When you've got a shared hosting package and you set up an e-mail address, you might take the option to send and receive emails for granted, but in fact, that isn't always true. Sending emails is not necessarily included in the website hosting plans that providers will offer you and an SMTP service is needed to be able to do that. The abbreviation represents Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and that is the set of scripts that permits you to send out e-mail messages. If you are using an email app, it creates a connection to the SMTP server. The latter then searches the DNS records of the domain, which is a part of the receiving address to find out which email server deals with its e-mails. After system data is exchanged, your SMTP server delivers the email to the remote IMAP or POP server and the email is finally delivered in the matching mailbox. An SMTP server is needed if you use some kind of contact page form too, so if you use a free hosting package, for example, it is very likely that you won't be able to use such a form since many no charge website hosting providers do not allow outgoing e-mail messages.