How to Access Your Email Remotely From Anywhere

Avoid POP servers to ensure complete access to your email archive

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All email remains accessible from anywhere, on any authorized machine, except for Post Office Protocol emails and emails sent within closed servers.

POP3: Local Email

Most email systems today use modern technologies like IMAP or Exchange. These email suites leave emails on the server, so all connected devices access all messages from any location.

However, an old server technology for transmitting mail from the server to the local computer behaves differently. Post Office Protocol sends an email to the device that initially accessed it, then deletes it from the server. So even if three email programs accessed the same POP-based email account, individual messages scatter among all three, with none of them seeing messages that the other computers had accessed.

POP3 is now rarely used, but legacy email systems, particularly very small or very old ones, still deploy it so they don't have to pay to store subscribers' emails. So also do some larger but well-established services like Yahoo, although for the major email providers, you must opt-in to POP.

To access all your emails on all your devices, avoid POP accounts.

Server-Side Messenging

Some computers configured as a server use internal email systems that are closed to access from outside the system. For example, a Linux computer sends emails to the root user advising of critical warnings. In most cases, there's little need to access these messages outside of the server, but if you do need to see them, you'll have to configure an IMAP server or log in using SSH.