juno and others.

Email readers are usually bundled with Internet browsers but these are actually separate pieces of software. There are many commercial, open source and freeware/shareware email client software available for all categories of operating systems. With reader/client software, when you are ready to check your email, you start your email software. Once it opens, click a button on your toolbar to download your emails and wait for your email to get downloaded to your computer system, so that you can begin analysing it.

You also have the options of creating a new message, replying or forwarding to the emails. You must click the correct button inside your software to create the new message, in any of these options.

Advantages of POP3:
  • All the e mails reside on your PC; you can read your mail without being logged onto the Internet.
  • You may create new messages to send to others, without necessarily being logged onto the Internet. They remain in drafts folder and you can not only edit them before being posted, you can even allocate various priorities to each message along with even a schedule date and time when you would like it to get actually posted. This is a good feature.
  • All messages are stored on your hard disk of your own computer. You only connect to internet to download and post your messages from your inbox. There is no permanent connectivity required on Internet.
  • Opening attachments is a quick and an easy process because they are already saved on your PC.
  • There is no advertising when you read your email unless you are using an Ad ware email reader like Eudora freeware.
  • There are often no size limits on the email you sent or received.
  • There is not a maximum size on your mailbox, except as determined by the size of your hard drive.

  • Disadvantages of POP3:
  • Opening attachments is a quick and easy process but the virus affected attachment can ruin the softwares or data in your system.
  • If you have JavaScript enabled in your email reader, you might be a target of rogue JavaScript embedded in an email, which is again a problem.
  • All messages are stored on your hard disk, which consumes disk space of your website.
  • Since all attachments are stored (downloaded) on your PC, there is a huge potential danger of virus attack if they are not properly scanned by virus scanners. Then virus scans can only address 60% of attacks effectively and can leave your PC to a great danger.
  • Email folders can become corrupted and at times get lost for ever. Recovering the folders is often a tough exercise.
  • All messages are stored on your system, and privacy disappears when someone sits down at your machine. Even if your email reader is password protected, it is often easily possible for someone who wants to access your email by using another application to open your mail folders.
  • Since all messages along with attachments need to be downloaded at once by POP3, this makes downloading the large attachments on a slow connection very unmanageable and frustrating. Using POP3 with mobile phones or slow dialup connections could cause you some frustrations and annoyance.

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