Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
SMTP is the de facto standard for transferring email over networks, primarily the Internet. All operating systems have email clients that can use SMTP and most, if not all, Internet service providers use SMTP as their outgoing mail service. There are also SMTP servers for all operating systems including, but not limited to, Windows 9x/NT/2K, MacOS, Unix and variants, Linux, BeOS, and even AmigaOS.
SMTP is designed to provide a transport for email messages under various network environments. In fact, SMTP is not really concerned with how it travels, just with getting the message to its destination.
SMTP has robust mail handling features that allow mail to be automatically routed based on certain criteria. SMTP has the ability to immediately notify a user of a nonexistent email address and to return mail to the sender when the mail remains undeliverable for a period of time (set by the system administrator of the server that hosts the message). SMTP uses TCP port 25.