Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is an Internet standard for electronic mail (e-mail) transmission. SMTP by default uses TCP port 25. The protocol for mail submission is the same, but uses port 587. Although electronic mail servers and other mail transfer agents use SMTP to send and receive mail messages, user-level client mail applications typically use SMTP only for sending messages to a mail server for relaying. For receiving messages, client applications usually use either POP3 or IMAP.


SMTP is a connection-oriented, text-based protocol in which a mail sender communicates with a mail receiver by issuing command strings and supplying necessary data over a reliable ordered data stream channel, typically a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connection. An SMTP session consists of commands originated by an SMTP client (the initiating agent, sender, or transmitter) and corresponding responses from the SMTP server (the listening agent, or receiver) so that the session is opened, and session parameters are exchanged. A session may include zero or more SMTP transactions.