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Glossary navigation

Email

What is an email?

An email is an electronic mail or a form of digital communication.  An emails allows people to send message and texts through the World Wide Web. The only requirement for such communication is an email address and an email program or service provider. The actual email address is composed of two parts: the first is the user-specified description or nickname and the second part is the name of the provider or domain.

The history of email

The first known email was written in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson, who is considered the inventor of emails send via computer networks. In this first email, Tomlinson stated that mails could be sent to any user in the network when you inserted the username, then the “@” sign, and the hostname of the computer. The first modern email was received in 1984 in Germany when Michael Rotert from the University of Karlsruhe received an email from the American platform CSNET. At the time, it took 24 hours to send this email. Today, with Mail Transfer Protocols, emails are sent and received within minutes.