When it comes to email, many users are mostly familiar with just how to write an email and how to send an email. However, it may prove useful to know what’s going on “under the hood,” especially when setting up a new computer or mobile device to access your webmail while you’re on the go! Here are some terms that you may come across when setting up your FatCow webmail, either from the comfort of your own home or when on the road.
Email client – An email client is the name for the actual program or service that is used to access your email. Email clients can be located either locally on a computer (such as Microsoft Outlook or Thunderbird), or are located primarily online (clients based on the internet are known as “webmail clients”). Webmail clients allow you to access your mail from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. Common third party webmail clients include Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail, although these free services use your information for advertising purposes. FatCow offers Open-Xchange as a webmail client, which allows you to send email that is sent using your specific domain name (such as: firstname.lastname@example.org).
MX Record – An MX Record, or “Mail Exchanger Record,” is the part of the Domain Name System (DNS) that indicates the specific mail server where incoming email for a domain will be delivered. For example, the domain “www.example.com” may have the MX Record “mx.example.com”.
SMTP – SMTP stands for “Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.” It is a term commonly used for referring to “outgoing email.” As an example, the outgoing mail server name for FatCow is “smtp.example.com”, and FatCow’s email server port for SMTP is 587.
POP – POP stands for “Post Office Protocol,” and refers to “incoming mail.” POP is used for one-way communication between a local device and the mail server, and is great for storing mail locally to read offline. This means that when you access your email, your local email client (such as Outlook or Thunderbird) saves a local copy of the email to your computer, then deletes the original email from the mail server. As an example, the incoming POP mail server name for FatCow is “pop.example.com”, and FatCow’s email server port for POP mail is 110.
IMAP – IMAP stands for “Internet Message Access Protocol,” and refers to “incoming mail.” IMAP is used for two-way communication between a local device and the mail server, and is useful when accessing the same mailbox from multiple devices. This means that when you access your email, any changes made locally are synchronized with the mail server, and will be shown for any device that accesses that mailbox. Unlike POP mail, mailboxes using IMAP settings by default do not automatically delete any email messages. As an example, the incoming IMAP mail server name for FatCow is “imap.example.com”, and FatCow’s email server port for IMAP mail is 143.