What is E-Mail (Electronic Mail) ?

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E-mail or Electronic mail is a paperless method of sending messages, notes or letters from one person to another or even many people at the same time via Internet. E-mail is very fast compared to the normal post. E-mail messages usually take only few seconds to arrive at their destination. One can send messages anytime of the day or night and it will get delivered immediately. You need not to wait for the post office to open and you don’t have to get worried about holidays. It works 24 hours a day and seven days a week. What’s more, the copy of the message you have sent will be available whenever you want to look at it even in the middle of the night. You have the privilege of sending something extra such as a file, graphics, images etc. along with your e-mail. The biggest advantage of using e-mail is that it is cheap, especially when sending messages to other states or countries and at the same time it can be delivered to a number of people around the world.
Although e-mail is faster and cheaper, it has many of the components of regular mail. It allows you to compose note, get the address
of the recipient and send it. Once the mail is received and read, it can be forwarded, replied. One can even store it for later use, or delete. In a-mail even the sender can request for delivery receipt and read receipt from the recipient.
(i) Features of E-mail:
1. One-to-one or one-to-many communications
2. Instant communications
3. Physical presence of recipient is not required
4. Most inexpensive mail services, 24-hours a day and seven daysa week
5. Encourages informal communications
(ii) Components of an E-mail Address
As in the case of normal mail system, e-mail is also based upon theconcept of a recipient address. The email address provides all of the information required to get a message to the recipient from anywhere in the world. Consider the e-mail ID
john@hotmail.com

In the example above, “john” is the local part, which is the name of a mailbox on the destination computer, where finally the mail will be delivered. Hotmail is the mail server where the mailbox “john” exist, .com is the type of organization on net, which is hosting the mail server.
There are six main categories;
com Commercial institutions or organization
edu Educational institutions
gov Government site
mil Military site
net Gateways and administrative hosts
org Private organizations

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