what is SMTP and how it works?

What is SMTP?

Simply put, it’s a network protocol.

I don’t want to confuse your head with Network Protocols and stuff like that. To send emails over the Internet, you use what is known as SMTP.

This software, this set of commands is used to send emails over the Internet.

So whenever you want to send an email, you’ll use the SMTP protocol.

Simple, right?

All you have to remember is the SMTP protocol is: Send Mail To People.


In other words, it’s that thing used to send emails.

Sending operation

Next, let’s discuss how emails are sent.

Imagine you want to write a message to someone on this planet. What happens when you send an email from an email client like Outlook?

An SMTP server receives the email. SMTP servers deliver our emails, so they are responsible for delivering our emails.

The message from this email client will be received by this SMTP server. Authentications will be performed, configurations will be checked, and if this client is able to authenticate and use this server, emails will be sent to the target server.

For instance, let’s say you are using Gmail, your Gmail account and you wish to use a Yahoo account.


You will receive your emails through the Gmail SMTP server. Your message will then be authenticated and sent to the target address, to the target email server at Yahoo.

If the user of that Yahoo account opens his inbox and sees the message using protocols such as POP or IMAP, then the message will be stored on the Yahoo server as well.

That is how the operation works. That is how SMTP server operates.

So whenever you want to send an email you need an SMTP server to do this job for you.

Now what you have to know also that SMTP works over the TCP network protocol.

What you have to know about TCP it’s a connection-oriented protocol. What this means that when you send an email, a session, a connection will open between your SMTP server and the mail target server. in this way it will ensure the email delivery.

If the target email exists if not simply it will bounce back. And here what’s bouncing is. Whenever you send an email that is not valid or does not exist the email will bounce back.

That’s it this is what SMTP and how it works.


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