Electronic mail (email) is a technology and related services that consist of sending and receiving electronic messages (emails or e-mails) through a distributed (sometimes global) computer network.

By its building blocks and principles of operation, electronic mail almost fully emulates the conventional postal service. It even borrowed such terms as mail, envelope, box, delivery, etc. Email has some peculiarities too, such as the simplicity of use, possible delays in the transfer of messages, sufficient reliability, and non-guaranteed delivery.

Here are some advantages of email: You can use easily perceived and memorized addresses like user_name@domain_name; you can send simple text, formatted text, or any files (as attachments); the operation of email servers is decentralized (in general, they work directly with each other); the reliability of message delivery is sufficiently high; and email is simple to use both for people and software.

Here are some shortcomings of email: there is such a problem as spam (mass sending of advertising or malicious messages); the delivery of a specific message cannot be guaranteed even in theory; the delivery of messages may be delayed (sometimes by up to several days); and the size of a message and the total size of messages in a user's email box are usually limited.

Nowadays, any beginner can get a free email box by registering at some web portal.

Google's Gmail was the most popular email service in 2011. It is used not only by individual users but also by big corporations (either for corporate email or as an external anti-spam service).




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