So I’ve outgrown my general “all services” windows hosting provider and I’m moving all my sites my AWS EC2 Windows 2008 Server instance with Route 53 for my domain management. I like it. I like it a lot. I like feeling more “in control” of the server. But one thing I’m missing is email. There’s no out-of-the-box solution like with my former host. And I don’t really want to set up Exchange server on the same box that is running IIS AND my SQL Server databases. It’s definitely an overkill since I really only want one email address for this domain and I don’t really expect to receive too much mail.
Oh, and cheap would be good. And free would be awesome.
A Route 53 email setup using Outlook.com.
Outlook.com allows you to create an account for your domain. All you have to do is point the MX record to the url they give you. “Huh?!?,” you say. Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through it.
First of all, you already need a Windows Live account (hotmail.com, outlook.com, etc) so log into that.
Next go to https://domains.live.com/manage/default.aspx
Click “Add domain”
Add your domain name and click “Continue”.
Type in the captcha code and click “I agree”.
Highlight and copy the “MX server” url (I’ve blocked out a little of it as you can see).
Now go to your Amazon Route 53:
Click “Go To Record Sets”
Click “Create Record Set”.
Select “MX – Mail exchange” from the Type drop-down box.
Type in “10″ and then a space and then past the value from outlook.com
Click the “Create record” button.
Go back to domains.live.com and click Refresh (it may takes some time if your domain was not previously set up in route 53).
It should take you to this page:
Click the “+ Add”.
This is where you will add the email address for your domain.
I’ve added “kenny”, so the full address will end up being firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can add up to 50 accounts for this domain, so that’s pretty cool.
Now to test it out, just sign out of live.com.
Go to www.outlook.com and sign in with your newly created email address and password:
Then click “I accept”.
Then you may get a captcha challenge but then finally voila:
Your new email inbox.
From there you can forward email from this account to one you check more regularly.
Hope that helps!