Everything You Need To Know About Email Protocols
Emails continue to be an effective form of communication, be it business or personal.
12:19 24 July 2020
Now when it comes to talking about the technical aspects of emails, the first thing that comes to mind is email protocols.
Email protocols are the basic algorithms or guidelines that function in the delivery and receipt of emails over cyberspace. Here, let us find out more about the most well-known email protocols – POP3, IMAP, SMTP, and HTTP.
- POP3 and IMAP
Let us begin with imap vs pop3 and how they play a part in the email receiving process.
IMAP - It is used by the majority of the consumer email clients and it helps to store emails securely on the servers. IMAP allows remote access and it enables multiple users to operate a single account. To ensure the proper functioning of this protocol the user needs to open either the port 993 or the port 143.
POP3 - Another widely used email protocol, POP3 helps in downloading messages to a user's system from the client mail service. It is via this that you get to see all your emails even without being connected to the internet. POP3 is generally favored because it allows users to free up some space on the mail server by downloading it directly on PCs. To set up this protocol, you need to open up either port 995 or port 110.
Which is better for business use?
The answer is IMAP owing to the growing needs of businesses of this era to remotely access their emails. As long as IMAP allows users to access their emails regardless of their physical location, it will always be the preferred choice.
The only protocol you will have to abide by while sending emails is SMTP or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. You can think of it as a standard for passing mails from one server to another effectively without any interference. Every email client service you can think of uses a variation of this protocol because without it emails cannot be sent to the recipient.
The only difference between the email receiving protocols like IMAP, POP3, and email sending protocols like SMTP is that the former ones require authentication to proceed further. For SMTP you need to take care of two ports, port 465 and port 25.
- HTTP - in sending emails
If you are accessing your emails via a web-based email client like Gmail and Hotmail, then you would need to comply with the norms of HTTP (Hypertext Transmission Protocol) and its secured format HTTPs. Even though it might not be a full-fledged email protocol, it plays a prime role in the email sending process.
How do these protocols act during email delivery?
When you write a mail and send it, it reaches a mail server known as Mail Transport Agent (MTA).
The sender’s MTA uses SMTP to communicate with the receiver’s MTA ultimately sending the message to the Mail Delivery Agent (MDA).
After the MDA receives the email, it waits for the user to accept it via IMAP or POP3.