A good IMAP host offers generous storage, a user-friendly interface, robust security features, and regular maintenance and upkeep of the platform. This guide will give you our top three picks for IMAP hosting.
We put together a list of the hosts that offer IMAP and other email-related features to help you use it to its maximum potential. Then we sorted it using our thousands of expert and user reviews to find the best.
What is IMAP?
Internet Message Access Protocol, or IMAP, refers to how email is handled online. If you have a central mailbox that many people need to access, or you need to be free to check email from multiple locations, choose IMAP hosting.
There are two ways to receive emails: POP and IMAP. While POP is widespread, we’re increasingly switching to IMAP as the most efficient way to use email. Hosts have now recognized that IMAP is a more sensible way to use email, even if it requires more resources on their side.
How To Choose an IMAP Host
Most hosting providers allow you to create email accounts and access them using IMAP. Some impose limitations that you should be aware of. Consider these factors when choosing the best provider for IMAP hosting:
Support for IMAP hosting: Check if the host offers IMAP as well as POP. Ensure the plan you intend to buy allows you to create a sufficient number of mailboxes. Your mailbox space and server space are shared, so you’ll need to ensure that your email mailboxes don’t encroach on the space you need for files.
Storage limits: You should pay attention to your storage limits, even though email messages are small. Email storage includes attachments, and the more data there is in mailboxes, the less you can use for your website.
Host support: Your provider should have options you should use to configure your client. Every client is different. Good providers will have a knowledgebase of popular clients and other information you need to use clients that aren’t mentioned.
Why it's best: Bluehost's plans include all industry-standard features along with a free domain name registration for the first year. However, there is no monthly billing option.
When you host with Bluehost, you'll be paying similar prices for its shared plans as with SiteGround. But, you also get a free domain name for the first year.
Its plans will give you varying email storage capacities, with higher-priced plans offering unlimited accounts and storage. Bluehost's email hosting is compatible with third-party clients and includes spam protection.
Your email users can have different account controls to customize their email account however they like.
Pros and cons of Bluehost
One free domain name registration for the first year
No monthly billing option (minimum one year)
What Customers Are Saying about Bluehost
Bluehost is a reputable provider offering shared and VPS hosting. The company is easy to use, affordable, and has great uptime. It is geared toward entrepreneurs and small online startups. Billing might be confusing, but they have solid customer service for any issues.
Why it's best: Recommended by the creators of WordPress.org due to the high uptime rate.
SiteGround always has many great things to offer with its web hosting plans. It gives you unlimited email accounts and email databases.
Your use of its email servers is limited to the disk space allocated for the specific plan you choose. As with all its plans, SiteGround includes free website migration, a website builder, and the industry-standard 99.9% uptime guarantee.
Pros and cons of SiteGround
99.9% uptime guarantee.
Free website migration.
Low introductory rate increases after the first year.
No free domain name.
What Customers Are Saying about Siteground
SiteGround is a reliable web hosting company with fast speeds, a user-friendly interface, and solid customer service. Some customers are not thrilled with the price increase and back-end support.
Why it's best: Fast speed with a worldwide average of 172 ms and has a 90-day money-back guarantee, which is longer than its competitors.
InMotion Hosting also has secure IMAP email offered with its plans. Its email hosting includes real-time spam filtering. InMotion uses super-fast SSD servers, so even its shared hosting plans pack a huge punch.
All of its plans come with free marketing and security tools. One of our favorite things about InMotion is that it lets you pick the data center where your website is hosted. This is a rare thing to find from shared hosting packages.
Pros and cons of Inmotion Hosting
24/7 customer support.
Real-time spam filtering.
All data centers are located in America.
Does not support Nginx.
What Customers Are Saying about Inmotion
InMotion Hostingâ€™s high-performance hosting, support team, features, and customer service are well-liked. Prices are fair, but can fluctuate.
Frequently Asked Questions About IMAP Hosting Services
What is IMAP?
IMAP stands for internet message access protocol. It’s a protocol for storing and retrieving emails.
Is IMAP used to send email as well as retrieve it?
You can use IMAP to send an email; however, it isn’t typically used for this purpose. It’s more common that you’d use IMAP for storage and retrieval while using an SMTP server to send.
What’s the difference between IMAP and POP?
The easiest way to understand the difference is to think about one mailbox you use on several devices: a computer, a phone, and a tablet. Once you delete an email on your computer with IMAP, the change is replicated on the email server and then on your phone and tablet. In contrast, if you download email with POP on all devices and then read, archive, or delete messages, the devices will constantly be out of sync.
Do all web hosting plans support IMAP?
Most web hosting companies include IMAP support with their plans.
Which email software supports IMAP?
All major email applications support IMAP. If you are looking for a free client, we recommend Thunderbird.
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