Posts in "Email and Communication"

SMTP, POP, IMAP Protocols: What They Are and How They Work?

More technical users are likely familiar with SMTP, POP, and IMAP protocols when using email, but what exactly are they and what are they used for? As major protocols for sending and receiving emails, it’s a good idea to be familiar with them!

SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and is the protocol used when sending an email. It allows two systems to transfer messages over a TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) connection. The server sends outbound emails through an SMTP port (25 or 587 when encrypted) which interacts with other SMTP  servers on the internet to deliver the message to its intended recipient.

POP stands for Post Office Protocol and is used when retrieving emails from a server. It allows email clients to connect to the server and download any new messages. The POP protocol works by using a POP port (110 or 995 when encrypted). POP is no longer widely used and has been commonly replaced by IMAP.

IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol and is used when accessing emails stored on a server. It allows users to connect to a mail server, open folders, search through saved messages, and delete or move them around within their mailbox. The IMAP protocol uses ports (143 or 993) that communicate with servers on the internet to store and retrieve messages.

Why are these protocols important?

SMTP, POP, and IMAP protocols are essential for sending, receiving, and managing emails. They ensure that information is transferred securely between two systems over a secure connection. Understanding how these protocols work will help you get the most out of your emailing experience. With their help, you’ll be able to send and receive messages quickly and easily!

By understanding SMTP, POP, and IMAP protocols, you can better equip yourself to use email more efficiently and effectively. Each protocol has unique functions, making it easier for users to send emails, retrieve messages from the server, manage folders, and search through saved messages.

Besides, these protocols ensure that emails are sent securely over the internet, preventing them from being intercepted or corrupted by third parties while in transit. They provide an extra layer of security when accessing emails stored on a server.

Email spotlight series- #2 Skiff

Key features

  • End-to-end encrypted email, pages and drive
  • Sync across all your devices
  • Open source
  • 10GB storage with free plan
  • Web3 support

The ShuttleCloud Spotlight series focuses on highlighting email providers who are working to improve their user experience through innovation. For our second spotlight, we interviewed Jason Ginsberg, Co-Founder and CTO at Skiff.

1- What is Skiff’s mission as an email provider?

Skiff is designed to be privacy-first, completely end-to-end encrypted, and easy to use. While past privacy and security products have required a deep technical understanding, Skiff is designed to easily fill critical needs for communication and collaboration.

2- When and where was Skiff founded?

Skiff was founded April 1st, 2020. We started completely remote. We now have employees all over the world and an office in San Francisco.

3- When was the first email sent from Skiff?

Internally it was sent in December 2021. Publicly, it was sent May 1st 2022.

4- What is one unique thing about Skiff?

We’ve built our platform to be end-to-end encrypted (E2EE), so you never have to share your personal information, sensitive data, or private keys with Skiff. This works by moving a significant portion of functionality (e.g. search, collaborative editing, preview generation) to the client (i.e. browser). Users then use their (cryptographic) identity to encrypt all data before sending it to the server. At all times, only the user and their chosen collaborators can access the content of their data.

5- What’s next for Skiff?

We’re about to release a new product vertical (not yet announced) to our existing suite of Drive, Pages, and Mail. It will make it significantly easier to move to Skiff from traditional email providers. We’re also introducing improvements to our recently released custom domains offering.

 

Be sure to follow Skiff to keep up with their innovations in the email and privacy space! And stay tuned for our next email spotlight series to discover more services who are innovating in the email world. 

4 reasons email is still popular

Despite the rise of other forms of communication, such as social media and messaging apps, email remains a widely used and important tool for communication.

There are a few reasons why email has continued to be popular:

  1. Email is universal: Almost everyone with an internet connection has an email address, making it a widely accessible form of communication.
  2. Email is professional: Many people still view email as more formal and professional communication, especially in business settings.
  3. Email is flexible: Email can be used to send various messages and documents, including text, images, and attachments.
  4. Email is reliable: Emails are typically delivered quickly and reliably, making it a dependable way to communicate.

Overall, while other forms of communication may have gained popularity in recent years, email remains a vital tool for communication and is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

A History:

The first email was sent in 1971 by computer engineer Ray Tomlinson, who used the @ symbol to connect the sender’s name and the recipient’s address.

In the decades that followed, email became increasingly popular as more and more people gained access to the internet. Today, email is used by billions of people around the world for both personal and professional communication.

One of the main benefits of email is that it allows for quick and easy communication over long distances. Unlike traditional mail, which can take days or weeks to be delivered, emails can be sent and received almost instantly. This makes it a valuable tool for businesses, as it allows for the rapid exchange of information and documents.

Email has also played a role in shaping the way we work. Many people now use email as a primary means of communication with their colleagues, even when they are in the same office. This has led to the rise of remote work, as people can collaborate and communicate with each other from anywhere in the world.

The Data Transfer Project (DTP)

The Data Transfer Project (DTP) is an open-source initiative that aims to provide a common framework for transferring data between online service providers in a secure and user-friendly way. It was launched in 2017 by Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter to make it easier for users to move their data between different online platforms.


One of the main goals of the DTP is to give users more control over their data and to make it easier for them to switch between different online service providers. With DTP, users can transfer their data directly from one service to another without going through the process of downloading and uploading files manually. This can be particularly useful for users who want to switch to a new service but don’t want to lose their data.

DTP is based on open standards and APIs, which means that any online service provider can use it to enable data transfer for their users. This allows users to quickly move their data between various platforms, including social media, email, cloud storage, etc.

DTP is an open-source project, meaning anyone can contribute to its development. If you’re interested in getting involved, you can learn more on the DTP website: https://datatransferproject.dev/

Why can JMAP be important?

JMAP (JSON Meta Application Protocol) is a protocol for synchronizing data between a client and a server. It is designed to be simple, efficient, and easy to use, providing a common, language-agnostic way for client applications to access and manipulate data stored on a server.

JMAP is designed to be an alternative to other protocols such as IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) and SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) for email, and CalDAV (Calendaring Extensions to WebDAV) and CardDAV (Address Data Access and Versioning) for calendar and contact data. It aims to substitute email-related standards that have existed for over 20+ years.

JMAP is potentially significant because it provides a more modern and efficient way to access and manipulate data stored on a server. It is also intended to be easier to use and more flexible than existing protocols, which might make it more appealing to developers and users.

Additionally, because JMAP is language-agnostic, it can be used with any programming language, making it easier for developers to build applications that interact with data stored on a server.

Ok, cool; so when? It’s up to the Gmail, Microsoft, Yahoo, and 🍏 s of the world. They control the email space and have invested heavily in their own APIs, such as the Gmail API (https://developers.google.com/gmail/api/guides).

JMAP will only get adoption IMO if there is buy-in from the email market giants. At this moment, I can’t pinpoint what that benefit would be for Gmail et al.

GDPR and SCC

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA.

Under the GDPR, there is a concept called the “data protection officer” (DPO), an individual or position responsible for overseeing the organization’s data protection strategy and compliance with the GDPR. The DPO is required for certain types of organizations, such as those that process large amounts of sensitive personal data or engage in regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale.

In addition to the DPO, the GDPR also introduces the concept of a “supervisory authority,” which is an independent public authority responsible for ensuring the GDPR is applied and enforced in the member state where it is located.

The GDPR imposes significant fines for non-compliance and gives individuals the right to sue organizations for damages caused by a breach of their personal data. It is important for organizations to understand their obligations under the GDPR and to take steps to ensure compliance.

UPDATED Dec 22th (New SCC)

The new standard contract clauses for GDPR are a set of legally binding requirements that companies must adhere to when transferring personal data to a third party outside of the EEA. The new standard contract clauses include provisions on data protection, data security, data retention, and data rights. They also outline the responsibilities of both the data controller and the data processor, as well as the rights and obligations of individuals whose data is being processed.

The new standard contract clauses are intended to provide a consistent and reliable framework for data protection, ensuring that companies can continue to transfer personal data across borders while still upholding the principles of the GDPR.

How an email is sent:

Emails are sent using the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). When you send an email, your email client (such as Microsoft Outlook or Gmail) sends the email to an SMTP server, which then sends the email to the recipient’s email server. The recipient’s email server then delivers the email to the recipient’s email client (such as Outlook or Gmail).

Here is a simplified overview of the process:

  • You compose and send an email from your email client.
  • Your email client connects to an SMTP server and sends the email to the server.
  • The SMTP server looks up the domain of the recipient’s email address and sends the email to the recipient’s email server.
  • The recipient’s email server receives the email and stores it in the recipient’s mailbox.
  • The recipient’s email client retrieves the email from the mailbox and displays it to the recipient.

This process happens quickly and automatically, so you don’t need to worry about the details. You just need an email client and an internet connection to send and receive emails.

What are MX Records?

MX (Mail Exchange) records are a type of DNS (Domain Name System) record that are used to specify the servers that handle email messages for a particular domain. They are used to route email messages to the correct mail servers and are a crucial part of how email works on the internet.

Here’s how MX records work:

When someone sends an email to an address at a particular domain, the sending mail server looks up the MX records for that domain to find out which server is responsible for handling email for that domain.

The sending mail server then connects to the server specified in the MX record and delivers the email to it.

The server specified in the MX record is responsible for delivering the email to the correct mailbox for the recipient.

MX records are usually stored in the DNS records for a domain and are managed by the domain’s administrator. It is important to have correct and up-to-date MX records for a domain, as this ensures that email sent to addresses at that domain will be delivered correctly.

Email Migration – The Complete Guide

Migrating email accounts can take a lot of work. There are many things to consider – user accounts, contacts, data, and more. But with the right email migration service, it can be simple. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about email migration. We’ll cover what they are, how they work, and why they’re important.

What is an Email Migration?

Email migration is a process that allows you to copy your email account from one provider to another without losing important information such as contacts, emails, and more. This can be a complex process, depending on the number of email accounts and the amount of data involved. But with a good email migration service, it’s a breeze!

There are many reasons why you might need to migrate your email account. You may be switching providers or upgrading to a new server. Or you’re consolidating multiple accounts into one. Whatever the reason, an email migration service can help make the process painless.

How Does an Email Migration Service Work?

Email migration services typically copy your data from one server to another. This includes all of your emails, contacts, and more. Some email migration services also offer the ability to migrate your applications and settings. This can be a huge time-saver if you move to a new server or provider.

Most email migration services have a simple interface that anyone can use. Just enter your old and new account information, and the service will take care of the rest. Some providers also offer additional features, like scheduling migrations or creating backups. These additional features can come in handy if you’re migrating multiple accounts or want to ensure that your data is safe during the process.

Why is an Email Migration Service Important?

Email migration services are essential because they make it easy to move your email account from one email provider to another. This can save you time and headaches when switching providers or upgrading servers.

If you’re consolidating multiple accounts into one, an email migration service can save you even more time by migrating your data and settings. Additionally, email migration helps to keep your contacts organized and up-to-date. By migrating your contacts and emails, you can be sure that everyone in your address book has the correct information.

If you are looking for a professional email migration service, look no further than Shuttlecloud. We offer a comprehensive email migration service that will make transitioning to a new server quick and easily.

Contact us today to learn more!

Email spotlight series- #1 Tutanota

Key Features:

  • Secure Email with No Ads
  • Everything is encrypted
  • Fully anonymus Email
  • Perfect for businesses
  • Encrypted Calendar

Our new ShuttleCloud Spotlight series aims to bring attention to email providers who are innovating and striving to improve their user experience. In our first spotlight we spoke to Hanna Bozakov, the Press Officer of Tutanota.

1. How would you describe the mission of Tutanota as an email provider?

Tutanota was founded in 2011 with a very clear mission: Bring privacy to the world.

Every step we take as a company must stand up to this criterion: Are we protecting the privacy of our users? In the short run, this makes building a successful product more complex as we can’t take any short-cuts. The privacy and security of our users is paramount. This has led to tough development decisions such as building our own push notification system on Android instead of simply using Google Push.

In the long run, though, this strategy pays off. We are well respected as the best secure email service that focuses on privacy 100%, comes with zero tracking, and encrypts the most data. For example, Tutanota also encrypts subject lines and calendar event reminders – this high level of security is unrivaled by any of our competitors.

    2. When and where was Tutanota founded? 

The company behind Tutanota, the Tutao GmbH, was founded in 2011 in Hanover, Germany. We launched Tutanota early in 2014, shortly after the Snowden leaks. This was a big scandal at the time: The NSA snooping on US citizens. The interest in a more private and secure communication than mainstream services like Gmail or Outlook was – and still is – very high.

    3. When was the first email sent from Tutanota? 

The first email from one of our users was sent on our official release on March 24th, 2014. But of course, we did send emails with an alpha prototype much earlier than that. Encrypted email needs to be tested and verified before it can go public. You can’t build such a complex client as Tutanota in a matter of weeks.

    4. What is one unique thing about Tutanota?

What is unique about Tutanota is its unrivaled level of security.

From the start, we at Tutanota baked end-to-end encryption into the code. Tutanota was the world’s first end-to-end encrypted email provider and, to this day, it is the email service that encrypts more data than any other.

Here’s everything that Tutanota encrypts:

    • Emails, including subject lines and attachments

    • Calendar entries, even metadata such as who is attending

    • Entire address book, not just parts of the contacts

Basically, all data in Tutanota is secure and kept hidden from prying eyes. The only data that is not encrypted is when you send a normal email, one without end-to-end encryption, to another email provider. But in that case, it is obvious that the data can not be end-to-end encrypted and people aware of the need for privacy would not send a sensitive email unencrypted.

 5. What’s next for Tutanota?

We’ve just released offline support, which was a huge step, particularly as Tutanota does not support IMAP so you can’t download your emails into a local mail client. The reason for this, again, is security: If we allowed IMAP, then the data would not be encrypted locally on your device. But as we at Tutanota promise security, we must make sure that the data is always secured – no matter where the user stores it.

Offline support fixes this: Now users can store their emails, calendars, and contacts locally on their devices in the Tutanota clients, and all data there is still encrypted.

The next big feature that we want to release is post-quantum secure encryption. This way, we will make sure that all data in Tutanota stays secure even if quantum computers – that will be able to break currently used encryption – become a reality.

Tutanota has made absolutely no compromises in their approach to security—something we have huge respect for here at ShuttleCloud. Join us next time on ShuttleCloud Spotlights to learn more about the innovators of the email world!