When you've got a shared hosting plan and you set up an email address, you may consider the option to send out and receive emails for granted, however, this is not always true. Sending emails isn't necessarily part of the hosting packages that providers feature 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 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 looks up the DNS data of the domain name, which is a part of the receiving address to find out what mail server deals with its emails. After some system data is interchanged, your SMTP server delivers the e-mail to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the email is finally delivered in the matching mailbox. An SMTP server is needed if you use some sort of contact page form also, so if you have a free of charge hosting package, as an example, it is likely that you won't be able to make use of such a form since many no charge hosting companies do not allow outgoing e-mail messages.