Email Servers – Gateway to Secure Communication

email server softwareWith a just a click of a mouse button, you can easily send an email from here to there around the world in a matter of seconds. Have you ever wondered how it is possible to send an email? The answer revolves around the technology called Email Server.

What is an EMail Server?
An email server is the computerized version of your friendly neighborhood mailman. It is a computer within the network that runs software dedicated to send, deliver, and store the messages.

Types of E-Mail Servers
Email servers can be categorized under two main divisions

Outgoing mail servers are known as

  • SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) servers.

Incoming mail servers come in two main categories.

  • POP3, stands for or Post Office Protocol, version 3: It is best known for storing, sending and receiving messages on PCs’ local hard drives.
  • IMAP, stands for  Internet Message Access Protocol:  It always stores copies of messages on servers.

What you ought to know about Email Servers?

1. SMTP Server

  • It’s a set of communication guidelines that allow software to transmit email over the Internet. Most email server software is designed to use SMTP for communication when sending email.
  • It only works for outgoing messages.
  • SMTP offers a set of codes that simplify the conversation of email messages between servers.

2. POP3 Server

  • This is a common method of receiving email. It receives and keeps mails for you until you pick it up.
  • Just like a post office, POP3 does not make copies of received mails.
  • With the help of POP3 it is easy to check your mail from any computer in the world, provided you have configured your email program properly with this protocol.
  • As POP3 is a basic method of storing and retrieving email, it can work with virtually any email program, as long as the email program is configured to host the protocol.
  • Workflow:

*Connect to server
*Retrieve all mail
*Store locally as new mail
*Delete mail from server
*Disconnect.

3. IMAP Server

  • IMAP gives you access to email messages wherever you are; much of the time, it is accessed through the Internet.
  • It supports both on-line and off-line modes of operation.
  • If you are using IMAP, it generally keeps messages on the server until you explicitly erase them.
  • IMAP offers access to the mail storage. It stores local copies of the messages, but those are considered as temporary cache.
  •  Workflow:

*Connect to server.
*Fetch requested content and cache it locally.
*Process modifications made by you, like,  marking email as read, deleting email etc.
*Disconnect.

POP3 or IMAP – which one is more suitable?
Select POP3 if…

  • you access your mail from only one single device
  • you want constant access to your mails, regardless of internet availability
  • you have limited server storage space

Select IMAP if …

  • you access your email from several devices
  • you have constant internet connection
  • you need to receive a quick glance of new mails
  • your have limited local storage space
  • you are worried about email backup

SMTP, POP3 and IMAP with the help of email server softwares provide a gateway to a fast and secure electronic communication worldwide.

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