The presidential elections are right around the corner, and Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Nominee. But Hillary goes into the upcoming elections with a cloud of scandal over her. Late last year, it was alleged that Hillary had an illegal email server in her New York home where she sent and received classified emails. Now, I’m not gonna go all into this story because everyday there is a new story in the news about this. So if you want to read up on it, google is your friend. But I will tell you that when this story first broke, I got all kinds of questions by my non-techies pals about what a server is. Most people only know about servers in restaurants. They have no clue what an email server is. Well, yall know I’m a professor. Let Dr. Wilson break it down for ya. An email server is a computer that sends or delivers email messages over the Internet. That’s all. In Hillary’s case, her email server was a computer in her New York home. A client is basically a computer, smartphone or any device that you read your email on.
I am a professor and to understand email clients and servers, I could bore you with a lot of technical jargon. But I’m not gonna do that today. But if you show up in my computer networking class, it’s on! To better understand the email client and server relationship, I want you to think about the process of mailing a letter. The person who sends the letter is the email server because they are sending the letter. The post office can be thought of as the Internet because the email server sends email over the Internet. And we know that you can’t mail a letter without it going through the Post Office to be processed first. The stamp on the letter is the protocol used for email communications. Now, I don’t want to get too techie here and lose you. Just know that when sending and receiving emails, the email program must use a communication protocol to allow the sending and receiving of emails. Now let’s go back to the post office scenario. If you don’t have a stamp on your letter, the post office won’t send it. So, there is no communication between the person sending the letter and the person receiving it if there is no stamp – or protocol. And finally, client is the person who receives the letter. Did that make sense? Do you have a better understanding of what an email server is and does? I hope so.
Okay, so since I am teaching today, here’s your homework. How many email servers do YOU use in a day? Let me know in the comments below.