Email Aliases (Forwarding)
Email aliases are addresses that instantaneously route any messages sent to them to another address. Every DreamHost hosting plan includes unlimited email aliases that forward like this.
With this you can keep checking email sent to your hosted domain through whatever email account you already have set up.
Please note that when you add or change aliases it can take 1-2 hours for them to go live on our servers!
Can I forward my mail to other accounts?
I like my POP3 email account on your server, but I'd like to have other addresses on my web site without having to create a whole new POP3 account for each one. In fact, I'd be fine if I could just forward the messages sent to those addresses to other accounts. Can you do that?
Of course! Just go to our "Mail > Addresses" area of our web panel and add a new address. Then choose to have it forward to whatever other email accounts (hosted with us or not!) you want.
NOTE: If you set an email address X@yourdomain.com to forward to another address, e.g. YourMainAddress@SomeMailService.com, then send a message from YourMainAddress to X (e.g. in order to test mail forwarding from X), the mail will be silently deleted. As explained by tech support, "you can't test forwarding using the same gmail account. It figures out that it is a loop and removes the mail. You must use a different account to check if it is working."
How do I send email FROM my hosted domain alias?
To send email so that the return address says firstname.lastname@example.org you just need to configure your email client software. Most email programs allow you to set your return address to whatever you like. It's not something we control on our servers at all.
In Thunderbird (v3.1.7), click on "Tools" -> "Account Settings", then click on the name of the account and at the bottom, click on "Manage Identites". (On my Windows XP box, half the button is hidden for some reason) Then click on "Add" and enter the details. Set the SMTP server to default because it is necessary to use the same outgoing SMTP server. (For whatever reason, if I used a different SMTP server, Thunderbird didn't send the emails!)
Can I get an address to forward to two different addresses?
Yes! Here's how:
- Go to the "Mail > Addresses" area of our control panel.
- If you're creating a new address, click the link to create a new address.. if you're editing a current address, click the "edit" link next to that address.
- Make sure you have the radio button next to will be delivered to these email addresses: selected, and then enter each email address you'd like to forward to in the textarea underneath it, one per line!
What's the difference between aliasing and email forwarding?
There is no difference.
An alias is an e-mail address at your domain (email@example.com), that automatically forwards any mail it receives to some other address that you specify.
You can set up your aliases to forward either to the POP3 or IMAP account that we provide, or to any other valid Internet email address. When you sign up with us, we automatically set up a default alias: firstname.lastname@example.org forward to the POP3/IMAP account we provide. You can easily change this through the addresses section of the Mail tab of the account control panel.
What can aliases be used for?
What Is An Email Alias?
Email aliases allow you to forward email to other accounts, both within and outside of the DreamHost system. Email aliases are a standard feature for all Dreamhost hosting accounts.
How To Set Up Aliases
Just go to the "Mail > Addresses" area of our web panel, and click the link to Add Address. It should be pretty straight-forward from there!
What can I use aliases for?
- #Setting a default address for mail to your site
- #Forwarding mail to one or more non-DreamHost accounts
- #Forwarding the same mail to more than one user
- #Filtering spam
An Example SetupLet's say that Bob, a circus owner, has opened up a Dreamhost account to host his web site at bobsbigcircus.com. Bob, being the nice kind of guy he is, wants to set up aliases for his most trusted associates:
- Dumbo (a flying elephant, after a short acting career)
- Fred Boing - the head of the bouncing Boing family of trapeze artists.
The following chart shows some of the ways aliases can be used to direct mail:
Setting a default address for mail to your site
In the first row, the asterisk (*) means that any mail sent to bobsbigcircus.com and not covered by another alias will be sent directly to Bob's main user account (bobsbig). This way, Bob never loses mail.
Forwarding mail to one or more non-DreamHost accounts
The next line belongs to Dumbo. Our elephantine friend has an account with another email provider - his address is 'email@example.com'. Dumbo would like to have all mail sent to him at bobsbigcircus.com to be forwarded to that address. On the left side, Bob has specified an alias name, and on the right the destination email account. Thus, any mail sent to firstname.lastname@example.org would be received at email@example.com.
Forwarding the same mail to more than one user
Fred Boing, Bob's best friend in the whole world, also has an email alias - but this one is a little bit different. Along with death defying feats of unimaginable danger, Fred is also an avid stock collector. However, during his shows, he is unable to keep as close an eye on his stocks as he'd like, so he has convinced Bob to look after them while he is working. With this in mind, Bob has set up Fred's email alias to forward mail to him as well. Thus, mail sent to firstname.lastname@example.org goes to Bob's account 'bobsbig', as well as Fred's other account, email@example.com.
Last but not least, Bob has been the victim of a massive spamming campaign by numerous life insurance companies. Rather than deal with it first hand, Bob has created a trick alias at firstname.lastname@example.org. He has embedded this address in several hidden places on his web site, hoping for spam robots to accidentally pick up the fake address instead of his own. Any mail sent to this address is forwarded to 'null' - which means that it is automatically deleted.
Email aliases are a very powerful tool, and can provide the entire communications infrastructure for your web site. With a little effort, you can provide aliases to your employees, friends, and even your site's visitors.
Why Won't My Aliases Work Yet?
Updates to your account made through the Account Control Panel usually take 15 minutes to become active. Wait 15 minutes, then try again. If an inordinately long period of time has passed, feel free to contact support for additional assistance. (Instructions for contacting tech support can be found in the Related Links column to the left of this window.)
Mail (Domain) Mirror
This is a technique related to aliasing, but instead of aliasing a specific mailbox in one domain to a mailbox in another, it aliases all mailboxes from one domain to the other. For example, say your organization operates primarily with the domain example1.com, and you have that domain configured with all your desired mailboxes. Then you also have a secondary domain, example2.com, which you'd like to also work for those same mailboxes. Instead of creating an alias in example2.com for each example1.com mailbox, you just designate that example2.com should mirror example1.com's mailboxes.
An important distinction from aliasing (forwarding) is that this technique only works between domains hosted at Dreamhost. These settings are found in the Dreamhost control panel under the Mail-->Custom MX tab. Additional information on the MX tab. (For the benefit of keyword searches, this technique is traditionally accomplished using a Sendmail Mailertable or Postfix transport table.)