When you've got a shared hosting plan and you create an e-mail address, you may consider the option to send out and receive emails for granted, but in fact, this is not always true. Sending email messages is not necessarily part of the website hosting packages that service providers feature and an SMTP service is necessary to be capable to do that. The abbreviation signifies Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the piece of software that allows you to send out emails. If you use an e-mail application, it creates a connection to the SMTP server. The latter then requests the DNS records of the domain, that is a part of the receiving address to find out which email server deals with its e-mails. After some system information is interchanged, your SMTP server provides the message to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the email is finally delivered in the related mailbox. An SMTP server is required if you are using some kind of contact page as well, so in case you have a free of charge hosting plan, for instance, it is very likely that you will not be able to make use of this type of form since many cost-free web hosting providers don't allow outgoing e-mail messages.