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IMAP question


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#1
diggeryo

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I've never been a big fan of webmail and have always accessed my email through a POP3 account in an application (currently using Thunderbird). I do this mainly because I don't want to run the risk of whatever webmail account I would use from losing all my emails. If I download my emails to my computer, I can back them up in case disaster ever strikes.

Anyway, for reasons I won't get into, I've been considering converting my POP3 account to an IMAP account. I want all my email folders to be synchronized no matter what computer I am using Thunderbird on. However, the thing that concerns me about this is, even though I am downloading all my emails to my computers, if the emails do somehow get deleted on my email host's server (currently 1and1.com), the next time I try to access my email in Thunderbird, the IMAP configuration will update my computer's email and delete everything that was deleted online.

Is there any way around this? To still use IMAP (so all my folders would be synchronized across multiple computers), yet still be protected from possible email deletion on the email host's server? (Mind you, I would want any email I CHOOSE to delete to also be deleted across computer, yet I want to be protectd from 1and1.com issues like hard drive crashes and whatnot.)

Of course, I am not extremely well versed in exactly what IMAP is, so perhaps I am protected from this problem but don't know it.

thanks,
mike.
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#2
SpywareDr

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Wikipedia: IMAP
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imap

IMAP supports both on-line and off-line modes of operation. E-mail clients using IMAP generally leave messages on the server until the user explicitly deletes them. This and other characteristics of IMAP operation allow multiple clients to manage the same mailbox. Most e-mail clients support IMAP in addition to POP to retrieve messages; however, fewer Internet service providers (ISPs) support IMAP.[3] IMAP offers access to the mail store. Clients may store local copies of the messages, but these are considered to be a temporary cache.


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#3
diggeryo

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Thanks for the reply, SpywareDr.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the following scenario occur: let's say I'm using IMAP and have years worth of emails in my email folders. Since I am using IMAP, those messages would be saved in all of my Thunderbird accounts on each computer as well as on my email host's servers. However, let's say, unknown to me, my email host has a problem or gets hacked, and all of my emails on their servers are then deleted. Would not all my emails then be deleted on my physical computer the next time I check my email in Thunderbird?

THAT'S what I'm trying to circumvent. I want to be able to backup my emails, so that even if they are all deleted, I would be able to restore them.

Or am I not understanding something here?

thanks,
mike.
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#4
cyberqueen

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Diggeryo, I've used IMAP for many years, though only within the last few years have I started to download any messages to my hard drive. I did so in part so that I could delete some of them from my IMAP account and still have copies on the hard drive. In other words, deleting messages from my IMAP account in no way affected the messages that I had saved on my hard drive. I use Mulberry rather than Thunderbird to download the messages, but I doubt that it would make much difference.

I hope this helps.
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