When you have a website hosting account and you create an email address, you might consider the option to send out and receive messages for granted, however, this isn't always true. Sending emails is not necessarily part of the web hosting plans that companies offer and an SMTP service is necessary to be able to do that. The abbreviation signifies Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and that is the piece of software that enables you to send e-mails. If you use an email application, it connects to the SMTP server. The latter then searches the DNS records of the domain name, which is a part of the receiving address to find out what email server handles its e-mails. After system information is swapped, your SMTP server delivers the message to the remote IMAP or POP server and the email is finally delivered in the matching mailbox. An SMTP server is necessary if you work with some kind of contact form as well, so in case you use a cost-free hosting package, for instance, it's probable that you won't be able to use this type of form since many no charge hosting companies do not allow outgoing e-mails.