Internet mail standard

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Internet e-mail functions through the use of Internet standards. Although many more standards actually apply to e-mail, virtually all mail servers and e-mail clients support at least the following basic set.

  • SMTP (or RFC 5321) specifies the protocol by which e-mail is transmitted
  • RFC 5322 specifies the basic format for e-mail
  • MIME supplements the e-mail formatting rules to allow non-English text in both e-mail headers and bodies, and defines a mechanism for including non-textual attachments in e-mail bodies
  • POP3 and IMAP4 specify e-mail retrieval protocols used by e-mail clients

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