Multiple devices

We all have multiple devices these days, desktop, laptop, tablet and phone with which we need to access our mail.

There are two main email ‘protocols’, IMAP and POP3. How you manage email across your devices depends on which protocol you use.


The big companies, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, BT etc use a system called IMAP. This means you store all mail on the mail server, each device essentially provides a ‘window’ to that stored mail. Nothing is permanently stored on each device and each device has access to the full email history. The reason it is almost exclusively provided by big companies is that the storage space is considerable, 10GB is not unusual for business email storage and often will be much larger than this.


Each time it your mail is accessed the mail is downloaded to your computer or device, it is then usually deleted from the server. With this system, in order that you have complete access to your email history it is necessary to decide that one computer is your main email manager, usually for reasons of storage and backup a desktop or laptop office computer. Each other device can be set to read emails that arrive after the last time the main computer has done a download for the convenience of keeping up with your mail when away from the office.

Our usual email is a POP system, if you need an IMAP system we can provide this optionally. It does attract an extra cost because of the need for additional storage. All our IMAP accounts have unlimited storage unlike, for example, Gmail which is limited to 15Gb. Management of a POP system.

There is, in your email settings, an option either to Leave a copy of the message on the server or Remove the message from the server together with a choice of time period, “one day, one week one month etc”.  Which you have depends on the email programme (client) you are using and is generally found under Advanced Settings.

Your main computer is set to remove the message, all your other devices to leave the message behind. Once a message is received on the main computer it will disappear on the device the next time the device does a send and receive. ‘Device’ in this context also includes your webmail – accessible through and log in with your email address and password.

Optionally you can set your main computer to Remove the message from the server after a week or a month so that you have access to your recent email history on your device for that period. Depending on the amount of traffic in your email account you may be in danger of going over your mailbox quota. If this is a problem, please talk to us because we are usually happy to adjust this within reason to meet your needs.

It is worth noting that if you send an important email from your device you should CC yourself in order to keep a copy on your main computer.