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Setting up Runbox e-mail on your own private domain


Well-Known Member
Everyone wants to know what kind of e-mail they can use to register for this forum. I've tried to offer some options, here and here, but if you want to know my personal preference, then read on. I will show you, step-by-step, just how easy it is to have your very own e-mail domain, with all the privacy of off-shore e-mail hosting.


I use and recommend Namesilo as a domain registrar. These people have nailed it, when it comes to registering domains. They are not spending millions of dollars on hiring super stars to appear in Super Bowl ads, they are not trying to sell you any hosting, they are just offering domain name registrations at the lowest prices in the industry, all with free Who-Is protection. Do me a favor and access Namesilo via the supplied link, as that will allow me to earn a bit on the purchase. It won't cost you a dime.

When you land on the Namesilo index page, you will see this -


By all means, look around their site, to be sure you are not jumping into a business arrangement with someone you would rather avoid. Personally, I loves me some Namesilo and have found doing business with them to be a pleasure.


Once you are satisfied, it is time to start searching for the domain name that will be your personal branding. I will admit, I like domains that contain my name. That makes it easy for people to remember where to find me. If you know my name, then you can find my personal blog at and if you have been given the information, you will know how simple my e-mail address at that domain really is.

Maybe EX JUNK would want to try for, or, etc. Maybe John Smith would want to try to register (somehow, I imagine that one is taken, but you get the idea).

In the example above, I am going to search for


And, for the first time in my life, the very first name I searched was actually available. As you can see, Namesilo did some more searching and found the .co, the .net, the .org, the .info, the .mobi and the .me TLDs are also available for mikes-domain. If I wanted to protect a trademarked name, then I would likely click all those options, to buy them all.


Once you purchase your domain name, it will appear in your account's Domain Manager. As you can see, I own, and, in addition to far too many other domains. Don't bother entering all of them into your browser, as and redirect to All those rivers end up in the same sea.

This is just one page of my Namesilo-registered domains, I still have 14 domains registered at Namecheap that I need to transfer and I also have one, very old domain registered with the very first host I ever used.

Domains are speculation. I will sometimes start dreaming up a Web site project and will go snag some possible domain names for it. Every now and then you will see a trend developing on a particular brand, so you snag up some associated domains, in the hope of selling them at a profit.

Once you have purchased your domain, it is now time to set up a Runbox account, so hustle on over to Runbox. Once you get there, take whatever time you need, to satisfy yourself that this is a company that you want to partner with. When you are ready, click on the button, to Sign Up for a Free Trial.


This is one of the things I really like about Runbox. They will give you a temporary e-mail account, to let you familiarize yourself with their services. If you don't like them, then just walk away and there is no harm, no foul and more importantly, no fee.

But, if you immediately see, like I did, that they are a solid company, then you can opt to purchase whatever account you choose. If you purchase a Mini e-mail account within 24 hours of signing up, they will give you 2 years service for the price of just 1 year. So, rather than paying $34.95 for just 12 months, you get 24 months at that price. And your first month doesn't actually kick in until your 30-day free trial has ended, so you are actually getting 25 months for $34.95. That breaks down to a mere $1.40/month.


Click on the button to get a free trial and then, on the next page, tick the option to use your own, newly purchased domain name. Click Continue.


Determine how many accounts you want to set up. You can grab 10 accounts, if you like. Click Continue.


Then it is time to enter your new domain name. This can confuse people who are not familiar with the terminology, but all you want to enter is the domain name you purchased. Do not enter any usernames on this page, that will come next.


OK, here is where you will enter the username you want to use. I've edited out the domain name on this page, because it is another domain name of mine. But if I had actually purchased the domain, that information would be filled in. So, all you need is to enter a username. In my case, it could be sometime as simple as mike, michael, mike.ermel, m.ermel, or something imaginative like superstar, awesomeguy, etc.

Enter your password. And be aware, Runbox is going to balk at you using any cheesy passwords. It is going to require a complex password, so be prepared.

Enter your first and last names, as well as any company name you may want to use.

Select your country and time zone, then enter an alternative e-mail for Runbox to use, if you should happen to forget the password on your account, etc.

Plug in the reCAPTCHA data, read the Terms of Service, tick the checkbox and click the button to Set up your Runbox account.

You will be presented with a page that will show you the time remaining on your buy one year, get one year free deal. Personally, I went ahead and made the purchase, figuring I was in for a penny, so why not be in for a pound?

OK, now, you can access your Runbox account via Webmail. To be honest, Webmail applications are actually very secure, simply because they are isolated from your personal computer. If you don't mind logging into a Webmail page, then by all means, get out of here and enjoy your new, personally-branded e-mail account.

If you are a lazy, auld git, like myself, you will likely want to add your new e-mail account to your e-mail client. I use, have always used and will always use Mozilla Thunderbird. It runs in its own sandbox, so it adds a solid layer of protection between the malicious e-mails you receive and your personal computer. It will not auto-run executable files, like Outlook, so there is no chance of malicious code being inserted on your computer without you first taking action on it.

If you're not using Thunderbird, you should be. Go, now, and download it here.

For reasons of explanation, let's move forward on the assumption that I registered the domain and I set Runbox up to use

Heh, the scraper bots will have a field day with that address, won't they? :whistling:

Once you get Thunderbird installed, it will want to know some details, so it can handle your e-mails for you.


Since I already have run my Runbox account configured in Thunderbird and do not want to delete the account for this tutorial, I am going to use a couple of generic images.

In the above image, I would enter Mike Ermel at the Your name field.

My Email address would be entered as This, believe it or not, will get changed down the road, but for right now, that is the required entry.

I would enter the password I set up at Runbox, in the Password field.

When i click Continue, Thunderbird is going to try to show off, by doing some searching and trying to come up with the rest of the configuration details on its own.


The above image shows how Thunderbird is guessing the Incoming (in this case IMAP) and Outgoing, or SMTP, servers will be named. Since Thunderbird guessed all wrong, we will need to click on Manual config, and enter the correct details.


There, you can see the correct IMAP and SMTP server hostnames, as well as the ports required, and the security configurations. Remember, this would also show my real name, my new e-mail address, and the username at the bottom would be mike.

Once you get the appropriate information entered for your e-mail account, you are going to see error messages, saying either your username or your password is incorrect. Don't panic, just click the Advanced config button.


Thunderbird will set up an account in the left panel, with the information you entered and the Runbox folders set up in your Runbox account. I've already renamed the account, but it would have appeared as


Right-click on the new account name and in the resulting menu, click on Settings.


You will see some other e-mail accounts in the left panel, just ignore them.

On this page of the Settings, you can see I've renamed my new account as Runbox account. It shows my name and my actual Runbox e-mail address, which is actually set up on my domain. I want my e-mail recipients to reply to the same address, so I've left the Reply-to Address field blank, as well as the Organization field. Thunderbird has properly filled in the Outgoing Server (SMTP) details.


Thunderbird has filled in the details on the IMAP server, but it will have also filled in my username as, which certainly looks correct, doesn't it?

For some unknown reason, if you use your own domain name at Runbox, they configure your address in a strange way. They drop the @ from the address, and replace it with % which can really trip you up, if you were not paying attention. So, in the username field, I would change my address to read as and leave all the other settings alone.


Here you determine where copies of sent messages, archived messages, draft messages and message templates will be saved. Thunderbird is pretty intuitive, so it should have filled in the proper details on its own.


I only make one change on this page. When I am replying to e-mails, I like to start my reply above the quote.


On this page, un-tick the checkbox to enable adaptive junk mail controls. Runbox uses a combination of SpamAssassin and DSPAM filters on their servers, so there is no need to set up further controls.

Once you have made that change, click on the OK button. Thunderbird might ask you to enter your password, one more time, but now that it sees the peculiar Runbox e-mail username with % rather than @, it will behave itself.

Now, we have one more change to make and we are finished. Go back to Namesilo, log in and visit your Domain Manager. On the line for your newly purchased domain, click the blue globe icon and you will see the following page -


I already have these details set up, but you will want to click on the MX link, for the resource record type you want to create. In the entry field, type the following -

Click OK and you are finished. All this does is tell the Domain Name System that Runbox will be receiving all the e-mails for that particular domain. In this case, if someone sends an e-mail to my address, the Domain Name System knows that e-mail should be delivered to the Runbox mail server, rather than my own server.

It will take some time for the new MX record to fully propagate throughout the Domain Name System, so be patient. It can take as little as two hours, or as much as 72 hours. If memory serves, I think it took approximately 9 or 10 hours for my own changes to take effect.

Log into your Runbox Webmail and click on the Account button. From there, click on Email Hosting and the resulting page will either show the MX record as Pending, or as Active. once it shows as Active, you will be good to go.

Follow these steps, exactly as I have laid them out and you will soon be using your own, custom-branded e-mail domain, on secure, off-shore e-mail servers. It really is just that easy.

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