If you have a hosting account and you set up an email address, you might consider the option to send and receive messages for granted, however, this is not always the case. Sending e-mail messages isn't necessarily part of the web hosting packages that companies offer and an SMTP service is required to be able to do that. The abbreviation means Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the software application that permits you to send e-mails. If you are using 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 what email server deals with its e-mails. After some system information is interchanged, your SMTP server delivers the message to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the e-mail is finally delivered in the corresponding mailbox. An SMTP server is necessary if you work with some sort of contact page too, so if you work with a no charge hosting package, for example, it's probable that you will not have the ability to make use of such a form as many cost-free website hosting companies don't allow outgoing emails.