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What is the difference between "email" and "email account?"

Answer: Many people use the words "email" and "email account" interchangeably. They often mean the same thing, so it is not wrong to use them synonymously. Technically, however, they have different meanings.


Email (originally "e-mail") is short for "electronic mail." It may refer to one or more email messages, since "email" can be either singular or plural. For example, you can send and receive email. Or you may send an email. You can also receive an "email message," which is the same thing as receiving an email.

The term "email" may also describe email service as a whole. In this context, email is the technology used to send and receive electronic messages over the Internet. This includes email protocols, such as SMTP, IMAP, and POP3, as well as mail servers, email clients, and webmail services.

Email Account

An email account is a user account that can send and receive email. It has a specific email address that consists of a username (before the @ symbol) and a domain name (after the @ symbol). For example, [email protected]. All email accounts are unique since each email address is unique.

Email accounts are created on a mail server that hosts email for a specific domain name. For instance, a company may provide email accounts for its employees with addresses "at" the company's domain name – company.com. Each user must have a unique username, but the accounts will share the same domain name.

Every email account requires a password. This is a standard security measure that prevents other people from accessing your email. Some mail servers may offer extra security, such as two-factor authentication or a required security token.


So to be clear — you log into your email account to check your email. Once you've logged in, you can send an email from your email account to another person's email account. This is possible using the service we all know and love, called email.

Published: November 27, 2019 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center