When you have a hosting plan and you create an email address, you may consider the option to send and receive emails for granted, however, that isn't always true. Sending email messages is not necessarily included in the hosting packages that service providers feature and an SMTP service is needed to be able to do that. The acronym means Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and that is the software application that enables you to send email messages. If you work with an e-mail application, it connects to the SMTP server. The latter then queries the DNS data of the domain, which is a part of the receiving address to find out which email server manages its emails. After system data is swapped, your SMTP server provides the message to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the e-mail is finally delivered in the matching mailbox. An SMTP server is needed if you use some sort of contact form also, so if you work with a cost-free hosting plan, for instance, it is likely that you will not have the ability to use such a form as most free of charge website hosting providers do not allow outgoing e-mail messages.