When you've got a web hosting account and you set up an email address, you might take the option to send and receive emails for granted, however, that isn't always true. Sending emails isn't necessarily a part of the website hosting plans that service providers offer and an SMTP service is necessary to be able to do that. The abbreviation signifies Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and that is the piece of software that enables you to send out email messages. If you work with an e-mail application, it connects to the SMTP server. The latter then searches the DNS records of the domain, which is a part of the receiving address to find out which email server manages its emails. After system data is exchanged, your SMTP server delivers the message to the remote IMAP or POP server and the email is finally delivered in the corresponding mailbox. An SMTP server is needed if you work with some kind of contact page too, so if you work with a cost-free hosting package, for instance, it's probable that you won't have the ability to use such a form as many cost-free website hosting companies do not allow outgoing e-mail messages.