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Email Aliases Free with your Domain - Avoiding the costs of Private Email Accounts!

Throughout this article, I'll use Google Domains as an example registrar. However, this may also work with other registrars like Namecheap.

 For anyone who hasn't heard of Google Domains, it was released in 2015, isn't normally the cheapest domain registrar. But, it has gained a reputation for being transparent and reliable with crystal clear costs. I purchased jam-es.com on Google Domains last year. It costs me just £10 a year to renew. Yes, I might have been able to save a few £s with Namecheap or Godaddy, but in the long run the renewal costs are pretty much the same.

Google Domains comes with some interesting benefits. "Privacy guard" protection is provided with all domains and it has great Google Blogger and Google Sites integration with easy to edit DNS. But, the benefit I appreciate the most is email forwarding and 30 free alias'.

I have a few different sites for different purposes, which are subdomains of jam-es.com. So the question I'll answer is:

How can I create an email address using my domain (like bob@jam-es.com) which I can send and receive email from, without having to pay for 'private email accounts'?

Firstly, what do I mean by 'private email accounts'?

When you purchase a domain with Google Domains, Google will encourage you to purchase a GSuite subscription which includes sending/receving mail from an address like bob@jam-es.com

Similarily Namecheap and other registrars encourage you to pay monthly to receive an email account from domains your purchased from them.

But do you really need one? ... No

You can get exactly the same functionality without it, using registrars like Google Domains. I'm not saying their GSuite offering is pointless, I'm just saying that if all you want is to be able to send a receive mail from a email like bob@jam-es.com, then there is a free alternative.

The process of setting up the sending of emails and receiving of emails are different, so I'll split it into 2 sections:

Receiving Emails

First we want to be able to receive all emails sent to our alias: bob@jam-es.com

To do this we need a separate email account. Let's pretend I'm using a free Gmail account 'myaccount@gmail.com'. This is where we'll be sending/receiving emails. If you want a completely separate inbox for the alias (bob@jam-es.com) then create a new account which you won't use for anything else.

We need to redirect any email sent to the alias (bob@jam-es.com) to the our email account (myaccount@gmail.com), so we can see it in our inbox.

To do this with Google Domains, login to your Google Domains account (https://domains.google/), under your domain (jam-es.com), select 'Email'. Then under 'Email Forwarding' select 'Add email alias' and enter the addresses:



Click 'Add' and then you are done.

It is good to test this by sending an email to your alias (bob@jam-es.com) and making sure it gets redirected to your email account inbox.

The process will be similar with other email registrars. Most registrars support recieving emails like this, but fewer support sending emails as described below.


Sending Emails

Now we want to be able to send an email using our email account (myaccount@gmail.com), but so that it appears to be from our alias (bob@jam-es.com).

To send emails we need to make use of a SMTP Server. Google provides a free SMTP server we will use, but there are others available. Google's SMTP server is hosted at 'smtp.gmail.com'.

We'll need to allow the SMTP server to send emails from our alias (bob@jam-es.com) and setup a 'from address' in our email client (Gmail) so we can easily send emails.

Assuming your email account (myaccount@gmail.com) is a gmail address, login to gmail through a web browser. Then select 'Settings'

Display density 
Configure inbox 
Settings 
Themes 
Get add-ons 
ed' 
Send feedback 
ed' 
Help 
Gmail Setup (10%)

Next, go to the 'Accounts and Import' tab

Settings 
General Labels In ox 
Change account settings: 
Import mail and contacts: 
Learn more 
Accounts and Import 
Fil rs and Blocked Addresses Forwarding al 
Change password 
Change password recovery options 
Other Google Account settings 
Import from Yahoo!, Hotmail, AOL, or other webn 
Import mail and contacts


Select 'Add another email address'

 Send mail as: 
(Use Gmail to send from your other email addresses) 
Learn more 
James <voiceactbusiness@gmail.com> 
VoiceAct <voiceact@jam-es.com> 
Not an alias. 
Mail is sent through: smtp.gmail.com 
connection on port 587 using TLS 
Add another email address 
When replying to a message: 
O Reply from the same address the message was sent to 
@ Always reply from default address (currently voiceact@jam-es.com) 
(Note: You can change the address at the time of your reply Learn more)
On the next page change the 'Name' to whatever you want to be displayed as the sender's name e.g. supposing our alias (bob@jam-es) is for a business called BOB, we might want our sender name to be 'BOBbusiness'.

Add the alias to the 'Email Address' field so it should look something like this:



Add another email address you own 
Enter information about your other email address. 
And cn 
Name: aOdbusiness 
Email address: bob@jam-es.com 
Z] Treat as an alias. Learn more 
Specify a different "reply-to" address

Then go to the 'Next Step'. Enter the address of the SMTP server (smtp.gmail.com) and enter your username and password. This should be the username and password for your existing email account (myaccount@gmail.com), i.e. Your gmail address and google account password.

 Then proceed to the next step. Google's SMTP server will have sent an email to your alias (bob@jam-es.com) which you'll need to proceed. Since all emails to your alias (bob@jam-es.com) get redirected to your email account (myaccount@gmail.com), simply check your emails in that acount as usual.

Within the email there should be a link you can navigate to, or a code you can enter. This will complete the process.

Then from within Gmail (web based), you can compose a new email and there will be a 'From field' where you can select the alias you want to send the email from.

With multiple email alias' setup, it will look something like this:



Again it is a good idea to check this is working. Send a test email from the alias to another account and make sure the alias is showing as the sender name and address in the received email.

Note: If you want to send an email from an alias using Gmail mobile app, this is not possible as the app doesn't support alias' yet. But there are other email clients you can use which support alias' such as Outlook (desktop version) or Mozilla Thunderbird.

Personally I prefer to use 2 different email clients. I use a basic clients like mobile apps and Windows 10 mail, for sending emails from normal addresses. Then I use Mozilla Thunderbird for sending emails from alias'. Thunderbird is designed with for more advanced use so is perfect for this kind of thing. To add your email alias to an inbox in Thunderbird there are many explainations online, for example here.

What happens if I sell/lose my domain?

This is the only downside of using an email alias tied to your domain name. If you lose the domain, you lose the email alias. However, since you've sent/received emails (using this alias) from within another account inbox (like a free gmail account) you'll still be able to access all the email you send/recieved there.


And ... we are done!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.

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