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TCP/IP For Dummies, 6th Edition by Candace Leiden, Marshall Wilensky

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Chapter 13

Eating Up E-Mail

In This Chapter

Examining the similarities between e-mail and postal mail

Benefitting from the client-server aspect of e-mail

Transferring e-mail by SMTP

Using a Web browser for e-mail

At the restaurant at the end of the network, the Big Three favorites on the TCP/IP menu are electronic mail (e-mail), Web browsing, and file downloading. Add remote and mobile access for dessert and you have a satisfying meal. E-mail, which is the first network application that most people use, has been around for so long (since 1971, when the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, or ARPANET, hadn’t yet morphed into the Internet) that many of us forget that some folks still don’t have it and don’t even want it.

We often hear the question: “Is e-mail TCP/IP?” The answer is: No, it isn’t. Yes, absolutely it is. Okay, it depends. An e-mail client — such as Mozilla Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook Express, Apple Mail, or one of countless others — is either a proprietary or open source application with no Request for Comments (RFC) standards for its development. However, the communication among e-mail clients and servers relies on TCP/IP services and protocols.

Getting the Big Picture about How E-Mail Works

Almost every author who writes about e-mail compares e-mail to postal mail. The analogy works well because e-mail is mail — with senders, recipients, mailboxes, and local and regional post offices. Postal mail is stored in local post offices and possibly forwarded to ...

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