What Is Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (smtp) How It Works

smtp

The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is an internet standard communication protocol for electronic mail transmission. Mail servers and other message transfer agents use SMTP to send and receive mail messages

WHAT IS SMTP SERVER?

SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, and it’s an application used by mail servers to send, receive, and/or relay outgoing mail between email senders and receivers. 

An SMTP email server will have an address (or addresses) that can be set by the mail client or application that you are using and is generally formatted as smtp.serveraddress.com. For example, Gmail’s SMTP server host address is smtp.gmail.com, and Twilio SendGrid’s is smtp.sendgrid.com. You can generally find your SMTP email server address in the account or settings section of your mail client.

When you send an email, the SMTP server processes your email, decides which server to send the message to, and relays the message to that server. The recipient’s inbox service provider, such as Gmail or AOL, then downloads the message and places it in the recipient’s inbox.

What is SMTP and how it works?

SMTP or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is an application that is used to send, receive, and relay outgoing emails between senders and receivers. When an email is sent, it’s transferred over the internet from one server to another using SMTP. In simple terms, an SMTP email is just an email sent using the SMTP server.

FEATURES OF SMTP SERVER

MAIL SERVER FEATURES AND HIGHLIGHTS

GENERAL FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS

  • SMTP/ POP3 / IMAP / HTTP/ LDAP and Proxy services with SSL / TLS support
  • Advanced Access and Security Controls
  • Effective Anti-Spam which can be tailored to your business
  • Extensive Groupware including email, calendars, contacts, tasks and journals
  • Intuitive Webmail works with your browser, or use FTGate Desktop Client
  • Mail Client auto-configure support (e.g. Outlook/Thunderbird)
  • IOS auto-configure support
  • Fast, powerful message processing

FES

  • Easy to Set up and Administer
  • Supports your choice of Anti-Virus
  • Extensive Message Archiving ensures legal compliance
  • Powerful Message Tracking – control your mail at all times
  • Comprehensive logging
  • Fast, reliable Server management
  • Infinite flexibility with .NET Script extensions
  • Highly cost effective

DOMAINS AND MAILBOXES

Supports multiple domains and mailboxes for a complete and comprehensive mailserver implementation.

  • Local and Remote domains
  • Multiple mailbox types
  • Authenticate against local passwords or active directory
  • Mailbox rules for automated message handling
  • Limit access by time and date range
  • Flexible access control system
  • Access via FTGate Web Mail, FTGate Desktop client or IMAP/POP3 clients
  • Message Archiving
  • Full spam filtering
  • Anti-virus support
  • Comprehensive IP based access control system
  • Mobile support

SMTP / ESMTP

The world standard protocol for message transfer between servers is well represented in FTGate with the following main feature components.

  • High performance
  • SMTP Authentication
  • Blacklisting
  • SSL/TLS
  • IP Address based access controls
  • Content Filter Controls
  • Relay protection
  • SPAM Blacklist controls
  • RBL Real time Blackhole Lists
  • Message size control
  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
  • Greylisting
  • Whitelisting
  • Whitehosting

IMAP

The world standard for shared mail folder access.

  • Address based access controls
  • User based access controls
  • Custom Trashcan support
  • SSL/TLS support

POP3

The world standard protocol for collecting mail with a mail client from a mail server.

  • Address based access controls
  • User based access controls
  • CAPA support
  • SDPS support
  • SSL/TLS support

Is an SMTP server the same as a normal server?

Technically, yes. Like most servers, the SMTP server processes data to send to another server, but it has the very specific purpose of processing data related to the sending, receiving, and relaying of email. An SMTP server is also not necessarily on a machine. It is an application that is constantly running in anticipation of sending new mail.

Why are SMTP servers important?

Without an SMTP server, your email wouldn’t make it to its destination. Once you hit “send,” your email transforms into a string of code that is then sent to the SMTP server. The SMTP server is able to process that code and pass on the message. If the SMTP server wasn’t there to process the message, it would be lost in translation. 

Additionally, the SMTP server verifies that the outgoing email is from an active account, acting as the first safeguard in protecting your inbox from illegitimate email. It also will send the email back to the SMTP sender if it can’t be delivered. This informs the sender that they have the wrong email address or that their email is being blocked by the receiving server.

How to Set Up your SMTP Server

By default, emails that are sent out from the site are sent from the FluidReview servers. Even if you have a Custom Sender Address these emails will be sent out through our servers. However, you have the option to configure the site to send out emails from your own servers. The following article will cover how setting up your own SMTP server can be useful and walk through the setup process within your FluidReview site. 

Why is it Useful?

The reason setting up your own SMTP server within the site can be beneficial is because when emails are sent out from FluidReview they abide by the Junk/Spam and other security filters set up by the receiver of the email. Unfortunately, this can mean that if the email address is not recognized by the recipients’ email domain, it can get lost in their Junk/Spam folder or be completely blocked from their inbox.

However, if emails are being sent out from your own servers you have more control over the email delivery and there may be a greater chance of emails being received by users as they are more likely to recognize your email address.

How to Access the SMTP Settings

To access the SMTP settings within your site:

  1. Go to Configure your Site
  2. Go to General Settings
  3. Go to the Emails tab

How to Set Up your SMTP Server


In order to send emails through your own servers, you will first need to connect your site to your SMTP server. 

NOTE: Your Host, Port, Username, and Password will be provided to you within your own email settings. Additionally, as our IP addresses can change, we are unable to provide IP address information to be used for setting up your SMTP Server.

To set up your SMTP settings:

  1. Access your smtp settings
  2. Enable “Use custom SMTP server”
  3. Set up your Host
  4. Enter the applicable Port to match your Host
  5. Enter your Username
  6. Enter your Password
  7. Optional: Select Require TLS/SSL.
    NOTE: This will be dependent on the Port you chose and should be accessible through your own email settings. 
  8. Click Send Test Email to send an email to your Administrator Account to test the connection of your server

NOTE: Once your SMTP server has been set up successfully, any restrictions on the number of emails that can be sent out at a time will need to be configured within your server settings. We would recommend contacting your IT representative responsible for your email server in order to ensure your SMTP server settings are set up correctly. 

Benefits of SMTP

Benefits of SMTP

SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. ‘ It is a standard in sending out electronic mail messages across networks that run on IP or the Internet Protocol. ‘ Although its design may allow sending and receiving email messages, SMTP is mostly used as the standard for outgoing email. ‘ Aside from SMTP, there are various other ways to send an electronic message from one computer to another. ‘ But as its name suggests, SMTP is “simple” and has the following benefits or advantages:

1. ‘ Simplicity

SMTP provides the simplest form of communicating through email messages between various computers in a particular network. ‘ There are no hassles for the end-users as they only need to type their email and send it to the recipient’s email address. ‘ The email will just go through a simple process from the SMTP server to an exchange server for the recipient’s computer making the electronic communication simple and not complicated.

2. Quick Email Delivery

Since SMTP is developed from a simple platform, email messages may be sent easily and quickly. ‘ As long as one’s SMTP mail server is working and in good condition, one can expect that messages are sent quickly to various recipients.

3. Reliability

SMTP also offers reliability in terms of outgoing email messages. ‘ If there are instances where a particular message was not successfully sent, the SMTP server will always try to re-send the same email until the transmission becomes successful. ‘ This is unlike other means of sending email wherein one may have to try several times in sending out an email.

4. Option for Dedicated Servers

With SMTP, companies and organisation’s may opt to have a dedicated server to handle outgoing email messages. ‘ Although web mail service and ISPs may offer the same services, not many of them can actually provide exclusivity when it comes to mail servers. ‘ This could mean problems with email transmission. ‘ But with SMTP, servers are maintained locally and may be configured to exclusively handle very important and sensitive email messages.

With its simple but very effective features, SMTP continues to become the most widely used messaging standard. ‘ Although it may have some limitations especially in terms of non-text messages, SMTP is still implemented because most electronic mail contents are still text-based.

5.Easy to connect

The SMTP connection has among its main advantages its ease of installation, since to start using Doppler Relay for your Transactional Emails you only have to change the SMTP credentials and in minutes you can have integrated your system with ours.

6.Connects to any system

Another advantage of the SMTP connection is its flexibility with existing applications, it has no restrictions, so it doesn’t matter what system you have just have to include the SMTP information of your Doppler Relay account and will be working in just minutes.

7.Doesn’t  involve any development from your side

If you don0t have a team or a person available for to create the triggers to use our API, then our SMTP server is a great solution. 

Common steps such as modifying existing messages by adding a custom header to set the campaign for different message streams, or enabling the tracking of the opening or clicking tend to be significantly less complex than starting to use the API .

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