How does Shaw email work?

Document created by shaw-alex on Jun 21, 2017Last modified by shaw-jody on Jan 29, 2019
Version 15Show Document
  • View in full screen mode

An email is a form of electronic mail that allows messages to be sent from one Internet user to another, much like physical letters. The main advantage to email is that it is not real-time, meaning that you don’t have to be online to receive it an email message, and you can take your time when replying. You can also send all kinds of useful attachments, such as pictures, via email.


You can learn more about your Shaw email, how it works, and how to use it below.


What is email?

How do attachments work?

Where are emails stored?

What does Send and Receive mean?

What is Spam?

What is an Email Header?       


What is email?

Email is a service which allows electronic messages to be sent from one Internet user to another. In practical terms, email is very much an electronic version of postal mail: mail sent to your address arrives in your electronic mailbox, where it waits for you to collect and read it. You can then reply to the message whenever you feel like it, and even enclose attachments, such as photos.


Email differs from other forms of text messaging in that it typically allows much larger attachments, has effectively no length limit, can be sent to a very large number of recipients, and is not real-time communication. You can also forward messages


In order to send an email, you need:

  • An email address (included with your Shaw Internet service)
  • The email address of your recipient
  • A program to send and receive email messages


Shaw includes up to 10 email addresses with your internet subscription. A Shaw email will have your username followed by For example, or are two examples of Shaw email addresses. Other email services will differ depending on the service provider.


Once you have an email address, you will need to set up your computer or mobile device with your email settings. You can follow the directions at Email Setup Instructions to get started.

Related: Create a @Shaw email in My Account, Shaw Email FAQs

Back to Top


How do attachments work?

Attachments are computer files like pictures, videos, or documents, which are included in an email message. Email attachments typically have a file size limit of 20 MB, and the larger a file, the longer it will take to be sent from your computer. 


Common file sizes:

  • MP3 song - 4 MB
  • Mobile Phone Camera Photo - 2-5 MB
  • Digital Camera Photo - 6-8 MB


Keep in mind that your recipient may have different attachment size limits from you, and so very large email messages may not be deliverable. That is to say that if you send an email message with 15 MB of pictures and your recipient's email service has a limit of 10 MB, the entire message will be returned to you as undeliverable.

Back to Top


Where are emails stored?

When an email message is sent to you it is received by the Shaw incoming mail server and placed into the mailbox associated with your email address. All incoming mail sent to a specific email address will be stored in that address's mailbox until it is retrieved. The email program on your computer or mobile device, or Shaw Webmail, then logs into the incoming mail server and retrieves the contents of your mailbox for you to read.


Keep in mind that your mailbox does have a size limit of 1 GB (1024 MB), which means that if you don't check your email very often your mailbox may fill up, and be unable to accept new incoming messages. 

Back to Top


What does send and receive mean?


On most email programs there is a button labelled "Send and Receive", "Get Mail", or something similar. Clicking on this button will tell the program to connect to the outgoing mail server to send your outgoing messages, and to retrieve your messages from the incoming mail server. 

Back to Top


What is spam?

Spam is the nickname given to unsolicited, usually commercial email messages which are sent in bulk to email users, rather like the flyers and other sorts of junk mail that you receive in your physical mailbox. Like all large email service providers, Shaw is a target for spammers, but we use powerful spam filters on our email servers to protect our customers from those unwanted messages without blocking legitimate mail.


If you receive a message you believe to be spam, visit How to Report Spam and Adjust the Webmail Spam Filter.

Did You Know


On July 1st, 2014 Bill C-28, the "Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act" applies to all communications sent by or to Canadian companies, or routed through Canadian servers, to allow users to opt out of receiving spam messages. While most spam originates from outside of Canada, this act has reduced the volume of spam by as much as 29%.


Learn more: Canada's Law on Spam and Other Electronic Threats  



Back to Top


What is an email header?

Email headers contain all of the information about an email message, from its point of origin to the moment that it arrives in the recipient's mailbox, and so they are very important for identifying errors or delays in the delivery of email messages or reporting spam or other types of abuse. The information included in the email headers includes:


Basic information:

  • The intended recipient's email address
  • The sender's email address
  • Subject Line
  • Date
  • Any attachments


More detailed information:

  • The sender's IP address (link to relevant article)
  • The mail server from which the message was originally sent
  • Names and time stamps of all of the email servers which handled the message along the way
  • Any error messages or other important details


Since this information is so important for tracking email issues, you may be asked by a technical support agent to provide the headers. You can find information about retrieving the headers from your email messages in How to report email spam by sending email headers  

Related: How to Report Spam

Back to Top


Related Articles