What Is SMTP and How SMTP Works

by | Last Updated Jan 29, 2021 | Getting Started | 0 comments

SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. But there is an appealing SMTP full form, Send Mail To People 😉.

POP and IMAP protocols will help you to receive an email from a mail server.

And SMTP is the protocol that will enable you to send your emails to another mail server.

The SMTP protocol is mainly used to send email from an email client to your email provider’s mail server.

The SMTP protocol also helps us to send emails between two mail servers on the Internet.

SMTP is similar to a mailman; the mailman picks up the mail from your mailbox at your home, finds the correct route, and then delivers it to the destination mailbox.

Imagine you are using Gmail, the most popular free email service provider, to manage your emails.

To use a free Gmail account, you are using their domain name, that is gmail.com. The domain gmail.com indeed will allow you to use their email servers in return.

Gmail will handle the email server settings. And these settings will direct your incoming and outgoing emails.

As a result, you can access your Gmail account to read and send emails using Gmail’s webmail or mobile apps or even any other email clients.

Sometimes, you may wish to use a local email client like MS Outlook, Apple Mail, or Mozilla Thunderbird to access your emails.

To access your emails via any email clients, you will need to enter your email provider’s incoming and outgoing mail server settings.

Then only you can manage your emails.

In this case, Gmail’s incoming server settings will tell Mozilla Thunderbird where it can retrieve your email from and process it further.

Gmail’s outgoing mail server setting will tell your email client where it should send your emails.

These outgoing server settings are called the SMTP server settings.

The Role of an SMTP Server

Let’s see how they send mail process, and the role of SMTP servers play in it.

Meet Usha, and her email address is usha@gmail.com.

Though Usha is using Gmail as her free email service provider, she likes to use her favorite email client Mozilla Thunderbird to compose, read, and send her emails.

To make sure Mozilla Thunderbird can communicate with Gmails’s mail servers, she entered Gmail’s email server settings when she configured Mozilla Thunderbird.

Usha writes an email to her friend Gopal using Mozilla Thunderbird.

Gopal’s email address is gopal@@zoho.com.

When Usha clicks the send button, Mozilla Thunderbird sends details like Gopal’s email address, Usha’s email address to Gmail’s SMTP server. It will also include the body and subject of the email message.

Upon receipt, the Gmail’s SMTP server breaks Gopal’s email address into two parts.

The first part is the recipient ID or what displays in front of the @ sign.

And the second section will the domain name zoho.com or what displays after the @ sign.

The Gmail SMTP server then goes out to the Internet and runs a series of server conversations to locates the SMTP server for the domain name zoho.com.

SMTP of Gmail then passes Usha’s email to Zoho’s SMTP server.

Once Usha’s email arrives at Zoho’s SMTP server it remains there until Gopal logs into his Zoho account and retrieves the email.

Do you know you can easily create email addresses at Rovity?

If you have any questions about SMTP, feel free to comment.

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By Gifty Antony

Gifty is passionate about Web Development and connected with various communities. She loves WordPress.

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