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Page 6: Don't use POP

Page 6

POP is designed to download all your email from the server to a
workstation and delete it from the server. Most people want to keep
their email on the server (e.g. they want to be able to use webmail
sometimes); POP does not support this but can be abused to do so.

RFC 1939 has a summary of the performance problems with POP.

Many of the requests we get for recovery of email are caused
by people misconfiguring a POP client which unexpectedly
deletes all their email. They often have to hunt around to find
the machine responsible before we can recover their email
without it being immediately deleted again.

There are some other minor problems.

If people run two POP clients at the same time they often clash
with each other because only one POP download can happen at a time.

POP does not keep track of information like whether a message
is New/Important/Answered etc.

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