What is Mail server and how does it works?

Mail Server Graphical Illustration

A mail server or (e-mail server) is a server that handles and delivers the e-mail over a network, usually over the Internet. A mail server can receive the e-mails from client computers and deliver them to other mail servers. A mail server can also deliver the e-mails to client computers. A client computer is normally the computer where you read your e-mails, for example, your computer in your office or at home and also an advanced mobile phone or Smartphone, with e-mail capabilities, can be regarded as a client computer in these circumstances.

How the e-mail client find right mail server on the Internet?

When you start your e-mail program for the first time, you must normally enter the e-mail account information before you can use the program. For example, specify the name of a server for outgoing e-mail and specify the name of a server for incoming e-mail. It is here you to specify which SMTP server and which POP3 server that your mail program will communicate over the Internet. The servers can be located at anywhere on the Earth, but usually, they are located in the same country as your client computer.

How do mail servers find each other on the Internet?

When you send an e-mail from your local computer to a mail server, your e-mail has just started it’s journey to your receiver. Perhaps your receiver is on the other side of the world, and then it’s a very long distance that the e-mail must travel before it arrives at your receiver’s computer.

The e-mail message receives before an e-mail server as your e-mail program communicates where to deliver the e-mail message and it will examine the e-mail address which was specified as a receiver of the email message. Then the mail server will extract the domain name of the e-mail address and use it to locate the mail server (POP3 server) that your receiver’s client computer communicates with. The domain name is found after the “@” symbol in an e-mail address. If for example, the e-mail address is test@abc.com, the domain name is abc.com. The mail server will find which mail server on the Internet will deliver the e-mail message, by using the domain name as an address. When the server has been identified and it has been responded, then that will accept an e-mail delivery, the e-mail will be sent to this server. And next time your receiver logs on to the POP3 server via his/her client computer, then your e-mail will be downloaded to the person’s e-mail program. Normally all this will take just a few seconds, but if the mail servers or Internet have a lot of traffic at that moment it can take some more time.


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