Smtp Definition

ĕsĕm-tē-pē
abbreviation
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.
American Heritage
other
Short for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. A protocol used on TCP/IP networks governing the transfer of e-mail.
American Heritage Science

An Application Layer protocol of the TCP/IP protocol suite, SMTP was defined by the IETF in RFC 821 (1982) for passing e-mail to and through the Internet between clients and servers. SMTP operates over the connectionless User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and supports text-oriented e-mail between any two devices that support Message Handling Service (MHS). SMTP was developed to support the 7-bit ASCII code, which accommodates plain text, including letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and a reasonable set of control characters. ASCII, however, does not support the rich text formatting (e.g., italics, bold, and color, other than the default black in which this document is printed) supported by most contemporary word processing programs.This 7-bit format also prevents the transmission of 8-bit binary data found in executable files. The Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) to SMTP are used to support binary files, and Secure MIME (S/MIME) supports encryption. See also Application Layer, ASCII, binary, client/server, connectionless, e-mail, IETF, Internet, MHS, MIME, plain text, POP3, protocol suite, RFC, rich text, S/MIME, TCP/IP, and UDP.

Webster's New World Telecom