Need help with Syncing emails across multiple devices?
Most people have more than one communication device these days. You have your personal computer, your mobile phone, work laptop, tablet and even watches now which all talk to the internet, communicate with friends and read and write emails.
It would seem simple enough to have the same email on multiple devices so when you send and receive from one device and it would sync or reflect your email activity on the others. That is, you read a email on your mobile phone from your boss and then when you go home and check your email on your computer it automatically downs that same email and shows you have read it.
But only if things where that simple!
Different kinds of emails
When you send an email to someone it doesn’t go directly to their computer, it goes to their mail server mail box first, awaiting for them to ask for it when they turn their computer on, fire up their email client software and start checking for emails.
Not all email systems are created equal but the majority of them out there and most likely the one you are using now either uses POP, IMAP or WebMail.
POP – or Post Office Protocol moves your emails from the mail server onto your computer. Sounds great in theory but when you go to view your emails on another device like your phone, your email program asks the mail server for your emails and it can’t give them to you because they have already been moved to your computer. This is an option to make it so it keeps a copy of the emails on the server for all your devices to see but it is not enabled by default, for this you are better off using IMAP.
IMAP – Internet Message Access Protocol was a technology developed after POP to over come the shortfalls of the earlier protocol. It can often be better to use IMAP over multiple devices because every time you access your email it leaves a copy on the server so other devices can see and access those emails as well.
WebMail – Have you ever used Gmail by going to www.gmail.com or Hotmail by going to www.live.com in your web browser. Well if you have you are using webmail. Webmail is exactly that, your email over your web browser. Although it is not as convenient to access webmail every time you want to read your emails as it is through POP or IMAP, it does however have advantage of being able to access your email from anywhere. Eg, when I get off the plane in Singapore I can quickly go to www.hotmail.com at an internet kiosk and quickly check my emails without haveing to setup an email program and all it’ settings.
Which one to use?
For multiple devices which need emails to by synced so you can see the same activity on all of them I would probably choose IMAP. For one account on one computer at home home that is pretty much always connected and I don’t need to see on multiple devices I would use POP for a quick and easily retrieval process.
To throw into the mix, different web hosts, mail hosts and internet service providers like Optus and Bigpond use different types of systems and variations of the above protocols designed to best fit what they assume the clients would like.
Can Townsville Nerds help me?
Of course we can. I am experienced in all types of email software, mail server technology and have even developed my own. It has been a long time since I have seen a mail server I did’t know the settings for and with our massive repository of server settings it shouldn’t take too long at all to configure your email to work properly on multiple devices in multiple locations.