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What is the SMTP Server? – Definition, Commands, Type, and More
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What is the SMTP Server? – Definition, Commands, Type, and More

Definition – SMTP Server

SMTP is a shortening for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. But for many of us, this is far from easy – this is another technical term that very poorly understood. SMTP is a piece of technology that many of us regularly use today.

  • The SMTP server is the computer that runs the SMTP service, acts as an “email carrier,” and allows that email to be transported over the Internet.
  • The SMTP relay works very only: if the SMTP server verifies the sender and recipient’s identity, then the sending is complete.
  • It picks up the sender’s email and delivers it to the recipient’s local post office, another SMTP server.
  • It was introduced in 1982 and still the most widely used Internet standard today.

How Does an SMTP Relay Work?

We’re going to explain how the SMTP relay works in more detail. When an email is sent using the SMTP relay protocol, a series of text commands (from an ASCII character string) checked and sent to the SMTP server. Usually, ports 25 or 587 are used.

The email content does not play a role in this process, but the SMTP language’s attention is determined solely in transmission. Each period an email is sent using SMTP, a new SMTP relay service session is opened. It followed by a series of exchanges of information between the mail client and the terminus SMTP server as if it were a conversation.

SMTP Commands

The conversation takes place with elementary text commands. The most common are the following:

  • HELO: open a session with the server.
  • EHLO: to open a session if the server supports the extensions defined in RFC 1651.
  • MAIL FROM: to designate who is sending the memo.
  • RCPT TO: to indicate the receiver of the message.
  • DATA: to mark the beginning of a message, it will end when there is a line with only one dot.
  • EXIT: close the session.
  • RSET: undo the current transaction and delete all records.
  • SEND: starts a transaction in which a message delivered to the terminal.
  • VRFY: ask the server to check the full argument.
  • EXPN: ask the server to settle the dispute.
  • HELP: allows you to request info about a command.

This exchange initiated by the “EHLO” command, tailed by the “MAIL FROM” command. MAIL FROM command will let us identify the sender. Next, it shown with the «RCPT» command that lets the server identify the recipient. Then the «DATA» command, done which the gratified of the email sent. Finally, the command “QUIT” sent, indicating the exchange’s end and the chat between the email transfer client and the server.

Every time this process occurs, the SMTP server will send these clients’ responses by email to warn if the instructions are valid or not.

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What Type of SMTP Server should I Choose?

Use your SMTP Server

Building and maintaining a proprietary SMTP server is usually an option for security, process control, and service reliability companies. They are sometimes unaware of the standards that external vendors can provide. However, having your SMTP server can quickly become costly and time-consuming. Using proprietary technology means dedicated resources to manage and maintain it, and we cannot always count on outstanding achievements or better features.

Send by Email

Many companies select to use an email provider like Mailjet. By hiring a postal provider’s services, you don’t have to worry about the daily attention it requires. The supplier takes care of this for us.

Companies that need to send bulk emails to their customers use an SMTP server to simplify service and get more analysis insights. Using a service provider to send content through an SMTP server eliminates the need for a company to manage its mail server.

As you can see in the subsequent diagram, an email created by a company or a sender, and its server sends it to the Mailjet SMTP server, where it prepared and sent to recipients.

Great Delivery Performance

To combat spam, most webmail providers (such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.) set a bound on the number of emails you can direct to different recipients per day. Since companies often exceed this limit, they must use the services of an enterprise-grade email delivery platform.

An SMTP server provider can help businesses and organizations send large volumes of email without being mistakenly label as SPAM.

Helpful Resource: Beauty Smasher

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