When you have a web hosting account and you create an e-mail address, you may consider the option to send and receive messages for granted, but in fact, this is not always true. Sending email messages is not always included in the website hosting plans that providers have and an SMTP service is needed to be capable to do that. The abbreviation means Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the piece of software that enables you to send e-mail messages. If you use an e-mail application, it creates a connection to the SMTP server. The latter then looks up the DNS records of the domain name, that is a part of the receiving address to find out which mail server handles its emails. After system data is interchanged, your SMTP server provides the message to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the e-mail is finally delivered in the related mailbox. An SMTP server is required if you use some sort of contact form too, so if you work with a free of charge hosting plan, for example, it is likely that you will not have the ability to use this type of form since many free hosting providers do not allow outgoing e-mails.