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Chapter: 11th Computer Technology : Chapter 15 : Internet and E-Mail

Structure and Working of E-Mail

Electronic Mail (email or e-mail) is a method of exchanging messages between people using electronic devices.

Structure and Working of E-Mail:


Electronic Mail (email or e-mail) is a method of exchanging messages between people using electronic devices. Email first entered limited use in the 1960s and by the middle of 1970s had taken the form now recognized as email. Email operates across computer networks, which is primarily called as Internet.

Earlier email systems required the sender and the recipient to both be online at the same time, in common with instant messaging. Today's email systems are based on a store-and-forward model. Email servers accept, forward, deliver, and store messages.

The structure of the E-mail address is username@domain name

An example of E-mail address is raman@gmail.com

An E-mail address consists of two parts separated by @ symbol. The first part Raman is the user name that identifies the address and the second part gmail.com is the domain name of the E-mail server.


Sample E-mail Application


How Email works on the Internet :

To send Internet e-mail, requires an Internet connection and access to a mail server. The standard protocol used for sending Internet e-mail is called SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). The SMTP protocol is used to both send and receive email messages over the Internet.

When a message is sent, the email client sends the message to the SMTP server. If the recipient of the email is local the message is kept on the server for accessing by the POP, IMAP or other mail services for later retrieval.

If the recipient is remote (i.e. at another domain), the SMTP server communicates with a Domain Name Server (DNS) to find the corresponding IP address for the domain being sent to. Once the IP address has been resolved, the SMTP server connects with the remote SMTP server and the mail is delivered to this server for handling.

If the SMTP server sending the mail is unable to connect with the remote SMTP server, then the message goes into a queue. Messages in this queue will be retried periodically. If the message is still undelivered after a certain amount of time (30 hours by default), the message will be returned to the sender as undelivered.


Structure of an Email message:

To: This field consists of the address to whom the message has to be sent. This is mandatory.

CC: Short for carbon copy. This is optional. The people who were mailed copies of the message. The recepients of the message will know to whom all the copies have been sent.

BCC: Its stands for Black Carbon Copy. It is used when we do not want one or more of the recipients to know that someone else was copied on the message. This is optional.

Subject : The Subject field indicates the purpose of e-mail.

Attachment: Attachment contains files that you are sending, linked documents, pictures, etc. along with an e-mail.

Body: The email body is the main part of an email message. It contains the message’s text, images and other data (such as attachments). The email’s body is distinct from its header, which contains control information and data about the message (such as its sender, the recipient and the path an email took to reach its destination).

Signature: Name of the sender

Advantages and Disadvantages of Email:



• Reliable: Because it notifies the sender if not delivered.

• Speed: E-mail is very fast delivered in fraction of seconds.

• Inexpensive: Its very cheap.

• Waste Reduction: Helps in paperless communication thus eco-friendly.



• Forgery: Anyone who hacks the password of the sender can send a message to anyone.

• Overload: Because it is cheap loads and loads of messages keeps coming.

• Junk: Junk emails are not intended mails and is inappropriate also. Junk emails are sometimes referred to as spam.


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11th Computer Technology : Chapter 15 : Internet and E-Mail : Structure and Working of E-Mail |

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