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What Is Email?

Email, or electronic mail, is a protocol used for communicating (sending and receiving) electronic messages. With the explosive growth of the internet, email has become massively popular. It is actually now considered by many people as the preferred way to communicate with other people.

When exactly email was invented is a subject of debate. Ray Tomlinson has been generally regarded as the father of modern email. Before the contributions of Tomlinson, people can send and receive messagesbut only if the users are connected to the same computer. Messages cannot be targeted to be sent to a specific person. Tomlinson was able to find a way to actually address the email to particular people. Tomlinson’s innovation is considered as one of the most significant communication breakthroughs of the 20th century.

The impact of email on all aspects of communication is huge. Even though the US Postal Service, for example, handles 212 billion mail every year, email that gets sent back and forth everyday is so much larger than what the Postal Service handles. In fact, it is said that email generates more than 300 times the mail that the largest postal service in the world handles.

Users usually receive, send and store email in one of two email standards. SMTP, which mean simple message transfer protocol, and POP, which stands for Post Office Protocol. A lot of people are confused about these two standards but simply defined, POP is a protocol for storing email, while SMTP is a protocol used for sending and receiving email.

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