If you have a cloud website hosting package and you set up an email address, you might take the option to send out and receive messages for granted, but in fact, that isn't always the case. Sending e-mail messages is not always a part of the hosting packages that companies feature and an SMTP service is required to be capable to do that. The acronym stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and that is the software application that permits you to send out e-mail messages. If you are using an e-mail application, it connects to the SMTP server. The latter then queries the DNS records of the domain, which is a part of the receiving address to find out which email server handles its email messages. After some system information is interchanged, your SMTP server delivers the e-mail to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the e-mail is finally delivered in the corresponding mailbox. An SMTP server is required if you use some sort of contact page too, so if you use a free of charge hosting plan, as an example, it is likely that you will not have the ability to make use of such a form as many free hosting providers don't allow outgoing e-mails.