When you've got a cloud hosting account and you set up an e-mail address, you might consider the option to send out and receive emails for granted, but in fact, this isn't always true. Sending e-mails isn't always part of the web hosting plans that service providers have and an SMTP service is needed to be able to do that. The acronym represents Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and that is the piece of software that allows you to send e-mail messages. If you are using an email application, it connects 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 which mail server handles its e-mails. After some system data is swapped, your SMTP server delivers the email 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 work with some sort of contact form too, so if you have a no charge hosting package, for example, it's probable that you won't be able to make use of this type of form since many cost-free hosting companies do not allow outgoing e-mails.