Setting up Email with Route 53 using outlook.com

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.

Solution?

A Route 53 email setup using Outlook.com.

Seriously.

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

Domain1

Click “Add domain”

Outlook Signup Domain

Add your domain name and click “Continue”.

Domain3

Type in the captcha code and click “I agree”.

Domain4

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:

R53-1Click on your domain.

Click “Go To Record Sets”

R53-2

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:

Domain5

Click the “+ Add”.

This is where you will add the email address for your domain.

Domain6

I’ve added “kenny”, so the full address will end up being kenny@datawinconsulting.com.

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:

outlook1It may ask you to complete your account by entering your Birthday and County/region.

Then click “I accept”.

Then you may get a captcha challenge but then finally voila:

outlook2

 

Your new email inbox.

From there you can forward email from this account to one you check more regularly.

Hope that helps!

 

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