We have complied a list of then most common email terms written in simple easy to understand way, to help you grasp all that email jargon.


Electronic mail (or e-mail or email) allows people who have an e-mail address to send and receive electronic letters. These are much like postal letters, except that they are delivered much faster than postal mail when sending over long distances; and they are usually free. To send or receive an email, you need a gadget (computer, phone etc) and you need to be connected to the Internet . The most common email format looks like Like with regular mail, users may get a lot of unwanted mail; with e-mail, this is called spam.

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POP (Post Office Protocol)

POP is a protocol for retrieving e-mail messages to an email client program, it is a standard interface between an e-mai client program and the mail server. POP3 and IMAP are the two common mailbox access protocols used for Internet e-mail. POP3 provides a message store that holds incoming e-mail until users log on and download it.

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SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)

SMTP is generally used to send messages from a mail client to a mail server and then the mail server forwards the email on to the desired address.

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IMAP (Short for Internet Message Access Protocol)

IMAP is a protocol for retrieving e-mail messages to an email program much like POP. IMAP has the major advantage over POP; in that if you use both webmail and an email program such as Outlook to access your emails the state is maintained on both e.g. if you read a email on webmail it will also appear as read on the email program.

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Web-based email or webmail is a term referring to an e-mail service intended to be primarily accessed via a web browser, as opposed to through an email program, such as Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla's Thunderbird, or Apple Mail. One of the earliest Webmail services was Hotmail. Other popular webmail provider’s include UkMailExchange, Yahoo! Mail, Gmail and AOL. The major advantage of web-based email over application-based email is that a user has the ability to access their inbox from any Internet-connected computer around the world. However, the need for Internet access is also a drawback, in that one cannot access their old messages when they are not connected to the Internet.

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A domain is the name that you type in to the address bar on your browser; it is the name people use to find you or your company on the web. For example our domain is: This also applies to email addresses: for example if your email address is - ‘’ - is the domain.

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Spam, also known as junk e-mail, is a subset of spam that involves nearly identical messages sent to numerous recipients by e-mail. A common synonym for spam is unsolicited bulk e-mail. Definitions of spam usually include the aspects that email is unsolicited and sent in bulk.

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Email Client

A program that runs on a computer that enables you to read, send and organise email messages. Common email clients inuse to day include Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, Outlook Express and Apple Mail.

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