Managed Exchange vs. POP email

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This is a question that we encounter from a lot of customers. Let’s have a look at what each of the services are so you can get an idea of the differences.

POP Email

What is it?

POP mail is a basic email service that became popular back in the 1980's. You receive an email address with your domain name and that’s about it. You aren’t able to share calendars, contacts, or files. At it's most simple, this is how POP works:

  • Connect to email server
  • Retrieve all email
  • Store locally as new mail
  • Delete mail from server*
  • Disconnect

*The default behaviour of POP is to delete mail from the server. However, most POP programs also provide an option to leave a copy of downloaded mail on the server.


As POP mail was the original mail protocol, it follows a simplistic idea that only one device (computer, mobile phone, etc) will require access to the mail on the server and that the mail will then be stored on that same device. This has the following advantages:

  • Mail is stored locally and therefore is always accessible, even without an internet connection
  • Internet connection needed only for sending and receiving mail
  • Saves server storage space


POP email on our system is designed to have a 50mb limit on each mailbox. However, it is possible to exceed this capacity limit. Depending on your account level and the configuration of your mailboxes, exceeding the 50mb capacity may incur excess usage charges.

Even if your account is set up in a way that will provide excess storage to a POP mailbox without charging you, you will likely still encounter some difficulties, which will worsen as the volume of stored email increases. Eventually, the mailbox will stop sending or receiving, or you may lose the ability to login to your mailbox. When this happens, we will need to delete the vast majority of your mail stored on the server, so it's ideal for you to keep it under the 50mb capacity.

You can head over here if you want to read more technical information about how POP email works.

Microsoft Exchange Mail

What is it? 

Microsoft Exchange Mail provides a central location for managing email, as well as sharing calendars, contact lists, tasks, folders, and files. Because of this, Microsoft Exchange Server has become the industry leader when it comes to email and information management.  When using an Exchange Server, you are never really interacting directly with Exchange itself, as it is the backbone of the system, where the data is stored and maintained by our System Engineers. Instead, users utilise an email client such as Microsoft Outlook to access and interact with the data on the Exchange Server.

What are the advantages of Managed Exchange Email?

Microsoft Exchange helps you protect your data and keeps you connected with secured, reliable access to your emails, calendars, and contacts—from virtually any device. There’s no reason not to want it really, but here some more for good measure:

  • Full Mailbox access from anywhere using OWA (Outlook Web App - commonly known as 'webmail').
  • Sharing and collaboration of Mailboxes, Folders, Notes, Calendars and Tasks.
  • Public Folders showing one Mailbox to all users, saving massive amounts of storage space.
  • Data is stored on the server, so if your computer fails (and they do!), setting up on the new computer is as simple as connecting to the Exchange Server!
  • Synchronization with mobile devices to access your E-mail, Contacts, and Calendar from your Blackberry, iPhone, Android, and/or Windows Mobile Devices.

If you are interested, there’s some more information about Managed Exchange here.


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