There are a number of differences between IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) and Microsoft Exchange email services. Generally speaking, IMAP email accounts are supplementary to website hosting rather than independent of them. This means that IMAP is best used when email plays a minimal role in the day to day operations of your business, and where a temporary failure of email services, or a permanent loss of email data like contact lists will have minimal impact on your operations.

If you have used a free email service like Hotmail or Yahoo Mail, these services can be thought of as using IMAP.

The most common shortcoming that customers can relate to with IMAP is when they get a new device, and the email addresses of previously emailed people are no longer suggested and their contact details have disappeared. Exchange does not have this shortcoming.

Exchange also supports collaboration between staff and enhances productivity by allowing for the sharing of contact information for customers and suppliers, and the ability to create shared calendars for example.

You can see additional benefits and feature differences in the comparison chart below:

 

IMAP

Microsoft Exchange

Contact Syncing & Sharing

No

Yes

Calendar Syncing & Sharing

No

Yes

High Security

No

Yes

Ability to Integrate with 3rd party services

No

Yes

Mobile & Tablet Friendly Email Syncing

Yes

Yes

Folder Syncing Between Devices

Yes

Yes

Enhanced search feature

No

Yes

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