In case you have a cloud hosting package and you set up an email address, you may take the option to send out and receive emails for granted, but in fact, that isn't always the case. Sending e-mails is not necessarily a part of the website hosting plans that companies offer and an SMTP service is needed to be capable to do that. The acronym represents Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and that is the software application that permits you to send email messages. If you are using an e-mail app, it creates a connection to the SMTP server. The latter then requests the DNS data of the domain name, which is a part of the receiving address to find out which email server deals with its emails. After some system data is interchanged, your SMTP server provides the message to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the email is finally delivered in the corresponding mailbox. An SMTP server is needed if you are using some kind of contact page too, so if you work with a free hosting plan, for example, it is likely that you will not have the ability to make use of this type of form as many free of charge website hosting service providers do not allow outgoing e-mails.