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PHP SMTP authentication

Hello Experts.

What is the easiest way to send email through PHP with SMTP authentication? Is it PEAR?

BONUS: Would I be able to use it from my localhost, where I don't have a Mail server. (not mandatory)
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Dave Baldwin
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Also, for what it's worth, -all- SMTP clients work in the same manner, in that they run from your local computer and connect to a mail server (either remote or local), and tell the mail server about the message you want to send. Outlook, Thunderbird, PHPMailer, Swiftmailer, etc...

Just keep email delivery rules in mind (SPF, etc) so you don't accidentally get flagged as a spammer.
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Could I get a sample script of PHP Mailer that uses a password? As well, is it safe if I have a contact form that asks for a email address to use that as the sent from so the replier can just hit "Reply"?
Yes, PHPMailer comes with samples, just download it.  Entering an email address to use as the From may not work so well.  The 'From' address is usually part of the authentication along with the password for that account.  Remember, these programs are not mail servers, they are methods to use mail servers instead of using the PHP mail() command.
Thank you guys.