When you've got a shared hosting package and you create an e-mail address, you might take the option to send and receive emails for granted, however, this is not always true. Sending emails is not always part of the hosting packages that service providers will offer you and an SMTP service is required to be able to do that. The acronym represents Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the set of scripts that allows you to send out emails. If you are using an email application, it connects to the SMTP server. The latter then searches the DNS records of the domain, that is a part of the receiving address to find out which mail server deals with its e-mails. After system data is swapped, 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 needed if you use some kind of contact page form as well, so if you use a free of charge hosting package, as an example, it is very likely that you will not be able to make use of this type of form since many free hosting providers do not allow outgoing e-mail messages.