Docs Glossary SMTP


What Is SMTP?

SMTP is the set of rules that computers use to send emails from one mailbox or server to another.

When you send an email, it’s sent to an SMTP server which verifies the sender and forwards the message along to the recipient.

SMTP can also be used to send emails from a website or application.

How Does SMTP Work? 

SMTP works by transmitting email messages from the sender to a server, and then from the server to the recipient.

The initials SMTP stand for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, and it’s been the standard way to send email for more than 40 years. It’s “simple” because the process of sending the email looks like a series of text exchanges between the sending server and the recipient. After making the connection (a process called a handshake), the sending server transmits the message and its contents. The receiving server checks the contents and forwards the email to the recipient’s mailbox.

SMTP has been updated in the last 20 years to authenticate emails, which means that SMTP relays can now check various parts of the email to filter out spam.

What Is SMTP Used For?

SMTP is used to send outgoing emails from email applications (like Gmail or Outlook). It can also be used to send email from websites and apps.

On a server, SMTP handles incoming email and delivers it to the recipient.

You can use an SMTP server to send emails from your website. This is usually more reliable than letting the web server generate and send emails.

That’s it! Now you know how SMTP works.

If you’d like to learn how to send email using SMTP, check out the following docs: