Posts in "Gmail"

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.

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.

What is an email client?

 

To put it simply, an email client is a piece of software used to access emails found on an email server. An email service such as Gmail or Outlook hosts your emails, and the email client is the way you actually access them. While they all serve the same core purpose, every email client is different, with its own advantages and disadvantages.

What is the best email client?

Receiving and sending emails is something that we do every day, and most people use one of the most popular options. These can be either desktop or app-based such as IOS email and Microsoft Outlook, or web-based such as Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook

But there are many more options out there! In the last couple of years, there has been an increase in the number of email clients available, some offering exciting new features that have made them very successful.

What email client alternatives are there?

Zoom 

Zoom email was introduced in November 2022 and is still in beta testing. Zoom focuses on offering an all-in-one service without having to use multiple applications while working—reducing the time spent transferring between apps and keeping everything more organized. 

It allows users to connect their Gmail and Microsoft accounts, synchronizing all emails and calendars in one place—all without having to switch apps to make Zoom video calls.

Spark 

Spark claims to be the “smart, focused” email client. It has 14 million users worldwide and was recognized as Editor’s Choice on the Apple app store. Their main feature is a Smart Inbox that prioritizes important emails into their own folder. One special feature spark offers is a gatekeeper that allows you to accept or reject incoming emails based on their sender. Users can also highlight priority senders for easy access to their emails.

Collaboration is another key benefit of Spark—it allows teams to have a shared inbox and drafts can be composed in real-time by several team members. Specific emails and threads can be shared with specific team members, and you can create email templates to be used by the entire team.

Shift 

Shift is a ‘workstation’ service that includes an email client, along with a web browser and other integrations. It seeks to allow you to work entirely from one platform, eliminating the need to switch between different platforms. It can integrate with multiple Gmail and Microsoft accounts as well as Slack, Trello, Evernote or even Spotify. The simple design makes it easy to use and personalize. It even includes a secure password storage service.

eM client 

eM client claims to boost your productivity and break you out of your email routing. It boasts a number of workflow-enhancing tools such as message encryption with PGP encryption, a reply-watcher to notify you of specific replies, automatic message translation, a quick text feature to help you compose emails faster, email snoozing, and more.  It is compatible with Gmail, iCloud, Microsoft 365, SmarterMail, Mailfence, and MDaemon.

Spike 

Transforming email to a workspace is the main focus of Spike, offering features that increase team productivity. It seeks to transform email into a live-chat format, making it more conversational and taking away the clutter of traditional email. Collaborative online notes and tasks allow users to take notes as well as create tasks and to-do lists on the app—allowing easy access for different devices and users. It also offers group chats and a calendar feature. 

Thunderbird

Making email easy is the promise of Thunderbird. The setup is super simple, using a mail account setup wizard, allowing installation without needing to know your STMP, IMAP, or other certificates. Thunderbird offers a fast way to add new contacts to your lists as well as setting contacts into different lists to keep data organized. One key feature is the tab system which allows you to switch between different emails much like you would in a browser—in fact, Thunderbird is created by the Mozilla Foundation, which also created Firefox.

Which email client is the best for me?

Smaller email clients have evolved significantly, adding value to their platforms in the form of new features. They’ve switched their focus to simplicity and productivity, creating some real competition for the bigger clients. When it comes to choosing the best email client for you, you should focus on the specific features they each offer, and decide based on what works best for your workflow!

Email Meter: ShuttleCloud also offers email analytics

Today I’d like to introduce you to another part of ShuttleCloud: Email Meter. As experts in both email and data, we know the value that email statistics hold. Knowing your email volume, response times or top interactions can tell you so much about your business or personal productivity, especially if most of your work passes through your inbox.

How does Email Meter work? 

By connecting to your inbox, Email Meter gives you a wide range of metrics and insights. The dashboard includes charts and other visualizations to help you easily interpret your data. These insights are generated using the email headers, which includes the email sender, recipients, sent/receipt time, date, and other information. Email Meter cannot access any information beyond these headers such as the actual text body of the email or any attachments, giving you complete security.

Email Meter is perfect for different use cases:

Individuals 

For single users, Email Meter is perfect for analyzing their personal productivity and workload. It helps you to understand your inbox, so you can organize it better and concentrate on the emails that are actually important. The free version can be instantly set up, simply by logging in here. This gives you monthly and weekly reports with a full dashboard of metrics. There is a Pro version which adds filtering, 2 years of historical data, and raw data exports.

Teams 

For teams of 2-20, Email Meter Teams provides a full team dashboard. You can see all of your team members from one dashboard, or generate full reports for any specific team member (or combination of team members. It’s great for understanding who in your team is dealing with the most workload, responding slowly, or not communicating as much as they should. You can set up your team quickly and easily here.

Enterprises 

For larger teams with more advanced needs, Email Meter Enterprise is the best solution. With fully customizable dashboards, you’re able to expand beyond the metrics offered by Pro and Teams. Track thread length to understand your team’s efficiency in solving problems, monitor specific SLAs to track response time expectations, or have entirely new metrics created just for you. As an Enterprise customer, you’ll also receive a personalized onboarding experience and a dedicated Customer Success manager.

Email Meter Pricing 

  • Free: Individual metrics on a monthly and weekly basis are completely free, and will be forever. A free 7-day trial of Pro and Teams is included when you sign up.
  • Pro: 15$/month yearly payment ($180) or $19/month. Unlocks filtering, 2 years of past data and other advanced features.
  • Teams: 15$/user/month yearly ($180) or $19/user/month. An extension of Pro, adds the ability to see your whole team from a central dashboard, and generate full reports for any combination of team members.
  • Enterprise: Pricing dependent on needs. Unlocks the most powerful features, generally recommended for teams of 15+ members. Completely custom dashboards and metrics can be created for you upon request.

If this sounds like something you or your team could benefit from, you can sign up for free here. If you’d like a full demo to explore which solution is the best fit for your business, you can request a demo here.

What do we know about email?

At ShuttleCloud most of us are email geeks. We live and breathe it. We’ve migrated a bucket load of them for starters (over 50 trillion!). Life would be much different if Ray Tomlinson hadn’t invented them 50 odd years ago.

Ray Tomlinson, Inventor of electronic mail

Here’s some more facts about our electronic companion. Let us know if we’ve missed any. We’d love to hear more!

  • The first email address was tomlinson@bbn-tenexa
  • The first free email providers were  AOL, Hotmail, and Yahoo (and they are now still in the top 10)
  • In 1991 the email reached space by sending its first email by the STS-43 Atlantis crew
  • In 2021, 319.6  billion emails were sent per day
  • There are over 5.5 billion email accounts around the world
  • The average person opens their inbox about 15 times per day
  • The estimated amount of emails sent in a work environment is 100 per day 
  • Each second there 3.1 million emails are sent 
  • Gmail is the largest email provider with more than 1 billion accounts 

Who knows how email will evolve and where it will take us!? But it’ll surely be a big part of our lives for years to come. We hope!