Electronic Mail Services

Secure POP and IMAP Email Access

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Secure Email AccessFor those who are reading BNL email from home via POP or IMAP, a service called smail.bnl.gov (SMail) has been set up to provide secure POP and IMAP access to the internal email servers.  Secure POP or IMAP (SSL/TLS) is a method of encrypting the session between the mail client and mail server during mail retrieval.

This service provides an SSL POP or IMAP connections over the public internet which protects your password as it is transmitted over the internet and will help close many firewall conduits.

This service also uses session tracking to allow you to send e-mail via SMTP through the SMail service.

What is the difference between POP and IMAP?

Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) - IMAP allows a client to access and manipulate electronic mail messages on a server which includes manipulation of remote message folders called "mailboxes" in a way that is functionally equivalent to local mailboxes. It also provides the capability for an offline client to resynchronize with the server.

Other functions include creating, deleting, and renaming mailboxes, checking for new messages, permanently removing messages, setting and clearing flags, parsing, searching, and selective fetching of message attributes, texts, and portions thereof.

Post Office Protocol (POP) - POP was designed to support "offline" mail processing where mail is delivered to a (usually shared) server, and a personal computer user periodically invokes a mail "client" program that connects to the server and downloads all of the pending mail to the user's own machine. Thereafter, all mail processing is local to the client machine. Once delivered, the messages are then deleted from the mail server.

Although the limitations of offline access have triggered interest in using POP in online mode, POP simply doesn't have some of the functionality needed for high-quality online (or disconnected) operation. Indeed, POP's "pseudo online" mode of operation, wherein client programs leave mail on the server, often depends on pervasive availability of a remote file system protocol in order for the mail client to access or update saved-message folders or message state information such as status flags.

SMTP for delivery

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) - SMTP is the most common protocol used to send email messages over the Internet.

Top of PageLast Modified: November 15, 2012

To reach ITD Unix Services for any support issues, please contact the ITD Helpdesk via email (itdhelp@bnl.gov) or call x5522.  In any communications, please include the name of the machine(s) in question, as well as their operating system, software package and other relevant information which will allow ITD to help you more effectively.