Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) is a standard protocol for accessing email on a remote server from a local client. IMAP is an application layer Internet Protocol using the underlying transport layer protocols to establish host-to-host communication services for applications. This allows the use of a remote mail server. The well-known port address for IMAP is 143.
The IMAP architecture enables users to send and receive emails through a remote server, without support from a particular device. This type of email access is ideal for travelers receiving or answering emails from their home desktop or office computer.
This term is also known as interactive mail access protocol, Internet mail access protocol, and interim mail access protocol