If you have a cloud website hosting plan and you set up an e-mail address, you might consider the option to send out and receive messages for granted, however, that isn't always true. Sending e-mail messages is not necessarily a part of the website hosting packages that providers offer and an SMTP service is necessary to be capable to do that. The acronym means Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the piece of software that allows you to send out e-mails. If you use an e-mail program, it creates a connection to the SMTP server. The latter then queries the DNS data of the domain name, that is a part of the receiving address to find out what mail server manages its e-mails. After some system information is swapped, your SMTP server provides the email to the remote IMAP or POP server and the email is finally delivered in the corresponding mailbox. An SMTP server is needed if you work with some sort of contact form as well, so in case you use a no charge hosting plan, for instance, it is very likely that you won't be able to use this type of form as most free of charge web hosting providers do not allow outgoing e-mail messages.