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Wiki | S | Smtp


The full form of SMTP is Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. It was developed in the early 1980s. It is still among the most popular protocols in use all over the world. It is basically a communication procedure that facilitates the sending of email messages on the internet. In fact, there is no real alternative to SMTP in mainstream use even now.

SMTP is used by email software for sending email, and for receiving email either POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) or IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) protocols are used. In simple terms, it is used when email is sent by an email client, like Microsoft Outlook, to an email server or when email is delivered from one email server to another.

For standard communication, SMTP uses Port 25. It is utilized by all the modern email client programs. When a user configures their email application, they have to specify both the SMTP server and the POP3 or IMAP server to be able to successfully send and receive emails.

Commands form a part of the SMTP standard. These commands help in the simplification of communication of messages between email servers.

Some commonly used SMTP commands are:

- The MAIL command starts the procedure of sending an email message 

- The QUIT command is for terminating or ending the protocol session

- The recipient of these commands replies via code numbers depicting success or failure. 

There are some problems with SMTP. It lacks built-in security features which allow spammers to exploit it by generating huge amounts of junk mails which were delivered through open SMTP servers. While several measures have been undertaken for protection against spam, they are still not foolproof. Also, SMTP can transfer only text. It is unable to manage attachments, fonts, and other types of data. 

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