How to set up your email to go through POP3 and SMTP

Many people enjoy the convenience of reading and replying to email messages using software programs like Outlook, Windows Live and Thunderbird. Of course, to get software like that to work, you need to fill in a few blanks and click a few buttons. No sweat. We have you covered.

First, POP3, SMTP and IMAP are kind of strange abbreviations. Do you understand what they mean? It helps to get the gist of them before digging in and trying to set up your email service.


SMTP, POP3 and IMAP are different ways your email program (say, Outlook) communicates with your email provider (CenturyLink). Really simply, they amount to this:

  • POP3 (Post Office Protocol) -- Like its name implies, POP3 is the equivalent of the post office. It's for storing your email. 
  • SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) -- SMTP gets your email from one place to the next -- routing it between servers and eventually to your computer desktop. If you were sending snail mail, it would be the mailman.
  • IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) -- IMAP is a fancier version of POP3. For instance, with IMAP, you can keep your email on the server, something you can't do with POP3. Of course, the downside is that IMAP requires more server space and computing power to operate.

Email server settings

We primarily support 6 email domains. For settings and how-to instructions, click on the domain that matches your email address.

Before you begin, keep these things to keep in mind:

  • We don't support IMAP. We're providing the IMAP settings here for self-help only.
  • When you go to set up your email program, you may be prompted to "leave a copy of your emails on the server ." We recommend you accept this option.
  • "Email Size Limit" refers to the size of a single email, and "Sent To Limits" include the To, CC and Bcc fields in emails. These limits are the same whether you're using webmail or SMTP. POP2 and SMTP Settings POP2 and SMTP Settings POP2 and SMTP Settings POP3 and SMTP Settings POP3 and SMTP Settings POP3 and SMTP Settings

Other POP3 and SMTP Settings

For additional assistance, chat with us.  We're here to help.