Email Terminology

Discussion in 'Email Discussions' started by Latest Questions, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. Latest Questions

    Latest Questions postmaster & search

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    I consider myself a reasonable intelligent guy but without experience/knowledge one can get lost with the technical terminology. The main words that confused me was e mail service provider/client. When one has years of experience/knowledge they tend to forget that not everyone is experienced/knowledgeable with a certain topic.

    Some terminology listed below, not to mention terminology that I'm not aware of.
    1. E mail service providers.
    2. E mail clients, does this mean outlook express etc./plug ins.
    3. Encryption.
    4. Web interface.
    5. E mail domain, does this mean that one has to get/pay for a server/host.
    6. Pop/Imap.
    An example from an e mail client or provider?...
    "Enigmail is an email plugin. It cannot be run by itself.
    You need a supported email client, the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG), and a little patience."

    What is a supported e mail client?
     


  2. kangas

    kangas President at LuxSci.com

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    Hello,

    This article may answer many of these questions.

    Understanding Email Services: A crash course in email jargon

    The email client is the program like Outlook/Thunderbird. A "supported" one will be one that their Plugin runs in that they have confirmed and continue to make sure it runs in going forward. There are many, many email programs and most plugins and addons only work for specific "supported" ones.

    -Erik
     

    compleo and popowich like this.
  3. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    These are the services that host the mailboxes. Your account is stored on their servers. To get your email requires connecting to their webmail or using a mail program that supports IMAP or POP3. Examples of email service providers could be your ISP if it gives a free email address with your internet connections, the free service providers such as Gmail / Hotmail / Yahoo, or one of the encrypted service providers such as SCRYPTmail.

    Email clients are programs on your computer or apps on your phone. Yes, examples of email clients are Mozilla Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail, Outlook Express, or apps such as the Yahoo Mail app or the new Microsoft Outlook app that many seem to think is good.

    Encryption / encrypting is the process of converting plain text data into encrypted data. The reverse of this progress is decryption / decrypting. Decrypting is required to view the original data. There are many forms of encryption with a variety of pros and cons including the time needed to encrypt/decrypt and the strength of the encryption; how hard is it to "hack"? Here is a link to an AES encryption tool that will let you see the process. Example:

    Plain text - This is an example sentence in clear text.

    Encrypted text:

    38 d9 87 a2 a4 3e 4d 9f b4 04 64 c6 2f 49 3d 88
    fe 9f de 48 76 49 5f 46 2c b9 07 8e 0a d5 11 00
    c9 7f 33 69 0a 92 0c d9 8a 3b 64 48 cd ca 18 7f

    If stored on a server or send over the internet, it's easy for anyone along the path to intercept and read plain text, while it's more difficult to intercept and read some types of encryption.

    Webmail interfaces are the way to login to an email account using your web browser. Examples are gmail.com and mail.yahoo.com

    The owner of a domain name needs to pay for the domain name to keep it active. If you use a free service such as Gmail then it's Google that pays to keep the DNS for @gmail.com addresses active. It's also possible to register your own domain name such as @lastName..com if no one else has it yet. This is a better option than a free email address for email that you care about since the domain name will be in your control and it can be moved to another email service provider, while a free email account from a service such as Hotmail could be lost if your account is hacked since there is generally limited support for free email addresses.

    POP3 (110/tcp & SSL 995/tcp) and IMAP (143/tcp & SSL 993/tcp) are protocols used by email clients access email hosted by an email service provider. Generally, pop3 connections are configured to download email from the service provider to the email client (aka: email program) on your computer, while IMAP is used to access your email (and usually cache a copy on your computer) but leaves the original email messages on the email service providers servers.
     
  4. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    :thanks: You snuck in there quick while I was typing
     
  5. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    I'd categorize web browser plugins in the same category as email clients. It's something installed on your computer used to access your email.
     
  6. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    This was discussed elsewhere and I got my mind changed. I'll break this up into separate charts.

    There are lots of email clients (some support encryption, some don't), and there are email add-ons & plugins to enable encryption that should be a separate chart.
     
  7. compleo

    compleo Valued Member

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    Fantastic,so i take it the e mail client will work but for extra feature(s),such as encryption a plug in is needed? I believe it is a plug in,not an add on which is designed for browsers.But Thunderbird would be an add on,to my knowledge.

    There is a chart for e mail providers,a chart for e mail clients ( work in progress) & another chart for plug ins would help.In the plug in chart will it show which plug ins are compatible with the e mail clients.

    Also accolades to Popowich & Erik for the helpful info in this thread.
     
  8. compleo

    compleo Valued Member

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    What is he difference with e mail protocols,such as pop3,imap, & are there other options?

    Does the end user have any option as which 1 to use?
     
  9. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    Generally POP3 has been used by users who want download email from the host mail servers, while IMAP has been used when a user wants to have their email stored on the host mail servers and/or have the ability to access all of their email from multiple devices.

    It's 2015, not 1999. These days users should be encouraged to use POP3+SSL (port 995 not 110) or IMAP+SSL (993, not 143) in their email client settings.

    Usually if one is offered then both are offered.

    Webmail over HTTP / HTTPS. Again, there isn't a reason why an email service in 2015 can't offer full session HTTPS for the users webmail experience.

    Keeps the users in mind, but there isn't a reason why other protocols can't be used. We might start to see some additional custom protocols probably related to more efficient app connectivity to their mail servers. For example, it wouldn't surprise me if some of the encrypted email services moved toward a secure API or some sort for their apps to connect to the mail servers vs. https or other common mechanisms. That isn't something you'd need to worry about as a user through.

    Teaching users to do something new takes a tremendous amount of effort. It would be difficult for a new company to try and do something different and encourage users and email client creators to build support for additional protocol options. It would likely result in small pockets of users doing their own thing, not adoption by the masses.
     

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