Configuring Email on Mobile Devices – CompTIA A+ 220-1001 – 1.6

Many of us use our
smartphones and our tablets to send and receive emails. In order to do this, we have
to configure these devices with the appropriate email
settings for the type of service that we’re using. If you’re retrieving emails from
an internet service provider’s email server, then
you’re probably using the POP3 protocol
or the IMAP protocol. If you’re sending
mail from this device, you’re probably using
the SMTP protocol for that particular
ISP’s network. If you’re on a
corporate network, you may be using something
like Microsoft Exchange, which has a completely different
process for sending and receiving emails. And if you’re using a number of
providers that integrate email, such as Google,
Yahoo, or iCloud, then there are a number
of additional steps that you’ll need to take
to be able to configure those accounts. Let’s start with
a protocol that’s commonly used to
retrieve email messages onto our mobile devices. This Post Office Protocol
version 3, or POP3, is one of these protocols
that’s been around for a very long time. We were using POP3 well before
there was Yahoo, or Google, or Microsoft Exchange. This was the way that we
would retrieve email messages from our internet
service provider. When we’re using
POP3, we’re usually downloading an email message
from our internet service provider’s account. And then you also
have the option, when you retrieve that
message, to delete that message from the server. This process of downloading
a single email message and then deleting
it from the server makes sense if you
only have one device. And before we had
smartphones, and tablets, and desktop computers,
and laptop devices, and we were gathering our emails
from so many different places, this type of protocol
made a lot of sense. But today, we don’t see POP3
used quite so often because we need more flexibility with how
we’re retrieving and viewing our email messages. However, you may still find some
legacy equipment or software that still uses POP3. So in those cases, we’ll
need to provide configuration information into
our smartphone to be able to retrieve these messages
using the POP3 protocol. We’ll, of course, need the
name of the POP3 server. Usually there will be a
hostname option for that. And usually there’s
authentication that occurs to make
sure that you’re the proper owner of
those email messages. So you’d also provide
a username and password into the POP3 configuration. The software you’re
using may also require you to provide
a port number that’s in use for this
POP3 communication. This can normally be
found from your ISP. And the default is for
POP3 to use TCP port 110. If you’re using POP3
over a secure channel– that’s a secure sockets
layer encrypted connection, which is also known as POP3S– you’re probably
using TCP port 995. A more flexible protocol for
retrieving email messages is the Internet Message Access
Protocol version 4, or IMAP4. This protocol allows us
to retrieve messages, but leave them stored
on a central server. We have the ability to
create folders using IMAP, and we can also perform searches
on the server using this IMAP protocol. The configuration
for IMAP is almost identical to the information
you might need for POP3. You, of course, need a
name of the IMAP app server that you’ll be connecting
to, and then you’ll need to provide a
username and password. The ports that are
used for IMAP are slightly different than POP3. If you’re using IMAP without
any type of security, it’s usually using TCP port 143. If you’re adding secure
socket layer encryption, then you’re probably
using TCP 993 to perform IMAPS communication. We know that retrieving
mail from your ISP is going to use POP3 or IMAP. But what about sending
email messages? In those cases, we’re
using SMTP, or the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. This allows you to send
email from your local device to your ISP’s SMTP server. Usually when you’re sending
this message via SMTP, it needs to be from a
device that can be trusted. So there’s usually
authentication involved, and you have to make
sure you configure figure all of those settings
on your mobile device. Although sometimes
this authentication can be the same
username and password that you use to
retrieve email messages, it doesn’t have to be. So make sure that if you’re
putting in SMTP authentication settings, that those match
the SMTP settings that are configured on your ISP. And of course, SMTP uses
a completely different set of port numbers
than IMAP or POP3. If we’re performing a simple
SMTP with no authentication, then we’re probably
using TCP port 25. But most authentication
for SMTP is going to run over TCP port 587. For using email at home, being
able to use POP3, IMAP, or SMTP probably works
just fine for you. But at your office, you’d
like to be able to integrate your email with a calendar. You want to be able to look up
a set of contacts in a database, or have reminders
provided on the screen. In those particular
cases, you’re probably using an
enterprise email system such as Microsoft Exchange. Microsoft Exchange even
allows the synchronization of this information, so
you can keep a contact list on your phone and that same
contact list is synchronized with Microsoft Exchange. The configuration options
for Microsoft Exchange usually require that you
provide an email address. You specify the
Exchange server name. There’s usually a
Windows domain name that needs to be configured. And of course, you
need to authenticate with a username and a password. Microsoft Exchange also
provides additional security for the email
messages themselves. You can encrypt your
emails using S/MIME. That stands for Secure
Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. This allows you to both encrypt
and digitally sign the messages that you’re sending
and receiving from Microsoft Exchange. You may not be
retrieving mail directly from a server at your
ISP, and you may not be using Microsoft Exchange. Instead, you may be using
an integrated service, such as Google
Mail or Yahoo Mail. And you may find on
your mobile device, there are simply settings
that you can click on to specify the
email configurations for those individual services. For example, if you’re
using Google Mail, which allows you to split the
inbox into multiple tabs and provide additional
spam filtering, you can simply click
the Google option and provide your Google
authentication credentials. Google optionally allows you to
retrieve messages using IMAP4 or POP3, but if there’s a
built in Google configuration, you generally have additional
functionality available. The cloud-based
service for Exchange is called Exchange Online, and
there’s IMAP4 and POP3 support also available for that service. If you’re using
iCloud from Apple, then you have Apple Mail support
and IMAP4 support, as well. And Yahoo Mail supports not
only the integrated Yahoo functionality, but you
can also retrieve messages from Yahoo Mail
using IMAP4 and POP3.

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