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 not all.

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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