You may have many options when it comes to how you want to setup your email accounts. Below is a description of your options and why you might want to choose one option over another.
To begin with, there are two “protocols” to choose from. It is important to understand them in order to understand your options:
Post Office Protocol (POP) means that all of your email is downloaded from your Internet Service Provider to your own personal computer and (usually) deleted from the server. If you created folders in your email program, those folders are only accessible on your own personal computer.
Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) means that all of your email is saved on your Internet Service Provider’s servers. If you are using IMAP, you can run an email program at home and an email program at work and both programs will access the same set up messages and folders. If you only use webmail to check your mail, your are using IMAP.
In addition to protocol, there are two main categories of programs you can use to read your email:
Common “desktop” email clients include Mozilla Thunderbird, Mac Mail, Kmail and Outlook. These are all programs that are installed on your personal computer. With these programs, you can either use the IMAP or POP protocol.
In addition, people often use “webmail” clients, such as SquirrelMail or Horde/IMP. These are all programs that you access by opening a web browser and going to a particular web page to read your email.
Below are three scenarios common to activists. Most likely, one scenario will make sense to you. If not, feel free to contact support with more questions.