Email software can be installed as part of a web browser or as a standalone application. Any email program can be used with Windows 7. Windows Live Mail is an email program that is recommended by Microsoft. It manages multiple email accounts, calendars, and contacts, as shown in Figure 1. To install Windows Live Mail, download and install Windows Essentials from Microsoft. Windows Live Mail is included in Windows Essentials.

You should have the following information available when setting up an email account:

The protocols used in email include the following:

You need to know how to configure a device to accept the correct incoming mail format. You can configure the email client software using a wizard, as shown in Figure 2.


POP3 retrieves emails from a remote server over TCP/IP. POP3 does not leave a copy of the email on the server; however, some implementations allow users to specify that mail be saved for some period of time. POP3 supports end users that have intermittent connections, such as dialup. A POP3 user can connect, download email from the server, and then disconnect. POP3 usually uses port 110.


IMAP allows local email clients to retrieve email from a server. Like POP3, IMAP allows you to download email from an email server using an email client. The difference is that IMAP allows the user to organize email on the network email server, and download copies of email. The original email remains on the network email server. Unlike POP3, IMAP typically leaves the original email on the server until you move the email to a personal folder in your email application. IMAP synchronizes email folders between the server and client. IMAP is faster than POP3, but IMAP requires more disk space on the server and more CPU resources. The most recent version of IMAP is IMAP4. IMAP4 is often used in large networks, such as a university campus. IMAP usually uses port 143.


SMTP is a simple, text-based protocol that transmits emails across a TCP/IP network and is the email format for text that uses only ASCII encoding. SMTP must be implemented to send email. SMTP sends email from an email client to an email server, or from one email server to another. A message is sent after recipients are identified and verified. SMTP usually uses port 25.


MIME extends the email format to include text in ASCII standard as well as other formats, such as pictures and word processor documents. MIME is normally used in conjunction with SMTP.


SSL was developed to transmit files securely. All data exchanged between the email client and the email server is encrypted. When configuring an email client to use SSL, make sure to use the correct port number for the email server.


Exchange is a mail server, contact manager, and calendaring software created by Microsoft. Exchange uses a proprietary messaging architecture called Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI). MAPI is used by Microsoft Office Outlook to connect to Exchange servers, to provide email, calendar, and contact management.