POP3 Email Connector

People often use POP3 or IMAP mailboxes for personal mail. For Business correspondence, people often use an Exchange account. Exchange and POP3 / IMAP accounts are viewed as different email options but both approaches have their pros and cons, and using both together can make sense in some situations. This guides servers as a brief overview of the features of both ands provide a solution for gathering external POP email into Exchange for use in your office environment.

POP3 Email protocol

POP3, or Post Office Protocol version 3, is an Internet protocol standard that email apps can use to collect messages from a mailserver. The typical flow is as follows:

  1. email client connects to the server
  2. retrieves new messages
  3. moves them to the local storage
  4. deletes them from the server
  5. disconnects

Most modern POP clients have an option to leave email on the server after downloading, and expiring email after a certain time. Using external POP3 servers for storage of incoming emails has both pros and cons.
Pros

  • messages are saved directly to your hard disk and can be edited and viewed even in the Offline Mode
  • Next, you can postpone and schedule sending messages and their size is unlimited
  • Attachments can be quickly opened, as they are stored locally as well.

Cons
  • POP3 is a very simple protocol without any notion of folders whatsoever
  • it only works with the inbox folder, so the local folder structure is not coordinated with the structure of your mailbox on the server
  • and this may result in the delivery of duplicate emails.

There are two types of POP3 account, individual or catch-all. Individual user mailboxes collect mail addressed to separate users. Catch-all (or global), mailboxes collect all the mail addressed to the domain and then distributes it to recipients according to their names in the TO field. There are situations where you are collecting email in a POP3 or IMAP server account, and wish to download them and reroute them to different people within your organization.

Some companies opt for the so-called ‘mixed configuration’, when some of the users work with Exchange mailboxes, and others use POP3 accounts. Moreover, one employee can have two corporate accounts with different domain names hosted with different companies, and he is forced to switch between Outlook accounts to be able to work with these mailboxes properly.

Another option is to go for ‘pure’ Exchange, using a POP3 server as a gateway for incoming messages. Such configuration can be considered fairly beneficial for a number of reasons. First, it allows saving disk space on the Exchange Server, as messages are delivered directly to recipients and then removed from the server; at the same time, users can benefit from all the valuable Exchange functionality such as shared Tasks, Calendar, Contacts, and a systematic backup of these items. Second, as an administrator, you can enhance security by limiting Internet access to your Microsoft Exchange Server if you have your mail delivered by an external server.

In order to retrieve mail from one or several POP3 servers and deliver it to mailboxes on a Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, you can use a special POP3 downloader tool, for instance, Hexamail POP3 Downloader for Exchange 2013 This solution is a flexible and highly adjustable tool, which can be customized to suit the needs of any user or administrator. The program is easily managed through a built in adminsitration interface or a web-based admin.

You can retrieve as many external POP3 mailboxes as you like, and you can download as many messages as there are with a configurable schedule. You can have the connector check the POP3 server for new messages as often as every 1 minute, or more slowly during the day to save bandwidth for other purposes.

Each mailbox is managed separately in order to adapt to its user’s preferences and server settings. Next, both personal and catch-all mailboxes are enabled, as the connector can automatically identify the recipient on Exchange Server 2013, 2010, and 2007. In addition, the search of recipients can be customized by adding routing rules, such as search by TO, CC or Subject fields.

Hexamail POP3 Connector supports all popular protocols as IMAP and POP3, SSL and TLS to secure the connections.

Hexamail provide a fully automatic POP3 routing module called POP3 Reader. This can be used standalone in the Hexamail POP3 Downloader product or as part of the Hexamail Guard, Hexamail Server or Hexamail Nexus products.