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Chapter 11. E-mail > How E-mail Works

How E-mail Works

Electronic mail (e-mail) is a means of communicating with other Internet users via letter-like messages, written and delivered electronically over the Internet. While e-mail messages look a lot like traditional letters, e-mail itself is a lot different from the so-called snail mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.

When you send an electronic mail message to another Internet user, that message travels from your PC to your recipient’s PC (via the Internet) almost instantly. Your message travels at the speed of electrons over a number of phone lines and Internet connections, automatically routed to the right place just about as fast as you can click the Send button. That’s a lot different from using the U.S. Postal Service, which can take days to deliver a similar message.


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