When you've got a cloud web hosting plan and you create an email address, you might take the option to send and receive emails for granted, but in fact, this is not always the case. Sending e-mails isn't always included in the website hosting plans that service providers have and an SMTP service is needed to be capable to do that. The acronym represents Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the piece of software that allows you to send e-mails. If you are using an email program, it connects to the SMTP server. The latter then looks up the DNS records of the domain name, which is a part of the receiving address to find out which email server manages its emails. After some system data is swapped, your SMTP server provides the email to the remote IMAP or POP server and the email is finally delivered in the matching mailbox. An SMTP server is required if you are using some kind of contact page form also, so in case you have a free hosting plan, for instance, it's probable that you won't have the ability to use such a form as many cost-free hosting companies do not allow outgoing e-mails.