If you have a website 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 is not always true. Sending e-mail messages is not always included in the hosting plans that service providers will offer you and an SMTP service is needed to be able to do that. The acronym represents Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the software application that enables you to send out e-mail messages. If you work with an email program, 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 handles its e-mails. After some system data is swapped, your SMTP server provides 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 required if you use some sort of contact form too, so if you work with a no charge hosting plan, for example, it is very likely that you will not have the ability to use this type of form as most free website hosting service providers don't allow outgoing emails.