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Post Office Protocol (POP)

Definition - What does Post Office Protocol (POP) mean?

Post Office Protocol (POP) is a type of computer networking and Internet standard protocol that extracts and retrieves email from a remote mail server for access by the host machine.

POP is an application layer protocol in the OSI model that provides end users the ability to fetch and receive email.

Techopedia explains Post Office Protocol (POP)

Post Office Protocol is the primary protocol behind email communication. POP works through a supporting email software client that integrates POP for connecting to the remote email server and downloading email messages to the recipient’s computer machine.

POP uses the TCP/IP protocol stack for network connection and works with Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) for end-to-end email communication, where POP pulls messages and SMTP pushes them to the server. As of 2012, Post Office Protocol is in its third version known as POP 3 and is commonly used in most email client/server communication architecture.

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