Email, the sending and receiving of electronic messages, is currently the most popular use of the Internet. For many people it is the primary reason for getting onto the Internet.
Email can be internally within your network. Whereas you can send internet email to anyone else with an internet address, instead of just the ones in your office. Ask your IT advisor what type of email you have.
To send email, you must know the recipient's email address. These addresses are composed of the user's identification, followed by the “@” sign, followed by the location of the recipient's computer.
For example, the email address for Cadzow’s hotline service is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The cost of sending an email is usually a fraction of sending a fax or using “snail mail” (post).
- Email messages are usually delivered very quickly depending upon the internet configuration you are using (seconds or minutes, but international traffic might take minutes or hours).
- Email addresses are not location specific — again, depending on the configuration you are using, you can collect your email from different computers on your network or sometimes from any location that is connected to the internet (talk to your IT advisor regarding your options).
- Emailing the same message to many people is fast, inexpensive, and easy to automate. Much faster than copying paper documents, stuffing envelopes, and addressing them.
- Like postal mail, email lets you send and read messages when it is convenient for you.
- Both the sender and receiver need computers and a link between their email systems.
- Emails do not get through if hardware, software, or the link fails (naturally telephones and fax machines also have this weakness).
- Misunderstandings: On a telephone your pace, tone, and other audible cues give the other person additional information, and when you speak in person you can use facial expressions and gestures. It can be difficult to communicate as effectively with typed text. The lack of these cues, plus the delay between a statement or question and its response, can make people seem less clear (or polite) in email than they are in person.
- Some people do not regularly collect their emails.