When you've got a shared hosting package and you set up an email address, you may consider the option to send out and receive messages for granted, however, this isn't always the case. Sending e-mails is not necessarily a part of the hosting plans that providers feature and an SMTP service is required to be capable to do that. The abbreviation stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the set of scripts that allows you to send emails. If you work with an e-mail app, it creates a connection to the SMTP server. The latter then requests the DNS data of the domain, which is a part of the receiving address to find out which mail server manages its emails. After system data is swapped, your SMTP server provides the e-mail to the remote IMAP or POP server and the email is finally delivered in the related mailbox. An SMTP server is needed if you are using some kind of contact page form too, so in case you use a cost-free hosting plan, as an example, it is very likely that you will not be able to use such a form as most free hosting companies do not allow outgoing e-mails.