Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Electronic mail , or simply email , allows you to communicate with other users on a
network such as the Internet. Sending and receiving email messages is more efﬁ cient than
using ground or airmail services. You can avoid making several phone calls or printing
memos by sending one message to many people. You can also attach ﬁ les, such as
wordprocessing documents, graphics, or spreadsheets, to an email message.
Examining How Email Works
An email message is a simple text document that you can compose and send using an
email program , also called email client software , such as Microsoft Windows Live Mail.
When you send a message, it travels from your computer, through the network, such as a
LAN (local area network) or the Internet, and arrives at a computer that has been
designated and set up as an email server , which stores the email messages until the
recipients request them. Then the server forwards the messages to the appropriate computers.
Because email uses this store-and-forward technology , you can send messages to any
users on the network, even if they do not have their computers turned on. When it’s
convenient, your recipients log on to the network and use their email programs to receive
and read their messages.
If your computer is not part of a LAN, you can access an email server via the Internet.
To do so, you open an email account with a service that provides Internet access. For
example, email accounts are included as part of the subscription fee for America Online
(AOL) and most ISPs. Email accounts are also provided free of charge by
advertisersupported Web sites, such as Yahoo! and Hotmail. After you establish an email account,
you can connect to the Internet and go to the service provider’s Web site to access your
The email address you use directs the message to its destination. Your email address is
included as the return address in any message you send, so that your recipients can
easily respond to your message. If you work for a company or attend a school that provides
email, you might have been instructed how to apply for an email account or you might
have been assigned one by a system administrator. In other situations, you create your
own email address, though it must follow a particular format.
Susan’s Windows Live Mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org, is a typical email address.
It begins with a user name , or login ID; in this case, smckiernan . This is the name that
you enter or are assigned when your email account is set up. The symbol signiﬁ es that @
the email server name will be provided next—which, in this case, is live.com .
If your email address
changes, you can subscribe
to an email forwarding
service so you don’t miss any
mail that might be sent to
your old address.