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IMAP, UMAP, We All Map
by Gary Woods

Most of us receive email via a protocol called POP or Post Office Protocol, but there's another option called IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol.) The big difference is that if you use an IMAP email account, the original messages stay on the server, along with a record of whether you've read, replied to, or forwarded a message.

The biggest advantage of IMAP is that your inbox looks the same from any computer or any Internet connection. All your incoming, sent and saved messages are there. You can also switch between email clients, without having to re-import all of your messages.

There are three downsides to IMAP. First, your ISP may impose a storage quota, and that space can fill up quickly. Second, some email clients don't support IMAP. Third, IMAP can be painfully slow over a dial-up connection.

If I haven't scared you off yet and you'd like to set up an IMAP account for yourself, the first thing to do is check to see if your ISP supports IMAP. If it does, find out the name of its IMAP and SMTP servers.

From there you can go to Tools and E-mail Accounts in Outlook and select Add a new e-mail account then click on Next. On the following page select IMAP and click on Next. From there enter your name, the incoming and outgoing mailer servers, your user name and password and click on next. That's all there is to it. Happy IMAPing!!!

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. You can hear Gary on the Radio at 1290 AM Monday 9-10 AM and he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc