E-mail and related protocols

Once the user has subscribed to the ISP (Internet Service Provider), the next thing to do is set up internet connection on the computer. After connecting with the Internet, the user can easily retrieve information from internet using web browsers. To visit a website, type the address (URL) of the website in the address bar. The browser fetches home page of the website.

An E-mail address consists of a unique user name, @ sign and a domain name. There are two ways to get an email account – through ISP (Example: BSNL, MTNL) and through free Web-Based Service Providers (Example: Gmail, Hotmail).

To create a Gmail account, open a web browser and type www.gmail.com. Click on Sign up now. Enter the personal information. Create an account name and password. Fill in the details and click on ‘I Accept. Create my account.’ Inbox displays the newly delivered email messages. To read any mail, simply click on it. E-mail message usually contains the following components: TO, CC, BCC, SUBJECT and BODY. To send an email, click on Compose. To send a message to more than one person, enter multiple addresses by putting a semicolon (;) between each address. Email message can be of two formats: Plain text (txt) email and Rich text (rtf) email. Search engine is a program that searches through a database of web pages for particular information. The two major functions of search engines are - crawling and building an index and providing answers by calculating relevancy and serving results.

Protocol is a standard set of rules for communication. The mail client and mail server can exchange information with each other using a variety of protocols. The protocols used with email are: Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP), Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) and Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP). IMAP is a standard protocol for accessing e-mail from local server. POP3 provides a simple way to download email from the server to the local computer. SMTP is used to send email from one recipient to another but does not receive them. HTTP is not a protocol dedicated for email communication but it can be used for accessing mailbox.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is used to transfer computer files from one host to another host over the internet. FTP establishes two TCP connections between a client and server: control connection and data connection.

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