SSL on a POP / SMTP email connection isn't for 100% of the travel of the emails, right?

I was setting up a user with POP / SMTP mailbox in outlook and was (over) thinking.

There's the choice for SSL encryption vs. none.  

Encrypting traffic on the web seems like a good thing, I realize.

But in the grand scheme of things, the SSL encryption it is talking about is from the computer to (only) the mail server, the first hop in several for the mail on the web, right?

So again, while encryption is good, this is only encrypting mail to and from the user for a potentially small amount of total travel of the email?  Some is better than none, but this is certainly not for the whole trip?

thoughts on forgoing SSL so it's easier to set up the account in outlook - we can use mail.contoso.com without the need for a certificate rather than the longer / harder to remember web hosting company's FQDN, which does have a certificate.
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masnrockCommented:
Encrypting traffic on the web seems like a good thing, I realize.
Correct.

But in the grand scheme of things, the SSL encryption it is talking about is from the computer to (only) the mail server, the first hop in several for the mail on the web, right?
Correct. The session between one mail server and another is a different story. Many mail servers use opportunistic TLS, which basically means use TLS if available.

thoughts on forgoing SSL so it's easier to set up the account in outlook - we can use mail.contoso.com without the need for a certificate rather than the longer / harder to remember web hosting company's FQDN, which does have a certificate.
Bad idea. Work with your vendor if you have to on getting something set up, but that's never a reason to pass on securing connections.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Most email severs (all of mine) require SSL or TLS or will not connect.  So in most cases, encryption via SSL is not optional.
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Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
Agree to John, most providers force you to use an encrypted connection, so most of the time you do not have a choice (and that is good).
Your email is not traveling through a lot of (email) hops nowadays. Using a hierarchy of mail agents has been a concept of the early days, meanwhile the "front end" mail servers try to communicate directly.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thank you and good luck with email security.
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