People who are used to checking their Yahoo and Gmail inboxes through a browser may be a bit intimidated by the prospect of configuring their account to work with an email client (or application). The truth is, there’s nothing too complicated about setting up such an application, especially if you know how it works. With this article, we’ll make sure you do.
What is an email client?
An email client is a desktop or mobile application that retrieves emails from your mail server and displays them on your computer or smartphone. The immediate notification you receive whenever a new message appears in your inbox is the main advantage of this setup. Still, there are other benefits like the broader set of management and filtering features email applications give you.
Usually, email clients use one of the following two communication protocols to retrieve the emails from your server and display them on your device:
POP3 is a communication protocol that enables your email client to connect to the server and periodically check for new messages. If a new email has arrived, the application automatically downloads it to your device and alerts you about it.
One thing you should know is that with POP3, you manage your emails locally. For example, if you open a message on your device and then move it into an inbox subfolder, the email won’t be marked as read, and the action won’t be replicated on the server.
What’s more, many email clients delete new messages from the server after downloading them to your device.
What all this means is that POP3 is an excellent option if you have limited space on the mail server, need to work offline from time to time, and access your email from a single device only.
For many, IMAP is the preferred protocol for managing their communication through an email client. It too fetches the contents of your inbox and displays them on your device. However, unlike POP3, it has full sync capabilities between your computer or smartphone and the server.
In other words, with IMAP, you are effectively managing your email remotely. If you mark a message as read on your device, the action is replicated on the server. The same goes for deleting or moving messages. This makes the protocol much more suitable if multiple devices are connected to the same account.
In addition to IMAP and POP3, email clients also use SMTP. Short for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, SMTP has been the standard for email transmission for ages. Pretty much every email service in the world uses SMTP, and without it, your email application would be unable to send your messages across.
Now that we know how email clients work, it’s time to learn what you need to bear in mind while setting them up.
How to set up my email address through an email client application
There are hundreds of different email clients. Some are free, others are paid, and quite a few of them come pre-installed with your operating system. The range of features you get differs from application to application, and so do the exact steps you need to take to set up your email account. Under the hood, however, the mechanism they use is pretty much identical.
The email client connects to your mail server and uses the login credentials you’ve provided to prove that it’s authorized to view the contents of your inbox. It needs to know which mail server to connect to, and this is what confuses most people.
In the past, you would need to manually enter the incoming and outgoing mail servers and the networking ports they work with. Quite a few people struggled with the task and found it unnecessarily complicated.
With time, email clients evolved, and right now, most modern applications can automatically detect the correct mail server based on the email address. As a result, in most cases, connecting to your account via an email application is as simple as providing your address and the password you’ve set in your control panel.
That said, there are a few things you need to bear in mind to make sure your client is configured correctly:
- Make sure your domain is correctly pointed
You won’t send or receive text messages if the domain doesn’t resolve to the correct server. Double-check the domain’s nameservers and make the necessary adjustments if they’re not set properly. If you’re a ScalaHosting customer, the nameservers are available in the Welcome Email you receive when you activate your account. You can find it in the My Details > Email History section of your Client Area.
- Enter the correct mail servers if your client doesn’t detect them automatically
Some email clients are unable to automatically detect the correct mail server settings. In such cases, you might need to enter them manually. Depending on the type of hosting account, your mail server will be either your domain name or the server’s hostname. If you’re a ScalaHosting customer, you can find them in your Welcome Email.
- Make sure you’re using an encrypted connection
In addition to the mail server itself, you also need to configure which ports the email application communicates through. This determines whether or not your connection will be encrypted with SSL.
It is highly recommended to set up your email client to use SSL. Otherwise, the information passing between your device and the mail server is transmitted in plain text and can be easily intercepted and abused.
To ensure the connection is encrypted, use:
– port 465 for SMTP
– port 995 for POP3
– port 993 for IMAP
If your network or your email client doesn’t allow you to use SSL, the ports you’ll need to use are:
– port 25 for SMTP
– port 110 for POP3
– port 143 for IMAP
That said, if your client or network doesn’t allow you to encrypt the connection, you’re probably better off looking for a new client or network.
All the information you need to add your ScalaHosting-hosted email address to your client application is available in the Welcome Email. Don’t hesitate to contact our technical support team if you have any further questions.