Email hosting is the process of sending and receiving email over the internet. In this article, we will discuss how an email works, how email messages are sent and received, how to configure your email account so that it is always available when you need it, and some best practices for protecting your data.
What is Email Hosting?
Once you have registered your domain name with a registrar like Namecheap, you can use web-based DNS services like DNS Made Easy (DNSE) or PowerDNS to assign a unique IP address to the domain name that makes it accessible on the internet.
This is the first step in configuring an email hosting service for your domain name. You will use this address to send and receive emails from the internet. When you are ready, you can proceed on to setting up an email account so that you can send and receive emails from anywhere in the world.
How does email hosting work?
When you send an email from your email account, it is first sent to the internet service provider (ISP) that hosts your domain name. Without a DNS record, the ISP would have no way to know that a user with the specified email address exists on its network. (If you use an IP address instead of a domain name for email hosting purposes, you don’t need to configure DNS settings or set up an account with an email provider).
When you click on the send button in your email client, the message is sent over your internet connection to the ISP’s mail server. That server stores all of the messages sent and received by everyone who uses its services.
From there, the message is sent to your email service provider (ESP). This is the person or company that you have registered with. In many cases, this will be the same as your ISP. However, depending on how you want to receive emails, you may pursue a separate ESP for email hosting purposes.
It may take a few minutes for the message to make its way from your ISP to your ESP. If you are using a free email service hosted by your ISP like Gmail or Yahoo Mail and have not yet opted out of their spam filter services, you may get several “out of office” messages in the interim detailing who has received and read your message so far in transit.
Once the message is delivered to your ESP, it is analyzed using a variety of tools and may be forwarded to other servers and databases. If your email provider allows you to receive email while at the same time doing other things on the internet (for example, surfing the web), this analysis may be completed in a different order.
After all of this work has been done, your email is delivered to the configured address(es) anywhere in the world. You will see a response confirming that it has “arrived”.
How to configure your email account so that it is always available?
When you register your domain name with a registrar like Namecheap, when you first log in to your email account, the system will often display a message like below.
This message means that your mail server has been configured to respond automatically to DNS requests from the internet in order to deliver any email messages received while you were away.
For example, if someone sends you an automated message and you are on vacation, this service is used by the email provider to ensure that you receive the message and don’t miss important information sent by someone else along the way. If you want more control, then look under the settings menu for your email account and select “manual configuration”.
If you opt for this option, you will be required to periodically log into your email account and verify that you are still receiving mail from the internet. If something goes wrong, you may miss critical information. This is an easy way to troubleshoot problems with your email provider.
If your service is hosted by an ISP, don’t worry about this message if you have paid extra to have a static IP address assigned to your account (learn more about why static IP addresses are important here).
Also, if multiple users share the same domain name or email account, then it may not be necessary to enable this feature as it will allow all users of the domain name or email address to receive messages while they are away from home.
Just to make sure, if you select “manual configuration”, your email provider will send you a message like the following to verify that you have selected this option.
The steps below outline how to check to see if your email address is available and use the manual configuration feature depending on the type of email hosting setup you have. Most people should not need to do this, but it is necessary for some advanced users who may want greater control over their email settings.
Why Does Your Business Need Email Hosting?
There are several reasons why you may want to configure your email hosting service.
1. Why do I need email hosting?
Email is the most popular form of online communication and is widely used by businesses to communicate with their customers and clients. Many businesses will use email as their primary source of communication.
If you use email to communicate with your customers and clients, then you will likely want your emails to be delivered via an internet connection. Most hosting providers provide access to email services that allow online correspondence with virtually anyone in the world, which is an important benefit of setting up an email account on a service like Gmail or Yahoo Mail.
2. How do I check if my email account is available?
There are several ways to check if your email server is configured to respond to internet requests, and one of these is shown in the image at the beginning of this article.
If you are using an email provider that requires a DNS record, then you can verify that it has been set up by going to your domain registrar (like Namecheap) and searching for the domain name.
You will see a list of DNS records that have been configured. If you receive email over the internet, then you will also see an MX record.
If you receive email through your ISP, then it is likely that they are using a different mail server.
You should use the search tool on their website to verify that your email address is configured properly. (Most ISP’s use the same host names for their email services). If needed, contact your ISP for further assistance.
3. Why am I getting out of office messages from my email provider?
When an author replies to your email, this message can be picked up by automated software and forwarded back to you as additional “out of office” notifications. If you are receiving a lot of these messages, it typically means that your email provider is getting bombarded with requests from the internet and may be having trouble setting up DNS records or may not have a static IP address. This can result in delays in message delivery time.