From time to time, it can be important to have rock solid email. In the UK, a lot of the main ISP’s that you have your broadband connection with, can be a bit flakey in the email department. I have found that Googlemail (gmail) is as solid as a rock – that’s not to say that MSN and Yahoo mail etc are not – it’s just that I have had a Googlemail account since the early days.
Googlemail may be solid, but it’s web UI leaves something to be desired. I find it easier to read my email within Outlook anyway – using the option of not deleting email from Googlemail – so that I can still access it from a web browser when desired.
Not only is it great to be able to receive AND send Googlemail from within Outlook – wouldn’t it be cool if you could do it by using your own (non googlemail) email address as well? Read on …..
OK, this is (simply) how to do it. Others may argue that there are better ways/services – but this is your starter for 10…..
1. Register a “.co.uk” domain or two at http://www.123-reg.co.uk/. “.co.uk” domains cost £2.45 per year (you have to pay for two years).
Quick update: I have never had any trouble with 123-reg but they are getting terrible press right now – see: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/01/31/123_reg_/ so the smart money seems to be suggesting goDaddy may be the domain registrar of choice.
2. TOP DOMAIN REGISTERING TIP – which normally you would pay good money for If you have an “a” in your name – but it is not the first char, consider registering a domain made up of all the letters in your name AFTER that “a”. For example, let’s say you are called “Janet Winters” – if you register the domain “netwinters.co.uk” your email address could then be firstname.lastname@example.org – see what I did there? Then, the next time anyone asks you what your email address is, you just reply “janetwinters.co.uk – replace the first a with an “at””.
3. Make a google email account – it doesn’t really matter what you call yourself – just keep it sensible – see point 9 for why. For the purpose of this post – let’s say you made an account “email@example.com”.
4. At your 123-reg domain control panel, set mail forwarding to send any email to your googlemail account.
5. You can either access your googlemail from any web browser, or directly (via Pop3) in Outlook OR via a Pocket PC.
6. To configure Outlook to access your googlemail – go here: https://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=13278&topic=1556
7. To configure your Pocket PC to read Googlemail, just go into the email app and set up a new account. When asked for your “email address” – just give something (doesn’t matter what you say at this point) @gmail.com – for example: firstname.lastname@example.org. The PPC mail app then goes off to googlemail and configures itself – neat eh? You then have to configure your real username and password details and in the email account options (2/3) – make sure that you have ticked both “requires SSL connection” and “Outgoing mail requires authentication”.
8. In the “Forwarding and Pop settings” of your googlemail account:
a) Click to enable POP.
b) I would also suggest selecting “Keep googlemail’s copy in the inbox” – just in case you screw something up. You can change this once you are happy about the way this best works for you.
c) While you are getting used to it – I would also select to have a copy of all emails forwarded to your Plusnet email address. Yes, that means you get two copies – but while you are getting up to speed, you are unlikely to lose anything vital. You can always turn this off later.
9. This is optional – but in the “Accounts” section of the googlemail settings, you can set a different sending address to your googlemail address. So, for example, you could set the sending address to be “email@example.com”. If you did this, mail sent from your google email would have the return address of firstname.lastname@example.org but the recipient of the email would actually see it headed thus:
“email@example.com; on behalf of; Janet Winters [firstname.lastname@example.org]”
This means that spam checkers are unlikely to block the email because it is not exactly trying to spoof.
Now, set up like this:
a) All mail sent to you goes to your account hosted at 123-reg and is then forwarded on to your googlemail account – where you read it via a web browser, Outlook or on your PocketPC or mobile phone etc.
b) All mail that you send, can be created in a web browser, your Outlook, PocketPc or mobile phone etc BUT it is sent OUT from googlemail with a return address of your domain at 123-reg in it.
This means that you retain your Plusnet account and ADSL access, but that you just don’t use the email facilities of Plusnet.
Finally, this tip is really worth big money – because you will find little mention of it elsewhere:
Googlemail only allows single pop access. So, for example, if you are synchronising Outlook to Googlemail AND your Pocket PC at the same time, no email will be downloaded because this is multiple access – which for security reasons, google email doesn’t like. BUT, if you configure your googlemail account name on the subsidiary devices (such as your Pocket PC) to add “recent:” in front of your googlemail account name – i.e. “recent:jwinters” then it works.