When you've got a web hosting account and you create an email address, you might consider the option to send and receive messages for granted, but in fact, this isn't always the case. Sending email messages is not necessarily a part of the website hosting packages that providers feature and an SMTP service is needed to be capable to do that. The abbreviation signifies Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the software application that permits you to send e-mails. If you are using an e-mail app, it connects to the SMTP server. The latter then searches the DNS records of the domain name, that is a part of the receiving address to find out which email server manages its e-mails. After some system information is swapped, your SMTP server provides the message to the remote IMAP or POP server and the email is finally delivered in the related mailbox. An SMTP server is necessary if you are using some kind of contact form as well, so in case you use a free hosting package, for instance, it is very likely that you will not be able to use such a form since many free hosting service providers do not allow outgoing e-mail messages.