POP stands for Post Office Protocol, and is one of the technologies used for that all-important medium of communication: email. Like many other computer-related things, email requires a special language for mail to be received or sent. POP is one of the technologies that allows email sent from anywhere in the world to arrive in your inbox.
POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) is the most recent version of a standard protocol for receiving e-mail. POP3 is a client/server protocol in which e-mail is received and held for you by your Internet server. Periodically, you (or your client e-mail receiver) check your mail-box on the server and download any mail, probably using POP3. This standard protocol is built into most popular e-mail products, such as Eudora and Outlook Express. It's also built into the Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers.