Email woes. Use own domain? Help!
June 14, 2022 4:18 PM   Subscribe

My current email address is I own the domain through GoDaddy, and think it would be best to change my main email address to and then forward to my largeCanadianTelecom account. How do? Please explain like I'm five.

Some while back, largeCanadianTelecom chose to no longer run its own email servers and gave us all weird corporate accounts at Gmail. I found out the hard way that email addresses at largeCanadianTelecom are tied to a physical address. When I moved recently and tried to transfer my longstanding email account to the new address, I was told that this wasn't possible because my username bessl isn't long enough (I guess they gave me a Gmail account with that username for legacy reasons even though it didn't fit their criteria? Dunno). The workaround to keep my current email is that they kept the old physical address account with a balance of zero. This makes me nervous. Any tidying up of old accounts on their part might make my email address go away. I'd rather take some action myself to fix this problem.

Would this be something that I arrange through GoDaddy? What I'd like is for to be my email address, which then forwards to whatever email address I'm using through my largeCanadianTelecom account. Then if I change my ISP or my telecom gets weird in some other way, then I can just change the forwarding and it should be pretty seamless, right? How do I set this up? Or is this a bad idea?
posted by nuclear bessel to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
Godaddy domain MAY OR MAY NOT come with email. You need to talk to their CS to figure out if you do have it.

If you don't, they offer what's known as "forwarders", i.e. they'll just forward stuff addressed to your domain over, which is what you need.


Even if you do have email included, you should be able to just ignore it and turn on forwarding instead.
posted by kschang at 4:25 PM on June 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

Why do you want to keep the largecanadiantelecom account? Just setup a gmail account, and have your new account forward there.
posted by 0bvious at 4:43 PM on June 14, 2022

Best answer: The problem with forwarding the way you suggest is that everyone will just hit reply and keep on using
Far better to sign up somewhere like Fastmail or ProtonMail, that will allow you to both send and receive as, then setup a forward from
posted by Lanark at 4:51 PM on June 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

Self-hosting email can be a huge headache and technical minefield because of spam filters not allowing the "little guys" through anymore. I would seriously recommend not doing this unless you are okay with emails you send getting randomly lost all the time and spending a huge amount of time troubleshooting why.
posted by srboisvert at 4:52 PM on June 14, 2022 [2 favorites]

I think tying yourself to an ISP email account is a bad idea, in general. The exact problem you are having now will recur when you next move or change your ISP. I would start with a Gmail account, forward your ISP email address to there and work on getting people to change their contacts to your Gmail account so that, over time, the ISP email address won't be in use and when it inevitably disappears, you'll hardly notice.

You can also set Gmail up to directly collect your ISP email as well as your new Gmail address. You could set up a rule to send a response to anyone that emails your ISP address asking them to change your address in their records.
posted by dg at 5:09 PM on June 14, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Seconding Lanark's suggestion of using an email specialist firm like Fastmail. They can handle your custom domain, and they do all the detail work of setting it up so as to not be flagged as spam.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 5:44 PM on June 14, 2022 [5 favorites]

Fastmail is a good choice, and they let you use your own domain. I might also suggest their sister company, They're an email forwarder, which means you can easily use whatever email client you want, not just Fastmail's (though POBox does have a webmail interface that's a cut-down version of Fastmail's). It's been working for me for several years through Apple mail, but works just as well with Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.

You'll need to navigate Godaddy's DNS interface to put in the correct values to get your email to the correct server. Email services give you the instructions you need, and Godaddy has their help screens as well.

There are plenty of major services that let you use your own domain; if you have an Apple account, you can use your domain with iCloud email; Microsoft will let you, as well, if you have an Office365 plan.

Good luck; this isn't as simple as it should be, but being tied to an ISP's domain is a bad choice.
posted by lhauser at 7:29 PM on June 14, 2022

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone, for the advice so far. If I understand correctly, then the consensus is that I should either get a Gmail account or get an email specialist firm like Fastmail to handle things.

I'd like to continue to use Thunderbird as an email client. The Gmail route will work for that, but for the second option I'd have to be careful about the choice of firm as some require that you use their own client (I would have never thought of that pitfall, so thanks for that).

So I should consider whether I want to join the Google-verse or pay a company like I'm kind of leaning towards the second option. Are there any other issues I should consider?
posted by nuclear bessel at 9:30 PM on June 14, 2022

Best answer: You can use Thunderbird with any mail host which has an IMAP interface, so Fastmail, gmail etc
posted by Lanark at 4:29 AM on June 15, 2022

Best answer: Ease of giving your address out verbally is something to consider. We’re all primed to hear strings like “” or “”, and sometimes people get a bit confused when it’s unfamiliar — especially if it’s going to be tricky to spell or aurally ambiguous. You will have a lifetime of saying “ — that’s B-E-S-…” over the phone to utility companies etc.

Not intending to discourage you there, as I am in that situation and it’s not so bad. The domain you’re thinking of sounds pretty ok for this.

There’s a lot to be said for owning your own domain. You should never have to change email address ever again, no matter which companies go bust or change their products on a whim. You can just take your business elsewhere and take your domain with you.
posted by breakfast burrito at 5:00 AM on June 15, 2022

I'm not understanding why you want to forward at all.

I own numerous domains, each of which have email addresses associated with them. Most of mine are hosted with (Godaddy are evil fuckers who support war and torture) or, for the Canadian ones,

If you have a google account (a gmail account), you can simply go into the settings and have Gmail check the email addresses of the domains that you own and show them to you in the Gmail interface.

When I log into gmail, all of my emails from all of my domains are displayed in one window. There's no forwarding, and when I reply to an email sent to the reply-to is correct.

You don't have to give your gmail address to anyone. You simply have the address as it serves as your username for logging into the interface.

In addition, my internet provider (I'm also in Canada) comes with an email address. I don't even know what it is and have not used it once in 17 years. The whole point in having your own domain is to avoid using your ISP email address, imo.
posted by dobbs at 8:30 AM on June 15, 2022

I have had the same address for (strokes chin) 25 years now, ever since my first ISP went under. It is simply set to forward to the email address I have at my current ISP, and my email client is configured to send as that address. Specifically, the From and Reply-To headers are set to my address. So with all due respect to Lanark above, the concern they voiced above is simply not a problem.

This works with pretty much any email client -- I've used the ISP's webmail, Thunderbird on my PC, K9 on Android, and other more esoteric clients. All of them A) can retrieve the email and B) send as "". You don't need to use the forwarding providers client, and in fact, in my case, I can't, because the forwarder doesn't even have my emails. They forwarded them instantly!

And LOL just following on breakfast burrito's comment just above, I have gotten soooo used to saying "p o box dot com, that's p o b o x dot com" over the phone and honestly it works just fine. About 25% of the time I get "huh, I've never heard that one before" and then they move on. It's a super simple domain and people don't screw it up when typing it!
posted by intermod at 8:32 AM on June 15, 2022

Response by poster: I've signed up with Fastmail for the address and am now trying to figure out the settings. If I need advice on that, should I post here or do a separate Ask? I do not have email with GoDaddy, only my website. Also, I hadn't realized that hosting with GoDaddy is ethically challenged. Is there anywhere I read about that further?

I had to laugh at breakfast burrito's comment. I have an unusual spelling for my last name and spelling it out letter by letter is the story of my life. I'll just be spelling it out as the domain name rather than the user name. (Generally, I don't even say it first, because people will assume they already know how it's spelled and will type it in without listening.)
posted by nuclear bessel at 3:42 PM on June 30, 2022

Best answer: If I need advice on that, should I post here or do a separate Ask?

I would start by asking Fastmail. They have excellent support and in my experience they are very patient about explaining about all the minutiae that goes into configuring a domain properly so as to have reliable email service.

Of course, you're welcome to ask here, too. I'd recommend asking in a new question if you want more than just a handful of people to see it.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 6:17 PM on June 30, 2022

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