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What is a mailbox provider (MBP)?

A mailbox provider is an organization that provides users with email accounts, and accepts and delivers large amounts of email.

Types of mailbox providers include:

  • Internet Service Providers (ISPs): Comcast, CenturyLink, and Verizon are examples of mailbox providers that provide internet access as their core business. Because it is not their focus, their email service may lack some of the interesting features that are typically offered by mailbox providers who focus primarily on email. 
  • Web-based mailbox providers: AOL Mail, Outlook.com Mail, Yahoo! Mail, and Gmail are the most popular web-based email providers. They attract users because they are free and can advertise their services on every message.
  • Premium, or hosted, email services: Tucows and Rackspace are two of the major paid email services typically used by small organizations and businesses.
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