What is e-mail and e-mail address

What is e-mail?
Email is e-mail, which stands for 'electronic mail'. This means that you don't  have to hand-write or print out a 'hard copy' of your message or letter on paper.
You don't  have to write an address on a paper envelope.
You don't  have to stick a stamp on, drive or walk to the nearest mailbox and post your letter.
And you don't  (really - this is the best bit) have to wait days for your letter to get there, or pay more to send a letter overseas.
  • typed into a message window on the computer screen
  • a message which includes the email address  of the person you are 'sending to'
  • a message which also includes your own 'reply-to' email address  (if you ever want anyone to write back!)
  • sent and received through your modem connection to your Internet Service Provider, whose mail server computer is in turn connected to the rest of the Internet
  • incredibly cheap: you pay for your local phone call to connect to your local Internet Service Provider, then you pay your ISP the agreed amount per hour while you are connected ... email messages are usually very small files (not cluttered up with formatting  junk, pictures or other files stuck onto them) so you can send or receive an email message in seconds!
 Just as paper letters and parcels usefully have the 'sender's address' written on them, email letters need a sender's address.
Because of the enormous amount of SPAM (junk email) which abuses the email system , mail servers will not send your message  unless it includes your correct email address (your sender's address).
Also, how is anyone going to be able to get back to you, if they don't get your address with the message?
If your correct email address  is sent with the message, all someone has to do is to choose Reply after opening your message, and his or her email program will set up a message window with your address already correctly typed in!
With your correct reply-to address entered in your email program setup, your  message will  be returned to you if it can't be delivered (explaining what went wrong), and other people's messages to you  won't get lost .
 modem connection
The only time you need to be connected (and paying for online time!) for email is when you are sending and/or receiving mail. Your modem (a telephone for your computer) connects you to other computers.
You only need to be connected to other computers when you are getting something from them  or sending something to them.
Once you have got your mail from the mail server, all those messages are now sitting on your computer, so you can read them in your own time, like any other information that is stored on your computer.
When you are writing messages, you are writing them onto your own computer, just like writing something in word-processing or in any other program you use there.
Reading and writing messages takes time, and is easier to do if you are feeling relaxed, and not counting off 'online time' being added to your account!
After all, it only takes a few seconds to send or receive an email message.
You might write a very brief message while still online, then send it immediately, but otherwise, why rush yourself?
Internet Service Provider (ISP) Your Internet Service Provider is like an airport for your journey onto the Internet.
You have to get to an airport before you can fly anywhere else in the world.
The airport people co-ordinate the travel, oversee security at the airport, offer you facilities you need there, and are available for contact within whatever hours they can afford. Your ISP is permanently connected (aside from the dreaded electricity or telephone failures anywhere along the network) to all other ISPs in the world.
Just as in flying, some Internet trips are direct, and some go through other locations.
Some Internet trips take longer, and others are very quick.
Where you're heading, some airports (or ISPs) are busier and have long delays at times.
Some may not even be open, sometimes (the ISP is 'down' temporarily), and unlike airports, ISPs are being upgraded, changed and moved around all the time.
Confused? Don't worry.
  • Your ISP is responsible for getting you off on your journey, any time you connect and ask to go somewhere else (asking for an address outside your ISP).
    If you can connect (get to the airport), but can't get going anywhere else (get off the ground on your journey), then your ISP will offer 'travellers' aid' and help you sort out what is going on!
  • You are responsible for your own actions.
    Your responsibility includes considerate behaviour  towards other people on the 'Net, following instructions  on how to connect and how to use programs, and investing the time to learn , bit by bit, how the programs and the systems work. After all, you want to be an Internet user, not a luser.

What is the e-mail address?

A name that identifies an electronic post office box on a network where e-mail can be sent. Different types of networks have different formats for e-mail addresses. On the Internet, all e-mail addresses have the form:

  • @<domain name >

  • For example,

  • webmaster@Gmail.com

  • Every user on the Internet has a unique e-mail address. The term e-address is commonly used as an abbreviation for e-mail address.

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