When you have a shared web hosting account and you set up an email address, you might take the option to send and receive messages for granted, but in fact, that isn't always true. Sending e-mails isn't necessarily a part of the hosting plans that service providers feature and an SMTP service is needed to be capable to do that. The abbreviation means Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the set of scripts that enables you to send email messages. If you work with an email program, it creates a connection to the SMTP server. The latter then queries the DNS records of the domain, which is a part of the receiving address to find out which email server handles its emails. After system information is exchanged, 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 are using some sort of contact page as well, so if you work with a free of charge hosting plan, as an example, it is very likely that you won't have the ability to use such a form as many free of charge web hosting providers do not allow outgoing e-mail messages.