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The importance of e-mail or email

E-mail was one of the first services created for the Internet and one of the most widely used. This medium is fast, efficient and simple to administer, becoming the most widespread electronic messaging system that we know today.

It has become so important that it is replacing every day the communications that were usually made by other means, mainly traditional mail, fax, and telegram. All this has made e-mail the most widely used service on the Internet and one of the most important inventions of recent decades.

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Like traditional mail, its electronic version, also called e-mail, provides a means for any user of the network of networks -Internet- to send messages to other people. Although each user may be using a different computer or e-mail application, and even belong to computer networks not directly connected to the Internet, the standardization of the message format (protocol) ensures absolute compatibility.


At first, this service was limited to putting people in contact through the more or less rapid exchange of messages. At present it is possible to send all kinds of information. In this way we can include in our messages all kinds of images, sounds and files, even programs.

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The most primitive forms of communication implied the physical presence of both parts of the communication: both sender and receiver had to be close when establishing communication, since this was based only on the verbal type. With the advent of writing this changed radically, the presence of both parts of the communication was no longer necessary. Instead, the physical transport of the message was required, generally on paper, and thus a first concept of message carrier was born. The ancient Incas implemented an ingenious message transmission system using people who travelled the extension of their kingdom taking with them and passing the content of the message by word of mouth until it reached its addressee.

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This first attempt at a mail system is quite close to the traditional one that works worldwide. The current one is a little more refined, with distribution hierarchies, and with legislation that regulates and protects it, but the fundamental concept is the same, the physical transport of a message. The problem with this system is that it makes use of means of transport that are generally expensive and slow.

Legend has it that while Samuel Morse was traveling in Europe, his mother, in the United States, fell seriously ill. Her family immediately tried to contact her by letter but by the time it reached her mother had already died. This situation led Morse to carry out a deep investigation on the properties of the transmission of electric current through a cable, which ended with the invention of the telegraph.

This was the first electric transmission medium on record. Soon the telegraph lines spread throughout the world and when these lines could not be established, radio transmission was used; now they had a fast and relatively cheap means of transport. The telegraph was almost entirely replaced 40 years after its birth by Graham Bell’s ground-breaking invention, the telephone, so revolutionary that 120 years later it is still in force.

This system is quite well suited to transmitting voice from one end to the other, but for data transmission it was quite deficient, so the telex network was built in parallel with the telephone network, which in the mid-1920s was born as the fastest way to have updated stock information. A telex machine could communicate with any other machine by means of a telex line; Relative security was also provided since these machines, to establish communication, had a kind of agreement protocol.

In turn, and in parallel with the expansion of computer networks in industry and commerce, the United States Department of Defence began its foray into this world and with the help of universities and dedicated students it launched the ARPANET, predecessor in a way of the INTERNET. In this context, the record of the first transmission of an e-mail in 1971 is taken.


E-mail began as the possibility that allowed distant colleagues who worked for a company with a small computer network to work together, share experiences, and exchange ideas and projects. Then the possibility of making a user could access this same service remotely, that is, without being directly connected to the network, was envisioned.

The process of sending an email message is very similar to sending a traditional email.

The above is just a simplified example of what is the path that an email follows from the origin to a single recipient and in the event that the message is not lost or rejected, for example because the recipient has not been found or because your mailbox is full. In it, some features have been overlooked. Some even exclusive to emails, such as the one that allows copies of it to be sent to a group of recipients simultaneously.


The addresses of email are composed of a user name, the @ symbol (at) meaning “in” and a name associated with the computer (server) that provides e – mail service, such as : Art

Reader @

User «in» server or « Domain » of the server

These addresses are also part of a convention. This allows that there are no two identical addresses and that the user can be located through it.

The “Domain” is part of the convention that exists to recognize a node on the Internet and is interpreted as follows:

To find the user the address must be read from back to front.

The first part up to a point identifies the country, art represents Argentina. There is one for each country and if you do not have it, it is related to an address of a server of a person, company or institution in the United States or of one that is not associated with a particular country.

Everything that is before is administered by each of those countries, in the case of Argentina, the one responsible for managing is the Ministry of Foreign Relations, International Trade and Worship.

What exists until the next point is a “Subdomain” that are generally used by all countries. This allows you to identify the type of company or institution that has permission to use the domain. For example, com is used for commercial companies.

  • Other subdomains accepted by Argentina are:
  • Org, for non-profit organizations.
  • Edu, for educational institutions or organizations related to education.
  • Thousand, for military organizations or other units of the Armed Forces.
  • Go, for government agencies.
  • In, for international government agencies.
  • Net, for other organizations.

What follows up to the at sign is a name on which the company that provides the e-mail service has permission to use (

The at sign (@) is a symbol used only in an email address.

What is before the at sign is the name of the user of that email. It is unique within each server and is assigned by the company that provides the mail service.

In the next edition we will see some practices that due to use have been incorporated as “basic rules” in most messaging systems through the Internet, especially in e-mail, they are not strict but are accepted by the majority. We will also see some advantages that make email more and more gaining followers and replacing other traditional types of communication such as conventional mail, fax, etc.

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