If you have a shared hosting plan and you create an e-mail address, you may consider the option to send out and receive messages for granted, but in fact, this is not always true. Sending email messages isn't always a part of the website hosting plans that service providers have and an SMTP service is necessary to be capable to do that. The acronym signifies Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and that is the set of scripts that permits you to send out email messages. If you are using an e-mail program, it connects to the SMTP server. The latter then looks up the DNS records of the domain, which is a part of the receiving address to find out what mail server manages its email messages. After some system data is swapped, 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 form too, so if you use a free hosting plan, as an example, it is very likely that you won't be able to make use of this type of form since many free web hosting service providers don't allow outgoing e-mail messages.