What is email?

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E

mail is a way of sending a message to someone electronically. As you might expect from the name, it works very similar to the regular mail system. You write a message, put an address on it, then pop it in a postbox to make its way through a number of sorting offices until it is finally delivered to a mailbox, waiting for the recipient to read it.

How does it work?

Just as you send regular mail to someone at an address, email is addressed to a mailbox name at a domain name. For example, we could set up a mailbox called fredbloggs at advantagewebdesigns.co.uk. Computers use a joined up form of this which is called an email address, and is written as [email protected] If everything is set up correctly, any email sent to this email address should end up in the fredbloggs mailbox, waiting for us to collect and read it. Each combination of mailbox name and domain name makes a unique email address, so there could be a [email protected]

You need to remember that email is like regular mail (actually, very like sending a postcard):

  • It may not get there immediately
  • If it is incorrectly addressed it will not be delivered
  • Anyone can send a message pretending to be someone else
  • It’s passing through other people’s hands and can be read

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