March 16th, 2009 by catur

Email is simply the shortened form of electronic mail, a protocol for receiving, sending and storing electronic messages. Email has gained popularity with the spread of the Internet. In many cases, email has become the preferred method of communication.
Email much the same as a letter, only that it is exchanged in a different way. Computers use the TCP/IP protocol suite to send email messages in the form of packets. The first thing you need to send and recieve emails is an email address. When you create an account with a Internet Service Provider you are usually given an email address to send from and recieve emails. If this isn’t the case you can create an email address / account at web sites such as yahoo, hotmail and lycos.

Though there is some degree of uncertainty as to when e-mail was invented, the father of the modern version is generally regarded to be American Ray Tomlinson. Before Tomlinson, messages could be sent between users but only those connected to the same computer. They could not be targeted to a particular individual. Tomlinson devised a way to address email to certain users and thus was credited for one of the most important communication inventions in the 20th century.
Tomlinson’s idea was to identify the name of the user and the computer at which they were located. As a result, the basic formula for addressing an email was username@usercomputer. This standard has not changed over the years, other than the user computer now commonly being replaced by the name of an email provider. In many cases, this is the same as the user’s Internet service provider.
The influence of email cannot be overstated. The United States Postal Service, for example, notes that it handles 212 billion pieces of mail per year. Many sources have nearly that many e-mails being sent back and forth every single day. In other words, email handles more than 300 times the amount of mail of the largest postal system in the world.
In many cases, users receive, send and store email based on one of two standards, SMTP or POP. SMTP stands for simple message transfer protocol. POP stands for Post Office Protocol. Though there is some amount of confusion over what these two protocols mean, the explanation is rather simple. POP is a protocol for storage of email. SMTP is a protocol for sending and receiving.
In the beginning, email usage required having a program dedicated to the application, or at least having an email service provider with a system set up to handle it. The software for the application is called email client software. Some common programs include: Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Opera Mail, Eudora and Pegasus Mail. Many are available for free through open sources.
In addition to accessing electronic mail through email client software, Webmail has also become very popular. Most email service providers offer this as an additional benefit, where the user can access their mailbox over the Internet. Some email services are specifically designed using the World Wide Web as its primary interface. These sites, such as Yahoo! Mail, Google Mail and Hotmail have become very popular, as they offer individuals a chance to open an email account at no charge.

What is Web Based Email?
Email addresses are commonly assigned by your Internet service provider (ISP), but one can also obtain an email address through a website service. This is known as web based email.
Most people are familiar with setting up their email clients to receive mail through their ISP. The client asks for a POP server (Post Office Protocol) in order to receive mail, and a SMTP server (Standard Mail Transfer Protocol) in order to send mail. However, most email clients can also be used to collect web based email by configuring the client to connect to an IMAP server (Internet Message Access Protocol). The IMAP server is part of the host’s package. That said, the more common way to access this mail is by using a browser.
Web based email has its advantages, especially for people who travel. Email can be collected by simply visiting a website, negating the need for an email client, or to logon from home. Wherever a public terminal with Internet access exists — from the library to a café to the airport or hotel — one can check, send and receive email quickly and easily.

What is POP mail?
If you have a POP email account, messages sent to you are stored on Post Office Protocol (POP) servers at your Internet service provider until you connect and retrieve them. When you connect to your POP email account, the messages are downloaded to your computer. The messages remain on the mail server unless you specify that they should be removed. To do so, choose the Advanced pane of Mail Accounts preferences and then either click “Remove now” or select “Remove copy from server after retrieving a message” and indicate when to remove them using the pop-up menu.
POP is the most common method of accessing email, but if you use multiple computers to read your mail, you might find an Internet Messaging Access Protocol (IMAP) account more convenient. Ask your Internet service provider (ISP) if IMAP mail is available for your account. With an IMAP account, you can keep your mail on your ISP’s server, so you can access it again from any computer.

What is the Difference Between SMTP and POP?
There are two standards currently used for most e-mail sent today. SMTP stands for simple mail transfer protocol. POP is an acronym Post Office Protocol. Though it may sound confusing, the difference is not hard to understand. POP is a protocol for storage of email. SMTP is a protocol for sending and receiving.
To give a real-world illustration, SMTP would be like a letter carrier or mailman. He or she can deliver or pick up mail for transfer to another location. POP is like a mailbox or Post Office Box. It is the location the mail is delivered to and where it stays until the recipient is ready to read it. Outgoing mail can also be put in the mailbox.
SMTP is the standard by which the vast majority of mail of transferred on the Internet. Though invented in the early 1980s, it has a reputation for being very reliable. Most mail goes through without problems and gets to the recipient quickly.
However, SMTP also has some shortcomings that were not anticipated when it was first created, and that has created issues for many modern users. SMTP has no way of verifying senders are who they claim they are. Back in the 1980s, when the Internet was used among a select group of people mainly in government and academia, this was not a big issue.
Since the 1990s, it has become a major problem. SMTP’s shortcomings, have given rise not only to spam, but a host of other more malicious enterprises, such as virus transfers. If a program can search an inbox and send a virus as an attachment to everyone on a certain person’s contact list, using that person’s name, it is more likely to be opened by the recipient, who trusts the person they think it is coming from. Though efforts have been made to increase the security of the SMTP standard, it is still a long way from being truly effective.
POP was first designed in 1984 with the idea of allowing users to access an e-mail server, retrieve messages to a local folder located on the computer, and then go offline for reading and writing replies. In part, the offline capabilities were developed at a time when logging on to the Internet was relatively expensive and users were charged per minute. Currently, most of those using the POP standard are using the third version, developed in 1988. This is often referred to as POP3.
Another advantage of web based email is that it provides an alternate address allowing you to reserve your ISP address for personal use. If you would like to subscribe to a newsletter, enter a drawing, register at a website, participate in chats, or send feedback to a site, a web based email address is the perfect answer. It will keep non-personal mail on a server for you to check when you wish, rather than filling up your private email box.

Websites often share information provided them, but giving them a web email address means that junk mail will go to this disposable account instead of your personal account. Later, if you lose interest in the connections associated with this address, you can close or abandon it (as policy dictates) without ramifications to your standard email address. In short, a web based email address can help keep your ISP mailbox uncluttered while still allowing you the flexibility to take advantage of Internet activities that require an address.
Most accounts come with a storage limit, usually more than the average person needs. Pictures, ringtones, MP3s or graphic files can all be kept here, saving room on your hard drive at home.
There are also some drawbacks to web based email, however. Security and privacy are the biggest issues. Most sites will explicitly state in the privacy policy that no expectation of privacy shall exist, even if it is stated in other sections of the policy that a goal of the site is to protect privacy. Security of the server is also less certain, compared to an ISP to which you pay a fee with a contractual promise to provide basic protections. It is therefore unwise, generally speaking, to use web based email for any correspondence of a private nature, or to use a web based email address for services that will be emailing you sensitive information.
Many web based email services are free, but often the ‘price tag’ is paid in advertisements that clutter and slow the interface. Other service providers include a small tagline attached to the end of each email sent. These services usually offer premium accounts, for a fee, that do not include taglines or advertisements.
People who have their own domains might also have web based email depending on the host’s package. These types of accounts often come with POP and SMTP servers as well.
Web based email, even with its drawbacks, certainly has value among the tools of the modern internet user. Taking advantage of this tool will allow you to keep your ISP email address free of clutter and spam while enjoying the fruits the internet has to offer. Or, if you are not concerned about keeping your personal and public mail separate, you can opt for a free mail forwarding service in many cases. This saves you the trouble of going to the website to collect your mail, or configuring your email client to connect to the IMAP server. Instead all mail at the web address will be forwarded to your ISP email account automatically.

List of free email domains :
http://www.zemskov.net/free-email-domains.html

(reference : www.wisegeek.com, www.internet-guide.co.uk, www.wikipedia.org)

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