Reposted and Edited on 2/20/2012.
As there are several ways to get your email, I am often asked by my customers about getting their email downloaded to their desktop, laptop, and even a mobile device.
POP3: The problem with POP3 sharing is that you are essentially downloading the same email 2 or 3 times; and these are being marked as ‘unread.’ This means you will have to wade through your email each time on each machine. Therefore, this is not truly syncing but rather sharing.
The only way to truly sync your email is with Exchange Server (for Windows) or utilize Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP).
IMAP allows for two-way communication between your e-mail account and your devices. That means whatever software or computer you use to access your e-mail, they will sync. But this requires that the email remain on your email server. If you are like me, I have over 2GB of emails and many hosting accounts limit your web and email space. If you go over this amount, your website can go down for going over the limit. If you choose this, be sure that you have enough email space and bandwidth to account for this traffic.
Webmail services like Gmail or Hotmail will allow you to add POP3 accounts to their system. Although it is not true syncing, it does let you read and send email from any machine without having to do double work.
How to Add POP3 to Gmail – http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=21288
How to Add POP3 to Hotmail – http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/10777/how-to-add-any-pop3-email-account-to-hotmail/
How to Add POP3 to Yahoo – http://help.yahoo.com/tutorials/mmail/mmail/mm_accessother2.html
Exchange Server: For my business this was the best solution. All my emails are truly synced on all of my devices. The downside is the Exchange Server can get expensive if you require several email accounts (on a hosted solution) or intend to host your own email at your business. They generally run between $8 – $25 per month per account. Having said that, how much will you save in frustration and time reviewing the same emails.
We recommend Intermedia Hosted Exchange Services
Setup POP3 on several devices
By default, when you download new messages from a POP3 e-mail account, the messages are deleted from the POP3 mail server. If you check your POP3 e-mail account from different computers by using the default Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 POP3 settings, the computer that downloads a new e-mail message is the only location where the message is stored. The message is no longer on the POP3 mail server when you connect from another computer. – Microsoft.com (read more)
To setup your POP3 with your Outlook on your PC and laptop, here are the steps:
- Click Tools | Account Settings
- Under Name, select the POP3 e-mail account that you want to change, and then click Change.
- Click More Settings.
- Click the Advanced tab, and then under Delivery, select the Leave a copy of messages on the server check box.
- Then be sure to select the number of days to remove older messages from your server. These settings might help prevent you from exceeding the maximum mailbox size set by your Internet service provider (ISP) or web host.