When you've got a web hosting account and you set up an e-mail address, you may consider the option to send out and receive emails for granted, however, this is not always the case. Sending e-mails is not always part of the website hosting packages that companies offer and an SMTP service is required to be able to do that. The acronym stands for 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 program, it connects to the SMTP server. The latter then queries the DNS records of the domain, which is a part of the receiving address to find out which email server manages its emails. After some system data is exchanged, your SMTP server delivers the e-mail to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the email is finally delivered in the related mailbox. An SMTP server is necessary if you use some sort of contact page also, so in case you have a cost-free hosting plan, as an example, it's probable that you will not be able to use this type of form as many free of charge web hosting service providers don't allow outgoing e-mail messages.