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Recently I needed new batteries for my car remote. My boyfriend at the time said that we would just have to pop it open and see what batteries it needed. I was confounded and frankly wondered to myself "what the fuck does email have to do with this?" Now a techie will understand that one of the kinds of email one gets is pop3. Being a techie that is what occurred to me first. I then cottoned on that he meant that we would open the remote. Easy-peasy in his world.
Maybe my obvious is different to your obvious.
Pop3 is an old protocol for mail that is not on a corporate exchange. Essentially you download your email from your service provider's server whenever you hit your mail client (some think like Outlook or Thunderbird). My preference of email client is Microsoft Outlook - I confess with a bowed head that I support the monopoly. But then, I am Microsoft certified. When it comes to web, I stick with Open Source.
Another alternative to pop3 is IMAP. Pop3 is an option that works well, but IMAP offers a few more features. In this day and age when you can download your email to your computer as well as your smart device(s), it gets confusing when you need to re-read your email on different devices. Enter IMAP. It is clever enough to mark an email as read on the first device you first read it on as well as any other devices that you download your email to at a later stage.
While, we are on the convenience of different ways to access your email, I have been using Gmail for about 10 years to download all my mail as a backup. I was really grateful when my hard drive died and I lost all my mail from last year on my computer. For some reason Outlook had not been backed up. I found important mails in Gmail.
You can also set up your email account as IMAP in Gmail and you have the joy of knowing what you have read on other devices. Remember to cc yourself when you reply in Gmail so that you get a copy on your preferred device.
Isn't technology grand?