Electronic mail also known, as e-mail is a means of a computer based communication in which an electronic letter is sent to one or more recipients. It involves basically an e-mail address that identifies the receiver and making it to travel through a modem. Electronic mail is a common resource provided by the internet which is a worldwide system for sending and receiving electronic mail. In fact, email represents a large portion of all internet traffic and it is for the only internet resources they use.
Electronic mail is a means of sending messages, text, and computer files between computers via the Internet. Email is the exchange of computer-stored messages by telecommunication. Email messages are usually encoded in ASCII text.
However, you can also send non-text files, such as graphic images and sound files, as attachments sent in binary streams. Email was one of the first uses of the Internet and is still the most popular use. A large percentage of the total traffic over the Internet is email. Email can also be exchanged between online service provider users and in networks other than the Internet, both public and private.
Email can be distributed to lists of people as well as to individuals. A shared distribution list can be managed by using an e-mail reflector. Some mailing lists allow you to subscribe by sending a request to the mailing list administrator. A mailing list that is administered automatically is called a list server. Email is one of the protocols included with the Transport Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite of protocols. A popular protocol for sending e-mail is Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and a popular protocol for receiving it is POP3.
TYPES OF ELECTRONIC MAIL
There are two main types of email which are client-based email and webmail.
A) Client-based email: Client-based email is often used by business users and involves the email being downloaded from a server to an application such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird on the user’s computer. Client-based email requires software, e.g. Outlook.
Requirement for Setting up Client Based Email
- A computer.
- An Internet connection.
- An account with an Internet Service Provider.
- An email application, e.g. Outlook, Thunderbird or Entourage.
Your Internet Service Provider will give you an email account, a password and a mailbox such as yourname@@hostname.co.uk.
B) Webmail: Webmail is accessed through a web browser and can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection. Webmail, as its name suggests, is web-based email. To use webmail you do not need any email software, just a computer connected to the Internet and a browser. Webmail accounts are usually free. Users simply sign up to a webmail service such as Google mail, Hotmail or Yahoo. They are then given a unique user name, password and a personal mailbox. The mailbox is accessed by visiting a specific web address and logging in. Once logged in, users can send and receive messages.
The advantage of webmail is that users can receive and send email from any computer in the world with Internet access and a browser. Some ISPs will enable their customers to access their mailbox via webmail as well as through the email software on their PC.
FEATURES OF EMAIL
- Automatic reply to messages.
- Auto forward and redirection of messages.
- Facility to send copies of a message to many people.
- Automatic filing and retrieval of messages.
- Addresses can be stored in an address book and retrieved instantly.
- Notification if a message cannot be delivered.
- Emails are automatically date and time stamped.
- Signatures can be attached.
- Files, graphics or sound can be sent as attachments, often in compressed formats.
- Webmail and mobile email can be used to receive and send messages while on the move.
ADVANTAGES OF EMAILS
- Managing Email is Easy: You can manage all your correspondence on screen and so can your customers. Your proposal can be answered, revised, stored, and sent to others, all without reams of paper involved.
- Email is Fast: They are delivered at once around the world. No other form of written communication is as fast as an email. Mail is delivered instantly from your office to anywhere in the world. Timely buying and selling decisions can be made in a heartbeat.
- Email is Inexpensive: Compared to telephone calls, faxes, or overnight courier service, Email is less expensive.
- Email is Easy to Filter: The subject line on an Email makes it easy to prioritize messages. The reader can identify critical correspondence quickly and dealt with it immediately. Unlike regular mail which needs to be opened and reviewed, or voice mail which requires you to either listen to or scan all your messages for those that require immediate attention.
- Transmission is Secure and Reliable: The level of security in transmitting Email messages is very high, and the industry continues to strive to develop even tighter security levels. Email is private. Often telephone and fax messages are not. If the address information is correct, rarely does an Email go astray. Fax machines can be out of order or out of paper and this prevents an important message from being delivered in a timely manner. Email is an Internet marketing tool that is fast, easy to use, inexpensive and effective. Email levels the playing field between the big corporations and small businesses. No longer is it just the big boys who have the resources to access the big advertising houses. Anyone can get their word out there using Email as the method of delivering the message.
- When you reply to an email you can attach the original message so that when you answer the recipient knows what you are talking about. This is important if you get hundreds of emails a day.
- It is possible to send automated emails with a certain text. In such a way it is possible to tell the sender that you are on vacation. These emails are called auto responders.
- Emails do not use paper. They are environment friendly and save a lot of trees from being cut down.
- Emails can also have pictures in them. You can send birthday cards or newsletters as emails.
DISADVANTAGES OF EMAILS
- Emails may carry viruses. These are small programs that harm your computer system. They can read out your email address book and send themselves to a number of people around the world.
- Many people send unwanted emails to others. These are called spammails.Ittakesa lot of time to filter out the unwanted emails from those that are really important.
- Emails cannot really be used for official business documents. They may be lost and you cannot sign them.
- Your mailbox may get flooded with emails after a certain time so you have to empty it from time to time.
- The recipient needs access to the Internet to receive email.
- Viruses are easily spread via email attachments (most email providers scan emails for viruses on your behalf).
- Phishing – sending an email to a user falsely claiming to be a legitimate company to scam the user into providing information, such as personal information and bank account numbers on a bogus website. The details will then be used for identity theft.
- No guarantee the mail will be read until the user logs on and checks their email.
- Spam – unsolicited email, i.e. junk mail.
Email address is the address used to reach someone via email. The format of an email address is user@domain name.
Internet Domain Names
A domain name is a string used to name Web sites and other servers on computer networks. A domain name is the component of a web address that identifies and locates an entity (such as a person, business, or organization) presence on the Internet. The domain name is the representation of the numeric IP Addresses assigned to individual computers. On the Internet, these strings are managed by the Domain Name System (DNS). The DNS uses a system of multilevel strings separated by dots (‘.’) to organize domain names. For example, the website wapco.lafarge.com uses three levels of naming. The levels are listed in order of lowest to highest when reading from left to right. In this example, the first substring (‘wapco’) represents one specific website or sub-domain. Then, the second substring (‘lafarge’) represents an organizational domain that points to a website but also contains numerous other sub-sites (sub-domains). Finally, the third substring (‘.com’) represents a top level domain (TLD) that encompasses numerous organizations worldwide.
TLDS – COMMON DOMAIN EXTENSIONS
Domain extensions on the internet are often called top level domains (TLDs). Dot (.) com is the most commonly used. There are seven top-level domain extensions on the Internet which were part of the original Internet specifications for domain extensions: They are:
- .edu – an address for educational institution
- .gov – an address registered as governmental organization
- .int – an address registered as intergovernmental organization
- .mil – address registered as military institution
- .net – address registered as computer network company
- .org – address registered as non-governmental organization
- .com – address registered as commercial organization
In recent years, many new TLDs have been deployed on the Internet. Some of these are intended for broad use worldwide, while others are designed to serve special interest groups. Though not as popular as the original TLDs listed above, you may also encounter some of these newer domain extensions when browsing the Web:
- .biz – It is intended for registration of domains to be used by businesses.
- .info – An “info” address is ideal to communicate information to people who are looking for it.
- .jobs – for companies advertisement.
- .mobi – for mobile service.
- .name – for individual entity.
- .tel – for internet communication services
- .xxx – for adult entertainment.
The ICANN organization ultimately oversees the process of managing Internet domains including new TLD extensions.
COUNTRY DOMAIN EXTENSIONS
Internet also maintains domain extensions for each country to help organize Web sites within each nation. These extensions are named according to worldwide standard two-letter country codes similar to those used by the postal system. Examples of country code TLDs include:
- .br – Brazil
- .ca – Canada
- .ng – Nigeria
- .cn – mainland China
- .fr – France
- .in – India
- .jp – Japan
- .ru – Russian Federation
Example of Email Address:
User – fmemail
Where – fmegovng
Domain – governmental organization
Length of Email Address
Email address is composed of two parts. The local part comes before the “@” sign, and the domain part follows it. In ?email@example.com”, the local part is “user”, and the domain part is “example.com”. The local part must not exceed 64 characters and the domain part cannot be longer than 255 characters. The total combined length of all the characters in an email including “@” and punctuation must not exceed 254 characters.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ELECTRONIC MAIL ADDRESS AND WEB ADDRESS
A Uniform Resource Locator, or URL, is web-speak for address. It is the address of a web page and contains several elements. An email address identifies an account on a mail server. Quite often an email server has the same domain name as the web site. The major difference between a URL and an email address is that the email address always has an “at”sign (“@”) and a URL never does.
STEPS INVOLVED IN CREATING AN EMAIL ACCOUNT
- Before moving into the steps involved in creating, better have the idea of variety of sites are there where you can have the ids. A single individual is permitted to have multiple accounts.
- You can either choose Gmail, yahoo, Rediff, hotmail, Ymail and so on. The process of creating the mail id is more or less the same.
- The purpose is the same but only the name differs. For registering for any jobs in internet any for several reasons the mail id is must and important.
- Primarily, move to Google.com, search for the mail where you want your account to be created. Select the site and move to its home page or the page where it appears.
- Click the sign up option present anywhere in the window. The sign up window opens now fill the required column like name, age, DOB, mobile number, location and so on.
- Now select a name for your email.id. For example aaa123@<emailtype>.com. Email type can be yahoo, Gmail, Ymail, Rediff as discussed earlier. Check for availability.
- Give a password and any security question if necessary. After agreeing the terms and conditions click create my account option.
- Your email is created successfully you. can start accessing it from right now.
To send and receive email you must be connected to the Internet.
Dial-up users pay by the minute, so it makes sense for them to write their emails before they connect to the Internet and to disconnect once they’ve received their new emails. This saves money.
Broadband users pay a flat rate monthly subscription, the price they pay is not determined by how long they are online.
- Open the email client, eg Microsoft Outlook, or if using webmail open a browser and enter the webmail address, eg http://www.gmail.com and log in.
- Click ‘New’ or ‘Compose’.
- Enter the intended recipient(s) email address(es) in the ‘To’ field.
- Write a suitable subject in the ‘Subject’ field.
- Write the message in the space below the Subject field.
- Click ‘Send’ to send the email.
There is the option to add an attachment, e.g a photo.
For security reasons, webmail users should log out once they are finished as the computer they are using might be used by other people who, if they forgot to log out, would be able to gain access to their email.
Email clients and webmail periodically check for new emails. A manual check can be performed by clicking ‘Send and Receive’ in an email client or by refreshing the page when using webmail.
Email clients download attachments automatically but webmail users must choose to download attachments.
Email on other devices
Today email is not limited to computers. It can be sent from many other devices too, such as:
- mobile phones (using the carrier’s network or a wireless hotspot).
- games consoles.
- public kiosk terminals.
With wireless hotspots becoming increasingly common it is easier than ever to connect to the Internet while on the move.