In case you have a hosting account and you create an email address, you might consider the option to send out and receive emails for granted, but in fact, this isn't always the case. Sending email messages is not necessarily a part of the hosting packages that providers offer and an SMTP service is required to be capable to do that. The abbreviation means Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the software application that enables you to send out e-mail messages. If you use an e-mail program, it connects to the SMTP server. The latter then queries the DNS data of the domain, which is a part of the receiving address to find out what email server manages its e-mails. After system data is interchanged, your SMTP server delivers the message to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the e-mail is finally delivered in the corresponding mailbox. An SMTP server is needed if you use some kind of contact page as well, so in case you use a free hosting plan, for instance, it's probable that you will not have the ability to make use of such a form as many cost-free web hosting providers don't allow outgoing e-mails.