IMAP Tools

Difference Between IMAP vs SMTP for Beginners

SMTP is mainly said to be a simple Mail Transfer Protocol. On the other side, IMAP called as an Internet Access message protocol. These are the main things that everyone wants to know about the fact. These are the two mechanisms that majorly work as a sending and receiving the messages. The main thing IMAP vs SMTP works between the two mechanisms is its functions. SMTP is the mechanism that allows the clients to send the email to the destination. On the other side, IMAP plays the receiver side. It works mainly to receive the email from the sender that is dealing with the retriever side from the server.

These are the main thing that you need to know in terms of sending and receiving the email. If you are currently working on it to sending and receiving the mail, then this is the right time to proceed. So these are the two protocols are always playing the vital role without knowing to us while sending and receiving the mail. Here you can learn IMAP vs POP3 using the above link.

Where IMAP and SMTP used?

These are the two protocols that always playing as a starting and destination process. So both the protocols are completely difference and contrast from each. Thus the IMAP is used to play a role as a receiving side of the email and store it to the server side. Likewise, the same process is done by the Sending side SMTP, and another server will send the email to the destination side so called IMAP. They both are not from the same providers. The main things to know is both the server is in opposite directions until anyone does not subscribe to the same main provider for service. However, it shows the contrast between both the sender and receiver among the protocols.

Incoming and Outgoing process

In terms of the incoming and outgoing process that is IMAP vs SMTP, IMAP protocol is a mail to access the mailbox on the remote server from the sender email client. Also one must keep it in mind that this process is quite tough to handle, but in terms of the convenient part, it syncs easily with any devices. As an important factor, we are sharing the important ports for IMAP that is

Port 143: It is mainly used for TLS that is a default IMAP port.

Port 993: This IMAP port is however used for SSL.

On the other side, SMTP that is simple mail transfer protocol largely plays a role in sending an email. There are some of the important ports that are mainly used for SMTP.

Port 25: It is said to be the default port of SMTP. For information, a lot of local ISPs were blocking the port because of spam. If you configure this protocol with port 25, then you will not able to send the email.

Port 2525: It is the alternative port of Port 25

Port 587: Major users recommending this port for avoiding any type of issues instead of port 25.

These are the three main ports that you need to know at any time before using the ports.

Alternate Protocol

As we all know that the only protocol that to receive the email from the sender if IMAP. Also, the fact is in terms of retrieving the mail pop3 also has the potential to do. These are the both retrieving protocols that everyone needs to know. Also, the fact is pop3 still being used by the users because it supports the older devices. Then the SMTP is the most common widespread protocol to use as an outgoing email protocol.

Important fact

According to the information, there is a number of browser-based emails available. But you don’t need to worry about the fact that the protocol is being used. So while sending the email, you don’t need to think about the protocols at the cause. If you know all the details perfectly then the browser-based services are quite same for sending and receiving the emails. If you need to send an email, then you need to have protocols on both the opposite sides to send and receive. One more thing is you need to configure perfectly with your addresses, otherwise, the emails will not send and receive in opposite site.

IMAP vs SMTP limitations

The limitations while using the IMAP protocol, the mailbox has the quota on the server. One must know that the mailbox will retain the enough space for the new emails. On the other side, SMTP has no way of enquiring the sender. This may lead you to the spam kind of issues.


  1. James Niemi

    Awesome post about difference between IMAP and SMTP. It is really helpful for me because it is good article.

    1. Lesa Ruiz

      Thanks. I hope you will become AtheNsfbs regular reader.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *