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IMAP Connection Limit
Can I make multiple IMAP connections to the same email address?
Yes, the IMAP connection limit is 20 connections per IP address. However this will not work with POP3, this is because IMAP and POP3 are different protocols.
POP3 stores the email on the server until you "pop" it down to a client, such as outlook, mac mail, or thunderbird. By default the mail is deleted off the server and stored on the client locally. This means the entire message is send from the server to the client and is no longer on the server at all. (Unless the settings are changed in the client.)
IMAP synchronizes your mail. When you delete mail from your client, the client deletes it from the server. IMAP also allows for more then one person to look into the same email account. One benefit of IMAP is that the mail is stored on the server so access can occur from many various places.
Please back up your email regardless of the protocol chosen.