When you've got a cloud hosting package and you set up an e-mail address, you may take the option to send out and receive messages for granted, however, that isn't always the case. Sending e-mail messages is not necessarily part of the website hosting plans that service providers offer and an SMTP service is required to be able to do that. The acronym signifies Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and that is the piece of software that enables you to send e-mails. If you use an email app, it creates a connection 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 what email server manages its email messages. After system information is exchanged, your SMTP server provides the email to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the e-mail is finally delivered in the related mailbox. An SMTP server is required if you are using some kind of contact form as well, so in case you work with a cost-free hosting package, for instance, it is likely that you won't be able to make use of such a form as many free of charge web hosting service providers do not allow outgoing e-mails.