When you have a hosting package and you create an e-mail address, you may consider the option to send out and receive messages for granted, but in fact, that isn't always the case. Sending email messages isn't necessarily included in the website hosting plans that providers feature and an SMTP service is necessary to be capable to do that. The acronym stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and that is the piece of software that allows you to send out e-mail messages. If you use an email app, it connects to the SMTP server. The latter then searches the DNS data of the domain, that is a part of the receiving address to find out which email server deals with its emails. After some system data is exchanged, your SMTP server delivers the e-mail to the remote IMAP or POP server and the e-mail is finally delivered in the related mailbox. An SMTP server is needed if you work with some kind of contact page form as well, so if you have a cost-free hosting plan, for instance, it is very likely that you won't be able to make use of this type of form as most free hosting service providers don't allow outgoing email messages.