On the surface you would be forgiven in thinking sending and relieving emails is a relatively easy thing.
For the most part all you have to do is hit send and receive and like magic your emails is sent at the speed of light, right across the world instantly into your recipients inbox.
Once your email is set up correctly this is usually the case, but unfortunately setting your email up in the first place to work correct is often hard said than done.
With so many different types of emails, different provides and different settings such as pop3, imap, webmail and smtp, how can you possibly know which is what and what you have to do?
How email works
When sending or receiving an email, the first thing you need is the internet. Without the internet you are not going to be able to send or receive any new emails not already sitting in your email client.
Hitting send and receive, after you have finished composing your email complete with the intended parties address your email will get sent to your SMTP server you set up in your email client.
After your SMTP server receives your email, it analyses it to find out where it needs to go and sends it to your recipients email server awaiting them to access it.
Once the recipient is ready to check for new emails they will hit send and receive resulting in their email client going out to their mail server and downloading the email you sent them, directly in their inbox.
Note: Simply deleting your email wont delete all copies. There will still most likely be one on your smtp server, your friends email server and on your friends email client. Sending and receiving emails makes multiple copies of your email stored in different parts of the internet.
Different types of email systems
Not all, but most, email accounts you have these days will be accessible via 3 different types of systems, POP, IMAP or Webmail.
Although all three systems will provide you with your emails, how they do it and how many devices you wish to access these emails from will determine the type of system you choose to use.
POP (Post Office Protocol)
Post office protocol was used mostly at the dawn of the internet when internet connections where very slow and we only really had one device.
The way POP differs from the other two protocols is that it is usually just used on one computer. When you hit send and receive using pop it downloads your emails and stores them your computer before deleting it off the email server.
The benefit of this is when you are not connected to the internet you can still see the email you have already downloaded.
But the problem now with this is we all have multiple devices such as phones, computers and tablets. When using pop you can not access those same emails again from a different device if you have already looked at them from another.
IMAP (Internet Mail Access Protocol)
IMAP is a much more modern system for todays user, people with multiple devices who want to access their emails from either their phones, tablets, pc’s or laptops.
Having your email clients set up with IMAP will allow you to access your emails you have already read on another device.
It leaves the emails on your email server so if you do your emailing on your laptop for instance, you can then go to your mobile phones email client which reflect the same things you did on your laptop, keeping everything organised and uniform.
The only problem with IMAP is if your emails are big and your internet is slow it can take a little bit longer to access and use it.
Webmail is very similar to IMAP in that you can access the same emails form multiple devices but the mail difference is what you use to access them.
The benefit of using webmail is that no matter where you go or what device you use you can access your email as long as you have internet very quickly with only your username and password and without having to set anything up in your email client.
All you would have to do is go to www.websiteaddress.com, put your username and password in and off you would go.
The biggest draw back to webmail is the lack of functionality and personalisation, but for accessing your email on the run or while travelling webmail is a very useful option.
Free eMail providers
If you don’t already have an email address or you would like a new one, there are a lot of free option which are just as good, if not better than the paid ones.
The benefit of using a free email provider not associated with your Internet Service is that when you leave your internet service provider such a Bigpond and go to a new one, you wont loose your email and have to set up a new one all over again.
The big three providers of free emails are Google Gmail, Microsoft Hotmail and Yahoo Mail. All of these companies have been around for years and are big internet businesses which means they probably aren’;t going anywhere soon.
At this point in time Google Gmail seems to be the front runner, constantly providing new and innovating ways for you to access your emails, across multiple devices.
If you would like help setting up a FREE eMail please call Ross Rudall from Townsville computer repairs Nerds.