IMAP is better if you have more than one device. You can see a message
on your phone and delete it; your laptop will never see it. However, you
can also decide that this is a message you can't handle on your phone,
so you leave it on the server and deal with it later from your laptop.
It's a server-to-many-clients model. Each client can decide for itself
how much it wants to keep locally. MailMate keeps everything.
Thunderbird and Apple Mail let you decide which folders you want to keep
copies of on your computer. Phones generally keep some of a folder but
There are some IMAP clients that have local folders -- you can move
messages to them, in which case they'll be only on your device but will
be deleted from the server. MailMate doesn't work that way, but if you
want, you can always run dovecot or some such on your laptop; you'll
then be speaking IMAP locally. However, that goes against the intent of
IMAP, which is to make mail available to multiple devices. That's not
the only reason it was developed to replace POP3, but it's pretty high
on the list.
And "cloud"? I run my own IMAP server, so that I don't have to trust
Google or whomever.
On 19 Feb 2018, at 22:42, Ron Britton wrote:
I've read a bunch of stuff about how MailMate works, but I'm still
confused about where all of the emails live.
I have been using email since the early 1990s. I have used POP3 this
entire time. Downloading emails to my computer and deleting them off
of the server has worked well for me. I'm also uncomfortable having
gigabytes of my life stored in the so-called cloud.
My perception of IMAP was always the GMail approach. People have
their entire email history on Google's servers and only have access to
it when they have an internet connection. Reading a bunch about
MailMate makes me think that it does not exactly work this way.
If I were to use MailMate, where would my emails reside? Does it
download everything off of the server? Then what? Does it delete it
off of the server? Or does it leave everything still up there? So
basically I have local and remote copies that stay in sync? What if I
want to keep the server empty?
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--Steve Bellovin, https://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb
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