If you have a cloud hosting package and you create an e-mail address, you may consider the option to send out and receive emails for granted, but in fact, this isn't always the case. Sending email messages is not always included in the hosting plans that providers will offer you and an SMTP service is necessary to be able to do that. The abbreviation means Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and that is the piece of software that allows you to send e-mails. If you use an e-mail application, it creates a connection to the SMTP server. The latter then searches the DNS data of the domain name, which is a part of the receiving address to find out which email server handles its e-mails. After system information is exchanged, your SMTP server provides the message to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the email is finally delivered in the matching mailbox. An SMTP server is needed if you use some sort of contact form too, so in case you work with a free of charge hosting plan, for instance, it is likely that you will not be able to use this type of form since many free hosting service providers don't allow outgoing e-mail messages.