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Email basics

Email basics

Email is the most used application on the Internet. Emails allow users to communicate with each other almost instantly. Daily millions of emails are sent from one part of the globe to the other. You can receive and send emails from all systems whether it is a Windows PC or a Unix machine, cell phones, tablets, and even “smart” watches.

But the best part is, email isn’t just confined to text. Employing MIME, you can send video, pictures or sounds (virtually any digital file) via email.

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Email address

Each email account has a unique address. A general format for an email address is:


where ‘username’ is the login ID you use to sign in at the email server. This is followed by a ‘@’ sign and the name of the computer (or the domain name, if you like) on which your email service resides. A few examples would be:

With hundreds of companies offering free online email accounts, getting an email address is now very easy and free! Want to send mails from Windows? Go ahead and create an email account and get on the Internet bandwagon.

An email message consists of a header and a body. The email header has the following information:

  • Recipient email address
  • Senders email address
  • Email address of the people to whom a carbon copy (Cc) and blind carbon copy (Bcc) is been sent.
  • The subject line

The main email message resides in the email body.

Emails can be sent by typing the recipients’ email address in the ‘Send to’ field. Any additional recipients can be specified using the Cc or the Bcc.

Email Clients

Your email account would typically reside on a remote computer. Email clients are programs that download emails from the remote server and store them on your computer. This saves online time as you can download all emails at one go, close the Internet connection and read the mails at leisure. Email clients also help you to compose messages offline; whether it’s a new email you are writing or a reply. On subsequent connection to the Internet you can instruct the client to send the emails you have written.

My favorite email client (on Windows) is Microsoft Outlook Express because it’s very easy to use and comes free with the Internet Explorer browser but you can pick one you like from the list of email programs.

A good email client has the following features.

  • Ability to send and receive email quickly.
  • An address book in which you can store email addresses of your friends, family members and others.
  • The ability to easily attach other non-text based files using MIME. You can, thus, send pictures, sounds etc. with your email.
  • Add signatures to outgoing emails.

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