What is a Mail Server
A mail server is an application that receives incoming e-mail from the local users and remote senders’ and forwards outgoing e-mail for delivery by. Mail Server is also known as Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) or a Mail router/Internet Router). A computer dedicated to run such type of applications is also called a Mail Server. It is considered as the heart of any email system.
Each and every email that is sent is made to pass through a number of mail servers along the way to the recipient. For a normal user, the mail is sent instantly but the backward process is something to understand. Without this series of Mail Servers, the user will only be able to send emails to people whose email address domains matches the domains of the user. This means that the user can only send messages from “xyz.com” to another “xyz.com”.
Mails servers do offer complete solutions for all the email system related needs of the users. These are basically designed and developed to meet the requirements of any size of organization. The Mail Server Service helps in protecting the company’s network from security threats (such as viruses and spams). Some of the advanced features of Mail Server ensure maximum protection of the network from any sort of external threat. It also keeps track of the emails being hosted or gathered from the ISP’s.
Main components of Mail Servers include User defined rules (determines how the Mail Server deals with directing incoming messages to their destinations and how it reacts to the sender of the messages), permanent storage (incoming mail is stored for later distribution to local users), mail server user list (database storing the names of local users that will be recognized while delivering incoming mails) etc…Messages, in transit to other destinations are also temporarily stored here.
Most of the Mail Servers are operated automatically. Mail Server establishes the rules, according to which the messages are sent or received from other mail servers. Mail Servers are classified as:
Outgoing Mail Servers (or SMTP Servers) Incoming Mail Servers (or POP3 servers)
One of the widely used features of Mail Server is Web Mail Server. Using Web Mail Server, the employees of an organization can have access to their official mails from outside. These allow the users to access their official email account on the internet, using any browser, from anywhere in the world, and also allow sending or receiving emails.