When you have a shared web hosting package and you create an e-mail address, you might take the option to send out and receive messages for granted, but in fact, that isn't always the case. Sending e-mails isn't necessarily included in the web hosting plans that providers feature and an SMTP service is required to be able to do that. The abbreviation represents Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and that is the set of scripts that allows you to send email messages. If you use an email program, it connects to the SMTP server. The latter then requests the DNS records of the domain name, which is a part of the receiving address to find out which email server deals with its e-mails. After some system data is exchanged, 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 required if you use some kind of contact page too, so in case you use a no charge hosting package, as an example, it is likely that you will not have the ability to use such a form as many free hosting providers do not allow outgoing e-mails.