Email is the most convenient and the quickest method of correspondence ever created. Literally millions of email messages are sent on a daily basis throughout the world. It has never been easier to get in contact with almost anyone in any location as long as they have an email application, a provider, and an email address. Within minutes, you can create a message, press send, and, almost instantaneously, it will be in the recipient's inbox ready for them to read and respond if they so desire.
Since emailing is so easy, most don't even give a thought to the technical stuff that makes this all work. You may have heard some of the jargon used when it comes to the different emailing components, such as SMTP or POP3 but had no idea what it meant. The following are just some short definitions to help you sort it all out:
- Sending Email: Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) contains a set of instructions that transfers email from one email server to the next. Think of it as just going from one post office to the next until it gets to its destination.
- Retrieving messages: Through Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3), the email application (how you compose, send, and read your emails) connects to your provider's server, such as Yahoo, to download the emails sent to you in your inbox.
- Email address: This is your identity in the email world. It's like the return address and send to address on regular mail.
- IP address: Internet Protocol (IP) is just like a physical address. All network email servers have one, and this is how it is determined where to deliver the email.
Thankfully, whoever came up with the technology behind emailing truly designed this to make everyone's life a great deal easier. With friends and family spread all over the world, keeping in touch with them is just a send button away.