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What is an SMTP Server?
An SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. It is a communication protocol that handles users to send emails over the internet.
When a user sends an email, the SMTP server processes the email, analyses the recipient’s server, and relays the message to that server. The sender can send the mail in various forms, such as text, video, or graphics. SMTP uses a connection-oriented protocol like TCP that guarantees the email is delivered to the receiver.
For SMTP to function, a collection of records must be established for the recipient’s domain within the DNS database of the name server.
The two main components of an SMTP server is as follows:
The User-Agent (UA) handles preparing, creating, and sending the message into a string of code.
The Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) then transfers this code into a message across to the particular recipient.
What happens when I send an email to SMTP Server?
1. The sender’s server connects to the SMTP Server, smtp.SMTPServer.com.
2. The sender mail server has communication with the receiver’s server. The server verifies if the username and password are authentic and correspond to an active account, then relays the message information.
3. The sender’s server gathers the message information and then repeats the communication process in Step 2 with the recipient’s mail server.
4. The recipient’s mail server confirms the sending address, recipient address, and contents of the message.
5. The server confirms a valid e-mail address and ensures no issues, then the recipient’s mail server will use the protocols POP3 or IMAP to retrieve the email and deliver the message to its destination.
Uses of an SMTP server
SMTP is the protocol for transferring electronic mail. A wide range of enterprise applications uses SMTP for sending various emails. The enterprise application will have a remote SMTP server set up and also it will rely on a local SMTP server to accept the message and relay it to the next SMTP server in line.
SMTP is responsible for setting up communication between a sender and receiver’s server. SMTP is only used to send emails. One must provide the correct SMTP server when setting up your email client. An SMTP server can’t be used to retrieve and store emails.
The sender’s server identifies the message and transmits the type of operation it will perform. The receiver’s server must allow the operation to receive the message. SMTP is simple and reliable, but not secure and is vulnerable to spoofing.
An SMTP is configured in your email client such as Microsoft Outlook, and Gmail, which makes sure that the receiver receives your e-mail.
In conclusion, an SMTP server works similarly to a mailman, it picks up the mail from your mailbox and finds the correct address, and delivers it to the destination mailbox.