When you have a shared hosting account and you create an e-mail address, you might take the option to send out and receive messages for granted, however, this isn't always the case. Sending e-mails isn't necessarily a part of the web hosting plans that companies have and an SMTP service is required to be able to do that. The acronym means Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the set of scripts that allows you to send out email messages. If you are using an e-mail program, it creates a connection to the SMTP server. The latter then searches the DNS data of the domain, which is a part of the receiving address to find out which mail server deals with its emails. After some system information 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 needed if you are using some sort of contact form also, so if you use a free of charge hosting package, for example, it is very likely that you will not be able to use this type of form as most cost-free website hosting providers do not allow outgoing emails.