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No I’m not talking about dance moves here. POP locking is a term used when referencing a POP3 security feature. This feature prevents multiple devices simultaneously accessing an email account that has been set up to use the POP3 protocol to access its email through a client. These clients include, Outlook, Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail, and more. So what does this mean for you? Well in our rapidly advancing technological world we are hardly ever away from our email, we can access it through the internet, our computers, and even phones. If by some chance you have your email set up on your phone but you primarily access it using the internet, there’s not really an issue. However, if you’re accessing your email using an email client, like those mentioned previously, you will most likely receive an error; either on your phone or on your computer. This error will most likely tell you that you have entered a wrong password or something along these lines. This is a false error, the true culprit behind this is POP Locking. It detects a second session attempt to access your email account and the server kicks back a false report of a bad password to discourage future attempts.

So how do you use multiple devices to access your email? Set up your email clients to use IMAP. However this can cause some issues on its own, the most common is massive space usage on the server. How IMAP works is it synchronizes all emails between your email client and the email server. Allowing multiple devices to see the same emails, and control the mailbox. So why would this cause a space issue? Well, most free email accounts, (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) have a “quota” that is allotted to each of their users. Once you reach that quota you will not be able to send or receive emails on this account until you get below that quota. However, even with this quota, if you’re smart about deleting and archiving your emails you should rarely ever hit the email quota for these email providers. Most of these providers allot you anywhere between 5 – 15GB for free, with an option to purchase more storage if needed. The only exception to this rule is the Time Warner Cable email service, aka roadrunner email. Roadrunner email only allots 1GB of storage space for their email service, this is only enough storage for around 2000 email messages, not including emails with attachments. With this low of storage, it is recommended that you stay with the POP protocol and use the web interface, if you absolutely must get email on your phone.

Overall, it all comes down to preference of whether you should use POP or IMAP. Number one factor is if you want to use multiple devices, or a single device to access your email. If you’re not sure which to choose, give us a call at Frankenstein Computers and we will be happy to help you in any way we can. We are your Fast, Friendly, Affordable, Austin IT Computer Repair and Service Company.