When you've got a shared hosting account and you create an e-mail address, you may consider the option to send and receive messages for granted, but in fact, this isn't always the case. Sending email messages is not always part of the web hosting packages that companies have and an SMTP service is necessary to be able to do that. The abbreviation means Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the software application that allows you to send out e-mail messages. If you are using an email application, it connects to the SMTP server. The latter then looks up the DNS records of the domain, that is a part of the receiving address to find out which email server manages its emails. After some system information is swapped, your SMTP server provides the e-mail to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the e-mail is finally delivered in the matching mailbox. An SMTP server is needed if you use some kind of contact page too, so if you have a free of charge hosting package, as an example, it's probable that you won't have the ability to use this type of form as many no charge hosting providers don't allow outgoing e-mails.