Introduction: When email was invented
Email is one of the most widely used forms of communication globally. And although many people might take it for granted, email didn’t always exist. When email was first invented, everyone met it with skepticism. Some people thought it was a fad, and others thought it was just a useless tool that would never catch on. But surprisingly, email has not only caught on, but it has completely transformed the way we communicate.
MIT’s Compatible Time-Sharing System, which allowed users to share files and messages on a central disc while logging in from different terminals, was the site of the very first version of what is now known as email. The year was 1965.
Tip: Did you know when email was invented predated the Internet? That means the email system is older than the Internet itself.
The history of email
The concept of email is a couple of years older than the Internet.
You may find the first example of email on computers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in a program named “MAILBOX,” written in 1965. By using this program, MIT computer users could leave messages on other users’ computers at the university. Those people would be notified with a message whenever they logged on to their computer next time. Although the method was quite effective, it only worked well if the persons who wanted to connect regularly used the same computer.
It was 1969 when the United States Department of Defense implemented the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), a network connecting multiple computers across the department to facilitate internal communication within the company.
Hint: ARPANET went on to develop into the Internet.
The first message sent via the ARPANET was sent on October 29th, 1969, from one computer to another.
Finally, Ray Tomlinson created the ARPANET’s networked email system in 1971.
Instantaneous communication between machines within an organization became so helpful and practical that it quickly expanded. Message-sending protocols have become more sophisticated with the development of internal networks. How would one specify the intended recipient of a message sent across a network?
His most significant lasting contribution to the Internet was the “@” symbol. Since then, email has been addressed as “[email protected] of computer” to indicate its destination.
By 1976, 75% of ARPANET traffic was email. The medium had proven so beneficial that suggestions began to emerge for sending an email to users, not on the internal network.
This idea of emailing from organization to organization sparked the birth of the Internet.
As inter-organizational emailing became increasingly common, software to store and organize emails became necessary. Thus, the contemporary email inbox’s predecessors were swiftly built.
Email “hosting” sites popped up in the 1980s, screaming for a piece of the pie. FEmailwas their first exposure to this fascinating new media. for many new internet users
By 1993, the public language had changed from “electronic mail” to “email,” and internet use had increased.
In the following years, AOL, Echomail, Hotmail, and Yahoo changed the Internet and email scene. To improve accessibility and exposure to the benefits of the Internet, they invested in marketing.
Internet usage skyrocketed in the late 1990s, from 55 million users in 1997 to 400 million in 1999. Increasing awareness of the Internet’s business potential led to increased email spam, requiring email sorting software.
By the turn of the millennium, having an email “address” was a societal norm, similar to having a phone number.
How are protocols for email communication defined?
Email communication is one of the most common methods of communication today. They allows for fast, accessible communication between two or more people. Email is considered a very reliable form of communication. Still, to ensure reliability, it is essential to understand the protocols used in email communication.
The protocols for email communication are defined by standards maintained by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The IETF standards define how an email server should format an email, what type of data can be included in an email message, and how to route email messages between servers.
Today, most email clients use the SMTP protocol to send and receive email messages. The SMTP protocol defines how messages are transferred between servers and handles errors. The POP3 and IMAP4 protocols download and store messages on a client’s computer.
These are laid out using RFC (Request for Comment) standards.
RFCs for Email Structure :
These RFCs define the structure of emails themselves.
RFC 5322 – Internet Message Format (basic email message format) replaced RFC 822 and RFC 2822.
RFC 2045 — Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) Part One: Format of Internet Message Bodies. This is an extension to the email message format to support attachments and non-ASCII data in emails.
RFC 2046 — Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) Part Two: Media Types.
RFC 2047 — MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) Part Three: Message Header Extensions for Non-ASCII Text.
RFC 2231 — Character Sets, Languages, and Continuations for MIME Parameter Values and Encoded Word Extensions.
RFCs for Email protocols:
These RFCs outline the methods for transmitting (SMTP) and receiving (IMAP/POP) emails between computers.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (RFC 5321). This is a protocol for sending emails from one computer to another. Previously, RFC 821 and RFC 2821 were used.
INTERNET MESSAGE ACCESS PROTOCOL, VERSION 4rev1. RFC 3501 — INTERNET MESSAGE ACCESS PROTOCOL, VERSION 4rev1. IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol, and it is used to view emails.
RFC 4551 — IMAP Extension for Conditional STORE Operation or Resynchronization of Quick Flag Changes. This IMAP add-on adds MODSEQ to rapidly find changes to a mailbox.
Version 3 of the Post Office Protocol (RFC 1939). This is an older version of the POP protocol used to read emails.
The JSON Meta Application Protocol is defined in RFC 8620. (JMAP). This new message retrieval, organization, and transmission protocol will eventually replace the earlier IMAP and SMTP protocols.
RFCs for Email security :
These RFCs establish some security guidelines for email protocols and formats.
It uses TLS with IMAP, POP3, and ACAP (RFC 2595). This protocol converts a plaintext IMAP/POP connection to an encrypted SSL/TLS connection.
RFC 3207: Secure SMTP over Transport Layer Security (SMTP Service Extension). This is a mechanism for converting a plaintext SMTP connection to an encrypted SSL/TLS connection.
The Transport Layer Security (TLS) Protocol Version 1.2 is defined in RFC 5246. This is a protocol for encrypting a network connection.
DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) Signatures (RFC 6376). This enables emails to be signed by a specific domain to confirm that they haven’t been tampered with and to claim ownership of the message.
Authenticated Received Chain (RFC 8617) (ARC). This protocol establishes an authenticated chain of custody for messages that have been forwarded through intermediate mail servers.
How email has evolved over the years
While electronic transmissions date back to 1832 with the introduction of the telegraph, email was first introduced in 1965.
Mailbox in 1965 improved upon the initial CTSS system, which merely allowed a message to be placed in a common directory that anybody with network access could view.
ARPANET was a considerable success, connecting universities and government institutions throughout the country. Ray Tomlinson, who sent the first network email over ARPANET in 1971, is responsible for that success.
Computer technology, the Internet, and email evolved side-by-side during the next 20 years. The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) was adopted as the Internet standard for electronic Mail in 1982.
With Microsoft Mail, Microsoft became the first company to offer a commercial email package in 1988.
The World Wide Web was first made available to the general public in 1991. There was little public interest, but that would soon change. The demand for email grew as more people became connected to the Internet.
AOL and Delphi connected their email systems to the Internet in 1993, allowing users to benefit from this simple and speedy mode of communication.
Hotmail became the first free Web-based email service in 1996. Microsoft introduced Outlook 97, an email client bundled with Windows, a year later.
Why is email important in your life?
Email is one of the essential forms of communication in the world. It is fast, reliable, and efficient. Email allows you to communicate with people all over the globe in a matter of seconds. Email is also a great way to stay organized. You can create folders to store your messages, and you can create labels to help you find messages quickly and easily. Email is also a great way to keep track of your schedule. You can create calendar events and send invitations to others. An email is an essential tool for staying connected with friends, family, and co-workers.
In fact, in today’s era, your work begins with an email, and the day end’s with an email. Ranging from everything, buying and purchasing to selling, emails are involved in every aspect of your life.
The future of email
The interesting thing about email is that there is relatively little consumer choice of email providers accessible despite being such an essential utility. In reality, only three email systems that are more than 20 years old control 91 percent of the US email industry (and indeed the majority worldwide): Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Microsoft Outlook.
Spam mails account for 45.1 percent of email traffic.
Anyone, at any time, may cram hundreds of messages into your inbox for free. Your email is essential for workflow, but you no longer have control over it. Every week, you spend hours deleting, unsubscribing, and even creating completely new email addresses to decrease the noise.
Ideas are only becoming bigger in today’s world, yet we can’t email anything greater than 25MB. Consider the challenge of generating an email address that accurately reflects your identity — one that is not filled with letters and numbers. Email addresses at email service domains have become a limited resource.
Despite these challenges, the future of email appears to be bright. Because there is so much broken with email, innovation will be born out of need.
- Consumers will have more options for email services. Mutant Mail is already at the forefront of innovation.
- Email intelligence will reach new heights.
- Email will establish itself as your new digital fingerprint.
- Email passwords will be phased out, and security will be enhanced.