What is an SMTP Server & How Does It Work?

The primary function of an SMTP relay service is to provide a method for email senders to access the Internet when they do not have their own IP address or when the IP address they have does not meet the IP reputation requirements of most major ISPs.
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DOVER, Del. - Oct. 29, 2021 - PRLog -- An SMTP or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol server is a messaging device which relays e-mails from one mail server to another mail server. In today's world, most of these servers are web servers that have been configured to relay e-mails from one mail account to another. For example, if I have a Hotmail account and I want to forward e-mails to my Yahoo! account, the mail is first sent to my Web Server and is relayed by it.

An SMTP server does not accept incoming email for two main reasons. Firstly, to avoid mail storms, where people misconfigure their email settings so all email to them is funneled into the server, then blocked. Secondly, it does not accept email because it isn't used as storage; there are other protocols that are more suited for that purpose. Generally, the only reason an SMTP server accepts incoming email is if it's mail catch-all (basically spam protection) or if it's designed specifically to act as a gateway to the internet (for example, an ISP).

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is the standard protocol that allows you to send email from your computer to your ISP's or corporate mail server. SMTP is used for mail originating from your computer. Examples include Microsoft Outlook, Mac OS X Mail, iOS Mail, etc.

By using an SMTP relay service, you're relaying your mail through an intermediary server before sending your messages out into the internet. This gives you (the sender) more control over how your emails are sent, but still doesn't replace the need for having a high touch email delivery provider for configuration and management of your emails.

What is a Mail Relay?
Mail relay allows a server that is not configured with a mail exchanger (such as one with a statically assigned IP address) to send email. When a server needs to send an email message to a recipient whose domain is hosted by another mail server, the two servers use mail relay to transmit the message. Although you may think of mail relay as a technical problem, it's not uncommon for smaller businesses or those with multiple branches, to have only one mail server for all of their domains. To ensure security, organizations must deploy redundant infrastructure for SMTP so that they can continue sending email uninterrupted in case a single link fails.
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