Watch Demo×

See NinjaOne in action!

By submitting this form, I accept NinjaOne's privacy policy.

What Is SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)?

The concept known as Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), provides an essential framework for the facilitation of email exchanges across the internet. Acting as a set of communication guidelines, SMTP allows different software to transmit email over the internet effectively. 

What is SMTP?

Short for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, SMTP provides an industry-standard method for transmitting email messages across the internet. It is a set of communication guidelines that allow software to transmit email over the internet.

What is an SMTP server?

An SMTP server is a computer running SMTP, and which acts as a post office. It is responsible for sending, receiving, and relaying outgoing mail between email senders and receivers.

How does SMTP work?

SMTP works in a series of steps to ensure email delivery. First, when an email is sent, it goes to an SMTP server. This server communicates with the recipient’s server. The recipient’s server then delivers the email to the recipient’s inbox.

How to set up a basic SMTP server in 5 steps

Setting up a basic SMTP server involves a few key steps.

  1. Choose your SMTP server software: There are several SMTP server software options available, both free and paid. Consider your specific needs and choose the one that best fits them.
  2. Install the SMTP server software: Follow the instructions provided by the software manufacturer to install the software on your server.
  3. Configure your SMTP server: After installation, you will need to configure your SMTP server. This usually involves setting up email addresses, domains, and security settings.
  4. Test your SMTP server: It is crucial to test your SMTP server to ensure that it is working correctly. You can do this by sending a test email to a different email address and checking if it is received.
  5. Monitor your SMTP server: Once your SMTP server is up and running, you will need to monitor it regularly to ensure it continues to function correctly. Most SMTP server software comes with monitoring tools that you can use.


Understanding SMTP and how it works is crucial for anyone involved in digital communication. While setting up an SMTP server may seem complex, breaking it down into steps makes the process more manageable. With a basic understanding of SMTP, you can take control of your email communications and ensure they run smoothly.

Ready to become an IT Ninja?

Learn how NinjaOne can help you simplify IT operations.