Gmail as an SMTP server: advantages, disadvantages all of it in one place!

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This is a question that pops up in everybody’s brain at least once when they are talking about SMTP. But some of us do need to brush up our basics on what is an SMTP? Why should we use it and much more? Let us begin. Shall we?

SMTP or simple mail transfer protocol is nothing but a set of communication guidelines that have to be followed by the e-mail companies to deliver the mails to the particular recipients. The emails are just combinations of texts that have no idea where to be delivered. It is the SMTP that helps different servers to categorize and organize your messages and help them to get delivered at the desired location. To make it easier to interpret an SMTP service acts as a middle man between the sender and the receiver of the e-mail. 

Apart from all this, an SMTP can be used to send e-mails to recipients on one computer or different computers. Messages are just not limited to texts. You can also send images, videos, and voice notes. The SMTP service can also be used to send messages outside the internet. That depends on how you use it. 

 

how does an SMTP work?

Smtp works on the application layer of the TCP/IP model. The application layer is responsible for transferring all the data over the internet correctly. The SMTP uses a set of codes or rules which are used to set up the communication. Now we all know that computers cannot understand the human language they communicate through binary codes. Whatever commands that are fed to the system are converted into 1s and 0s. Smtp works with the MTA or popularly known as the mail transfer agent that provides the addresses of the computer to where the e-mail has to be delivered. The MTA on one computer forms a communication channel with the MTA on the other computer, thus, delivering the e-mail to the right computer. There are so many components that are involved in an SMTP but that is not our major concern over here.

Google’s SMTP server has been used for ages now but many of our still wonders do we need to use Gmail as an SMTP server? Well, to answer your question there are many benefits packed on using Gmail as an SMTP server whereas some factors surely stand against it. 

Often people confuse the SMTP service with pop3 service. Both of them might be closely related but there is one main difference that differentiates an SMTP from a pop3. Though both protocols focus on managing your emails over the internet the SMTP service mainly deals with sending your e-mails, while a pop3 service looks after receiving e-mails.

 

GMAIL SMTP server:

Gmail’s SMTP server is a free SMTP server that can be used by anyone over the world to send emails. There are broadly two different ways to implement a Gmail SMTP server. You can use a custom domain and a WordPress plugin to implement google’s SMTP server. Choosing Gmail as an SMTP server is a smart choice because it is very fast and reliable as it comes loaded with google’s security. An external SMTP server like Gmail can be more useful because they are responsible for transferring emails from an email client. Gmail works better for websites that are small-scaled and have a low mail volume.

 

All the reasons why you should use GMAIL as an SMTP server?

  • The major reason why most of people are drawn towards Gmail’s SMTP server is that is free of cost. You can use the Gmail SMTP server to send emails to clients with one click you just need to have a Gmail account in accordance to do so.
  • Gmail stacks your emails and also converts the separate messages into a conversation thread. It becomes easier for anybody to read e-mails to keep a track of the conversation where they last left. 
  • Gmail has a decent uptime compared to any other SMTP service. Uptime is counted as the number of days a particular service is working efficiently in a year. For an SMTP server that is free of cost, people do not mind a little downtime in their routine.
  • Gmail’s SMTP server is considered as one of the most secure facilities as it helps to keep the virus attacks such as malware at bay. And also Gmail is protected by the TLS or the transport security layer to keep it safe. 
  • You can set up a Gmail SMTP server easily at smtp.gmail.com by using your Gmail id. The SMTP service requires a port number of 465 or 587.

 

Reasons why you should not use Gmail as an SMTP server:

 

  • Despite having ample reasons to use Gmail as an SMTP server there are many reasons why it can often be a problem. You have to leave no stone unturned while opting in for an SMTP server. 
  • Although Gmail’s SMTP server is used for sending newsletters and marketing emails mostly, there is a big limit for that. Gmail does not allow you to send more than 500 e-mails at one time. 
  • If you try to send a blast of marketing e-mails google can also temporarily disable your account. So do not try sending a load of e-mails at one time unless you want to sit free for the next 24 hours without your Gmail account. 
  • The number limit might be a turn off for many people but it is a free service. A limit of 500 emails is usually acceptable by most of them because let us face it, after all, it is a free SMTP service. If you want to send e-mails to a large number you can opt-in for premium SMTP services like thunderbird.
  • The Gmail SMTP server may be secured but it is not immune to breach. It is an SMTP server to be precise and many loopholes can be figured out by potential hackers out there. They can plant a virus in the files you are sending and corrupt your system as well as of those who are the recipients of your message.
  • The Gmail SMTP server can only deliver plain text e-mails. That means no graphics in whatsoever way. So if you are hoping that you can send images to multiple people in your workspace or otherwise you have a big disappointment in your way. As it is a simple mail transfer protocol and nothing more.
  • Using an SMTP server may look like a dream come true but there are options like sending e-mails through code which will have no limitations you just need to be a computer geek for that purpose and everything will fall in your laps.

 

How to configure Gmail SMTP server:

 

 We read all through what could have been possible but all of that holds no value if you still do not know how to set up a Gmail as an SMTP server. A quick overview of how you would set up Gmail as an SMTP server:

  • To begin with, it is mandatory to have a google account. You are using a Google service and we all know nothing works without a google account.
  • After you have created a google account login to the SMTP server which goes by the name smtp.gmail.server. Now you simply have to input your Gmail account and password and then click enter.
  • Set the SMTP port as 465/587 and switch on the TLS setting as required.
  • It becomes a little different if you are using a custom domain to set up an SMTP server for Gmail. You need to have app passwords created beforehand if you want to go down this road. Using the custom domain you have to log in to the SMTP server the same way by entering the e-mail id and the password but in this a little addition you will have to enter the app passwords and then go ahead.
  • A verification email will be sent to your Gmail after you are verified you are all set to go. Start e-mailing to as many people as you want.

 

The other way to set up an SMTP server is to use a WordPress plugin. This way is not used by many people.

 

  • For this, you would need to login to your WordPress admin dashboard and then add the SMTP plugin. 
  • Navigate to the WP MAIL section in the dashboard click on it. After filling the form add Gmail as your primary mailer.
  • You also have to enable API for this. After enabling the API you have to add the credentials, and you are all set to go.

 

Using this way is not at all advisable because a lot of people get confused and lose track ending up in an overwhelming situation. The easier way is to use a custom domain or just simply login to the SMTP server by Gmail.

 That is all about the Gmail SMTP service you need to know. Hope you send hundreds of e-mails hassle-free.

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