Email Working - Internet Technologies

What is E-mail System?

E-mail system consists of the below three components:

  • Mailer
  • Mail Server
  • Mailbox


Mailer is popularly known as mail program, mail application or mail client, which allows the user to manage an email, read and compose it.

Mail Server

In order to receive, store and deliver an email we need a of mail server. It is very important for a mail server to be active and running all the time because, if the server crashes or goes down, email can be lost.


Information regarding emails is generally contained in a folder known as mailboxes.

Working of E-mail

Email working follows the client server approach. In this client is the mailer i.e. the mail application or mail program and server is a device that manages emails.

Below example will explain the user with basic steps which are involved in sending and receiving of emails. It gives us a better understanding of working of email system:

  • Let us take an example where a person A wants to send an email message to person B.
  • Immediately, Person A would write a message using a mailer program i.e. mail client and select Send option.
  • This composed message is routed to Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (STMP) to person B’s mail server.
  • The mail server will be storing the email on disk, in a storage area named spool which is designated for person B.
  • For suppose, person B is running a POP client and he knows on how to communicate with B’s mail server,
  • This will eventually poll the POP server to check if any new email has arrived for B. As in this case, person B has sent an email for person B, so email is forwarded over the network to B’s PC. This is message is now stored on person B’s PC.

The below diagram gives pictorial representation of the steps discussed above:


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