If you have a Domain Name and want to use your Email Address as firstname.lastname@example.org, then you can always setup a third party Email Management Service like Google Apps, Outlook.com etc. with it.
Earlier Google Apps Standard Edition was available free of cost for everyone, but the company has permanently discontinued the service! As of now, the only best and free alternative to it is Windows Live. If you want to use the service for managing all your incoming and outgoing Emails, then setting it up is very easy. All you need to do is to follow these steps:
1. Head over to https://domains.live.com/ and click on Get Started Link:
2. The immediate next page will ask you to enter the domain name for which you want to configure mail services:
On this page, you are also required to select Set up Windows Live Hotmail for my domain and click on Continue Button.
Note: If you don’t have a Domain and want to purchase one, then either you can purchase it from Namecheap or from Windows Live Partners (eNomCentral and CentralNic).
3. You should have a Hotmail, Outlook or Live.com Account, as you need to associate your existing Windows Live ID with Admin Center. In case you don’t have a Microsoft Email Account, then you can create one using this link.
Select Sign in with an existing Windows Live ID on this page and click on Continue Button. A new Tab will open and you are required to sign in by entering your Windows Live Email and password.
4. Once you have successfully associated your Windows Live ID with Admin Center, you will see following Review Settings and Accept Agreement Page:
Double check the details and click on I Accept Button.
5. The next page will ask you to verify the ownership of your domain. This can be done by creating a MX entry:
By creating a MX entry for your domain, you are not only verifying your ownership with Admin Center, but you are also activating incoming and outgoing Email functionalities for it instantly.
How to create a MX Entry in cPanel?
Login to your cPanel Account and click on MX Entry:
The Next Page will ask you to select your domain name, in case multiple domains are present in your account, for which you want to create a MX Record.
Once you have selected your preferred domain name, select Automatically Detect Configuration under Email Routing and Enter following details in Add New Record:
- Enter 10 in Priority Field
- Enter your personalized alpha-numeric MX Server Address in Destination Field. E.g. anc123pqr.pamx1.hotmail.com
Click on Add New Record Button and mail exchanger record for your domain will be added instantly.
Click on Refresh Button present at the top of domain settings page and Windows Live Admin Center will now verify the entered MX record:
If the record is correct, then you will be able to create new Email addresses for your domain via Member Accounts Page:
Configuring Server Trust (SPF)
You are also required to configure SPF, so that other mail servers completely trusts all emails that originates from your domain name. SPF is also known as sender ID configuration, which prevent your Emails from being marked as SPAM.
It can be easily configured by creating a TXT Record in Advanced DNS Zone Editor in cPanel:
Select your domain name and enter following values in Add a Record:
- Enter your domain name (without www and http://) in the Name field. A “period” will be automatically added at the end of your domain.
- Enter 3600 in TTL (Time to Live) Field
- Select TXT from the drop down menu as your record type
- Enter v=spf1 include:hotmail.com ~all in TXT Data Field
Click on Add Record Button and you are now ready to use Windows Live Email Services with your domain name!
For logging in to your Email Account, just go to outlook.com, and enter your Username as: email@example.com and type your password:
Additional Tips and Important Notes:
1. Once you have done setting up MX and TXT Records, your mail service will start working within an hour. In my case, all incoming and outgoing mail functions were fully active in about 30 minutes.
2. If you are not hosting your domain with a webhost, then you can still create MX and TXT Records using your registrar’s control panel:
I am using Namecheap and if a domain name is using their default DNS, then anyone can configure additional host records with them. You may want to contact your registrar OR browse their knowledge base for more information on this topic.
3. If you also want to use messenger with your domain, then you need to configure SRV Settings as follows:
- DNS record type: SRV
- Service: _sipfederationtls._tcp.domainname.com
- Protocol: _tcp
- Domain Name: domainname.com
- Priority: 10 (or High priority)
- Weight: 2
- Port: 5061
- Target: federation.messenger.msn.com
For configuring SRV Settings meant for federating Messenger with other compatible networks, you need to have access to WHM (WebHost Manager). If you are using shared hosting, then you need to contact your webhost and ask them to configure these settings for you.
If you are not hosting your domain with a webhost, then you can enter SRV Settings in your registrar’s control panel (see screenshot above).
4. If you want to verify your mail settings, open Command Prompt (cmd) in Windows and type following lines in it:
- C:\>nslookup -type=txt yourdomain.com – For verifying TXT Record.
- C:\>nslookup -type=mx yourdomain.com – For verifying MX Entry.
If you are getting same values that you entered earlier, then everything is working fine. Try sending and receiving some Test Emails!