When you've got a shared website hosting account and you create an e-mail address, you might take the option to send and receive emails for granted, however, this is not always true. Sending e-mail messages is not always a part of the hosting packages that companies offer and an SMTP service is needed to be capable to do that. The abbreviation stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and that is the piece of software that enables you to send emails. If you work with an e-mail application, it connects to the SMTP server. The latter then queries the DNS records of the domain, which is a part of the receiving address to find out which email server handles its email messages. After some system information is exchanged, your SMTP server provides the email to the remote IMAP or POP server and the email is finally delivered in the matching mailbox. An SMTP server is required if you are using some kind of contact page form as well, so in case you work with a free of charge hosting package, for example, it is likely that you will not have the ability to make use of such a form as many cost-free web hosting providers don't allow outgoing e-mails.