In case you have a cloud hosting package and you set up an email address, you may consider the option to send and receive messages for granted, but in fact, this isn't always true. Sending emails is not necessarily part of the website hosting plans that providers feature and an SMTP service is required to be able to do that. The acronym stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the piece of software that allows you to send out e-mail messages. If you work with an e-mail program, it connects to the SMTP server. The latter then looks up the DNS records of the domain name, that is a part of the receiving address to find out which mail server deals with its e-mails. After some system data is swapped, your SMTP server provides the email to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the email is finally delivered in the related mailbox. An SMTP server is necessary if you are using some sort of contact form as well, so in case you have a free of charge hosting package, as an example, it is very likely that you won't have the ability to make use of this type of form as most free website hosting service providers do not allow outgoing e-mail messages.