If you have a shared hosting plan and you create an email address, you might consider the option to send out and receive messages for granted, but in fact, this isn't always the case. Sending emails is not necessarily part of the website hosting plans that service providers offer and an SMTP service is needed to be able to do that. The acronym stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the software application that enables you to send e-mails. If you use an e-mail application, it creates a connection to the SMTP server. The latter then searches the DNS data of the domain, that is a part of the receiving address to find out which mail server manages its e-mails. After some system data is interchanged, your SMTP server provides the email to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the email is finally delivered in the related mailbox. An SMTP server is needed if you use some sort of contact page form also, so if you have a no charge hosting package, as an example, it's probable that you will not have the ability to make use of such a form since many free of charge website hosting providers don't allow outgoing e-mail messages.