If you have a shared hosting package and you create an e-mail address, you may consider the option to send out and receive messages for granted, however, this isn't always the case. Sending email messages isn't necessarily a part of the web hosting plans that providers have and an SMTP service is required to be able to do that. The abbreviation signifies Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the software application that allows you to send out e-mail messages. If you use an email program, it creates a connection to the SMTP server. The latter then searches the DNS records of the domain, that is a part of the receiving address to find out what mail server handles its e-mails. After system information is exchanged, your SMTP server provides the message to the remote IMAP or POP server and the email is finally delivered in the corresponding mailbox. An SMTP server is needed if you use some sort of contact page form as well, so if you have a cost-free hosting package, as an example, it is likely that you will not be able to make use of this type of form as most free of charge website hosting service providers do not allow outgoing e-mail messages.