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Email


What is Email?

Email is an electronic message sent from one computer to another. You can send or receive messages with attachments, such as photos, music, video and other documents. Email passes from one computer, known as a mail server, to another as it travels over the Internet. Once it arrives at the destination mail server, it's stored in an electronic mailbox until the recipient retrieves it. This whole process is extremely fast and lets you quickly communicate with people around the world at any time.

To receive email, you need an account on a mail server. You can retrieve your email from anywhere in the world, as long as you have access to the Internet. Your incoming email is sent from a Post Office Protocol (POP) server. The current standard for receiving email is POP3.

To send email, you need access to a mail server that forwards your mail. The standard protocol used for sending Internet email is called Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). When you send an email, your computer sends it to an SMTP server. The server looks at the email address and then forwards it to the recipient's mail server, where it is stored until the addressee retrieves it. You can send email anywhere in the world to anyone who has an email address. All Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer at least one email address with every account.

In addition to email messages, you can also attach documents, photos, audio, video and other software files -- as long as the person receiving the attachment has the software to open the file. Email attachments are made possible through the use of the Multi-purpose Internet Mail Extension (MIME) and other types of encoding.

What you need to know about
all of the above techno-babble

POP = Incoming mail
SMTP = Outgoing mail

Email Software


Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook comes in free or two levels of paid versions.
Rating: 2 stars

Microsoft Outlook's user interface has a dual-pane format. The bottom section of the left-hand pane has four tabs, one each for Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks. When you click on a tab, the top portion of the left pane displays features of that function. The right-hand pane also changes depending on the function you choose.

You can view your calendar by week or month. You can enter notes about a calendar entry, set a reminder, and link it to a contact. You can also set up a daily or weekly schedule, so you can see your busy, free, out of office, or currently unscheduled time at a glance.

The Contacts feature offers various fields for information, such as name, address, telephone, fax, email address, company, and category.


Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird
Rating: 5 stars
Price: FREE

Mozilla Thunderbird features email authentication with spam filtering and a built-in phishing detector to help protect against email scams. It scans any incoming mail for what it thinks is junk and immediately moves it to a junk folder for review, removing it from your inbox (if you trust it, I think you can have Thunderbird just delete it). It works extremely well. If it puts anything in the junk folder that it shouldn't, you just identify the message as "Not Junk" and it won't do it again. Other features include autosaving of messages in progress as drafts, automatic spelling checking as the user types a message, and automatic updating of the software.

Thunderbird also has support for podcasts and RSS feeds. The program can detect whether a podcast is an audio or video file and will run it in the correct player on a user's computer.


Setting Up Mozilla Thunderbird

Detailed instructions for setting up and using Thunderbird can be found at Mozilla Support

Microsoft Outlook Express

Microsoft Outlook Express
Rating: 1 stars
This program is extremely vulnerable to viruses and spyware and is no longer supported by Microsoft.


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