Millions of emails are sent to people all across the world every single day. They all take the intricate process of winding through different servers on different areas of the globe. This article will cover how an email makes it from the sender to the recipient, all in less than a few seconds.
In a email client, when the send button is clicked that email is sent to the sender’s outgoing SMTP server. Then if the email recipient is at a different domain, the SMTP server contacts the DNS server, which translates the domain of the email address and finds the corresponding IP address of the recipient domain server. Once the IP address is found or “resolved”, the SMTP server connects to the recipient SMTP server and delivers the message. That domain’s server receives the email, it is directed toward the MTA, or Mail Transfer Agent, which finally sorts it into the proper mailbox. The user can then retrieve the email via POP or IMAP on a email client.