When you've got a shared web hosting account and you create an email address, you may take the option to send out and receive messages for granted, however, this isn't always true. Sending emails is not necessarily included in the hosting plans that companies offer and an SMTP service is needed to be capable to do that. The acronym stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and that is the software application that permits you to send e-mail messages. If you use an e-mail program, it creates a connection to the SMTP server. The latter then requests the DNS records of the domain name, that is a part of the receiving address to find out which mail server manages its emails. After system information is exchanged, your SMTP server provides the email to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the e-mail is finally delivered in the matching mailbox. An SMTP server is necessary if you use some kind of contact form as well, so if you use a no charge hosting plan, for instance, it is likely that you will not have the ability to use such a form since many free of charge web hosting service providers don't allow outgoing emails.