What is an "e-mail mailbox", "POP mailbox" or "IMAP mailbox"?

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An email mailbox is an email address that receives email messages and stores them on our servers. The messages wait on our servers until you read them using either our Webmail pages or a “POP” or “IMAPmail program such as Outlook Express or Apple Mail on your own computer.

E-mail mailboxes are the way most people read their email. The other way is a forwarding address, which sends the message to a different address you choose.

If you're not sure whether you need a mailbox or a forwarding address, see Mailbox vs. Forwarding Address for help.

Creating mailboxes

You'll probably want to create a mailbox for each person who reads email. For example, if three people named Rob, Mollie and Charlotte each need an email address, you might want to create mailboxes for rob@example.com, mollie@example.com and charlotte@example.com.

To learn how to create a mailbox, see the topic Creating E-Mail Mailboxes.

Using role addresses with mailboxes

Some people create mailboxes for generic "role" addresses, such as sales@example.com and support@example.com. That works as long as you use Webmail, or if only one person is reading the mailbox, but it can cause problems if two or more people are reading the same mailbox using POP mail programs on their own computer.

The reason is that as each person reads the incoming mail, his or her mail program will remove it from the server. That prevents the second person from seeing the messages the first person viewed.

To avoid this problem, be sure to set each of the POP mail programs to leave a copy of the messages on the server for several days so that all the mail programs have a chance to see it.