The “Simple Mail Transfer Protocol”. This is an Internet standard for sending email messages. Virtually all major email systems are either based on SMTP or at least offer gateways to SMTP capable systems.
SMTP is used for sending email. It can not be used to pick up email messages. For this purpose, protocols like POP3 or IMAP4 are required.
SMTP is highly standardized. As such, a standard email client can work with all SMTP compliant servers. In the public Internet, almost all providers offer SMTP compliant mail servers for their customer’s use.