Difference between SMTP and POP3


Both SMTP and POP3 are the message protocols which are required for sending and receiving the messages between the mail servers. On the basis of nature and task for which these protocols are designed we can distinguish between them.

Following are the important differences between SMTP and POP3 protocols.

Sr. No.KeySMTP protocolPOP3 protocol
1DefinitionSMTP also known as Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, is part of the application layer of the TCP/IP protocol which is primarily used by following a process called "store and forward". SMTP moves email on and across networks based on Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) to send communication to the right computer and email.On other hand POP3, which is an abbreviation for Post Office Protocol 3, is again a protocol used for receiving email. Much like the physical version of a post office clerk, POP3 receives and holds email for an individual until they pick it up.
2DesignedAs mentioned in the above point, SMTP is designed for sending the mails.On other hand, POP3 is being designed for receiving the mails.
3ImplementationSMTP is being implemented technically and physically on port number 25 of the system.On other hand POP3 is being implemented on port number 110.
4TypeSMTP acts as a MTA (Message Transfer Agent) for sending the message to the receiver.However on other hand POP3 is a MAA (Message Access Agent) for accessing the messages from mail box.
5Target UsageSMTP transfers the mail from sender’s computer to the mail box present on receiver's mail server.However on other hand POP3 allows to retrieve and organize mails from mailbox on receiver mail server to receiver's computer.
Published on 09-Jun-2020 12:37:07