Email Access: Web-based vs. Local Email

Explained by Common Craft
We use email every day, but many don’t understand how it works behind-the-scenes. This video is a basic introduction to how we access and manage email using servers.
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Video Transcript:

Before she knew what happened, the damage was done. Pam’s thoughts raced - Her first thought was email. Those messages mattered.

The next day she went to her IT team and asked for help. When the discussion turned to email, she was relieved.  Her email was safe - but she didn’t really know why. Her IT pro explained it with a quick overview.

He said that when she uses her computer to access a web page or do anything online, it connects to computers called servers. These servers connect her to everything she needs, including email. Every person with an email address has a mailbox on a server. When email is sent, the servers make sure it gets to the right address.

But it’s not that easy – Email doesn’t always work the same way. For example, in the past her email lived on the server until she checked email. Then it would be moved to her computer and deleted from the server. Her computer held it all, which meant everything could be lost if something happened. Pam knew that feeling.

Nowadays it’s different – her email lives on the server and her computer at the same time. And they work together.  When she deletes or organizes email on her computer or device, the server makes the same changes. This means she can also manage email on multiple devices without confusion.

And that’s the key. Because servers can keep email safe and organized, she has more freedom.

And that’s not all. Email on the server also means she can use a website to get to her email. This is called webmail, and it allows her to log in to her mailbox from any computer or device with an Internet connection.

For Pam, that’s serious freedom.  She can use her computer at home or work, her device on the road, and even use shared computers when traveling. And the whole time, the server is keeping everything in line and safe from spilled coffee.


What it teaches:

Email has evolved over the years. It used to live on our computers, but it now lives on servers and this evolution has changed how we think about email. This video highlights what these changes mean for the average email user. It teaches:

  • Basic email infrastructure: servers and email boxes
  • Why email is often safe, even when a computer is ruined
  • Web-based email
  • Why email is now more accessible than ever

Video Info:

  • Duration:  02m 07s
  • Captions Available:  YES
  • Lesson Plan:  YES
  • Category:  Technology
  • ISTE Standard:  Empowered Learner, Indicator 1d

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