The striking progress in global communication technologies has paved the way of the Electronic mail, or simply email, to our daily everyday life. Sending a message is no longer dependent on the geographical location of the sender and the recipient. Being now able to send a message to the other end of the world in seconds, we all have a good reason to feel as residents of a global village.
What is an Email?
The Email (also known as e-mail, eMail, e-post) refers to the transmission of messages over communication networks. As an electronic method of messaging, it is fast and convenient, and includes all the steps of the delivery of a message to a recipient - writing, sending, receiving and saving. A received message can be handled in a variety of ways - it can be stored in a text file, forwarded to other users or just deleted.
The contents of an email message can be some lines of keyboard typed text or files stored on a computer, or both. The Email is the main method of business communication worldwide due to its flexibility and reliability. One of its best features is that a message can be sent to several users simultaneously.
How the Email service works
The process of sending an e-mail message can be explained in 5 basic steps. Let's say that you have an e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org and you need to send a mail message to us at email@example.com. This is the route which your mail travels until it is delivered:
- First you need to open your email client program and compose the message. The message composition can include typing the text message in the text field, attaching files and photos and filling the "To…" field with the e-mail address which you want to send the mail to. Also, with some e-mail client programs, or when you have more than one email address set up, you will need to specify the e-mail address from which you will send the mail in the "From" field.
- When the message is composed you need to send it by pressing the "Send" button of your mail client software. The email software will automatically format the mail message in an e-mail format and send it to your pre-configured SMTP server, typically set at port 25.
- The next major step proceeds in your mailbox's SMTP server. The SMTP server is the server application which is responsible for sending messages over the SMTP protocol. It is a service commonly provided by your ISP. You can also use the SMTP server of your mail service provider instead. Once the message is sent from the mail client, the SMTP server receives it over the network and reads the email address set in the "To" field. Then it asks for the MX record corresponding to the recipient’s e-mail address. For example, if we send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org, the SMTP server asks the DNS Zone server for a MX record for the domain my-ntc-domain.com.
- Once the DNS server responds with the MX DNS record of the recipient’s e-mail address, the SMTP server connects to it and delivers the message to the opposite mail server.
- Once the e-mail message is delivered to the mailbox on the recipient’s mail server, the recipient can start his/her mail client software application and receive the message by downloading it from the server using the POP3 protocol. Also, the mail can be read on the server by using an IMAP protocol connection.
What do I need to use the Email?
So, now we know how the mail delivery process works. But what do we need to use an Email service?
First of all, we need an email address. The email address is provided by a mail service provider. The mail service provider gives you access to its mail server over SMTP, POP and IMAP mail protocols. Also, the mail provider gives you a mail hosting service - this means that all your mails are hosted on the provider's servers until they are downloaded on your local computer.
There are various types of mail service providers. There are companies which provide basic, free of charge mail services. Also, there are commercial mail providers which offer high quality, secure, enterprise class email services. We, at NTC Hosting, provide all our web hosting clients with secure email services which the clients can administer through an advanced and easy to use E-mail Manager. Using the mail services provided with all our web hosting plans, you can manage your personal email or business e-correspondence through a variety of options, including E-mail Forwarding, Auto-responders, SPF Protection, etc.
Besides the email address, in order to send and receive e-mail messages, you need a configured email client. The email client can be a program installed on your personal computer, mobile phone, or a web-based, website-like application provided by your mail service provider. We, at NTC Hosting, offer you two basic ways to set up each email address of yours - via your browser (Webmail) or through an email client such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Mozilla Thunderbird (POP3/IMAP E-mail Accounts).