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Mail Transfer Agent

Friday, July 14th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms

Mail Transfer Agent

You may have heard of this term before, but what really is a Mail Transfer Agent? Also known as an MTA, a Mail Transfer Agent is basically what handles your e-mails after you hit the Send button and release them to the cyber world. It is a computer program (or a software agent) that helps transport e-mails from computer to computer (from yours to your friend’s).

An MTA works along with a MSA (mail submission agent) and a MUA (mail user agent, which is you), but it usually just works behind the scenes to sort out all of the e-mails that come through each day.

Once the e-mails are sorted, they are given a header and then sent off to a MDA, which is a mail delivery agent. The MDA then makes sure the e-mails are delivered to the correct inboxes and are made available for you to read them!

To learn more about what an MTA does with the headers I mentioned above, make sure you read below in today’s Q & A tip.

~ Erin

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