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Old 19 Apr 2017, 11:01 PM   #1
Bagnet
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 3
Aliases Questions

Hi.

If I use a FastMail account for a domain I own I'll have two addresses right? For example:
123@fastmail.fm
123@mydomain.com
but how will the web interface look?
Will all mails be received in the same Inbox? If I create folders will they be shared by both addresses?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 20 Apr 2017, 12:13 AM   #2
equaeghe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagnet View Post
If I use a FastMail account for a domain I own I'll have two addresses right?
Yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagnet View Post
but how will the web interface look?
Unchanged.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagnet View Post
Will all mails be received in the same Inbox?
Yes, essentially, but you can redirect using identities and filtering.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagnet View Post
If I create folders will they be shared by both addresses?
Yes, but you can assign folders to identities, so that some will ‘belong’ to one email address and some to the other.
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Old 20 Apr 2017, 12:38 AM   #3
Bagnet
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Thanks @equaeghe
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Old 20 Apr 2017, 11:52 AM   #4
n5bb
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Arrow Alias features

Welcome to the EMD Forums! It's even better than that. Sorry this is so long, but for future reference...

If you have a current account type which supports using your own domains (Standard or Professional account), you can create at least 600 aliases at FastMail domains and your own domain. You can send and receive email at any of these aliases using your account, but you must use your single FastMail account address to log in. You can change the login address (which must be at a FastMail domain), by the way.

When creating FastMail domain aliases, you have a choice of many domains (including sent.com, mm.st, and some other short domain names). You can only use an alias which nobody else has reserved, with these limitations:
  • Length of 2 to 40 characters
  • Starting character: a-z
  • Other characters: a-z, 0-9, _ (underscore), and . (dot)
When creating your own domain aliases, you can use any username you want at your domain(s), with these limitations:
  • Length of 1 to 40 characters
  • Starting character: a-z, 0-9, or _ (underscore)
  • Other characters: a-z, 0-9, _ (underscore), and . (dot)
So you can use these very short email addresses as aliases to send or receive email at your FastMail account using your domain:
_@mydomain.com
b@mydomain.com
8@mydomain.com

The aliases described above must be defined in advance in the Settings>Aliases setup screen. Each of these aliases targets (is delivered to) your FastMail account by default, You can also target each alias to an external email account, even at another email service. FastMail also supports subdomain and plus+addresses, which allow you to create a new alias at any time. You can do this by moving the username to the right of the @, so using the examples above you could use anything@b.mydomain.com or news@8.mydomain.com or use a FastMail domain alias in a similar fashion.

Why would you want to use subdomain addressing? It allows you to better sort incoming email from businesses or other organizations where you sign up on their website and detect phishing. How does this work?
  • Let's say you want to keep all of your banking emails in a folder you name "Bank". But you want to be able to tell later which bank or credit card service sent a particular email to you.
  • First you create an alias at either your domain or any FastMail domain with an alias name of "bank" (capitalization is ignored for email addresses).
  • When you need to sign up for some financial service and give them a contact email address, you use servicename@bank.yourdomain.com (where servicename is anything you wish, but typically allows you to remember which banking service it is associated with). You can make up anything you want "on the fly" to the left of the @ symbol (as long it starts with a letter, and it's best to only use letters and numerals).
  • Now anytime a message arrives in your account sent to servicename@bank.yourdomain.com, the message will be automatically filed in the "bank" folder. If there is a subfolder in the bank folder named "servicename", the message will be filed into that folder automatically. If not, then it will be filed in the "bank" folder.
  • If you ever receive a suspicious message apparently from that bank, it might be a phishing email from a scammer. But if it's sent to the subdomain custom address (which only you and the bank's automated system should know, unless the bank had a security breach or sold your address to someone else), you know that email is guaranteed to be sent based on your original signup at that bank. A phishing scammer can use a fake From email address to attempt to fool you, but it is extremely unlikely they know your custom subdomain address for that bank, since you only shared that address with that one bank. It's not in any email sent to any of your friends and you should not use it for signups at any other banking service. You just make up a different alias (left of the @) for each service you sign up for. You can later use a rule at your account to block or file or redirect messages sent to that special address.
  • Using this system, I have found a few times over the years that a service where I signed up either sold my email address or had a security breach. A couple of these were defininitely security breaches at a bank, a big retailer, and an IT services company.
Bill

Last edited by n5bb : 20 Apr 2017 at 12:04 PM. Reason: Spelling corrections and other small changes
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Old 21 Apr 2017, 12:39 AM   #5
Bagnet
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Thanks @n5bb
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Old 25 Apr 2017, 01:17 AM   #6
jhollington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n5bb View Post
Now anytime a message arrives in your account sent to servicename@bank.yourdomain.com, the message will be automatically filed in the "bank" folder. If there is a subfolder in the bank folder named "servicename", the message will be filed into that folder automatically. If not, then it will be filed in the "bank" folder.
This is actually a nice scenario and well-explained (as usual ), but unless I'm missing something, this isn't the way this would work, unless of course you've also defined a rule to file those messages. Since "bank" is an alias, rather than a plus address, there shouldn't be any automatic filing of messages sent to that address. For the same reason, I'm also not sure how "servicename" would be created as a sub-folder of a "Bank" folder, as opposed to a top-level folder.

I think the missing step here (and please correct me if I'm missing something else obvious ), is that the "bank" alias would have to be created to point to a plus address in the first place — something like either "yourname+bank@yourdomain.com" or "bank@yourname.yourdomain.com" rather than just your primary e-mail address. I think that would work the way you describe, since it gets converted to a plus address, and plus addresses can be stacked (so a message to "servicename@bank.yourdomain.com" gets translate to yourname+bank+servicename@yourdomain.com" and then handled appropriately).
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Old 28 Apr 2017, 10:24 PM   #7
n5bb
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Oops ... you are correct ... I forgot to include some details about using the wildcard plus+address +* in the alias target. I have been out of town and very busy this week, but within a few days I will go back and edit my earlier post to show the details. You have a choice when you choose the alias target on whether to file the message in folder A or folder B when messages are sent to the subdomain address A@B.domain.com. There is also a related choice on applying or ignoring subdomain addressing when using your own domain. Again, too much for now, but I will update this thread within a few days when I get back to it. Sorry I forgot to include those details earlier, but I set these features up several years ago on my main account and forgot about that alias target detail.

Bill
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Old 3 May 2017, 01:54 AM   #8
jhollington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n5bb View Post
You have a choice when you choose the alias target on whether to file the message in folder A or folder B when messages are sent to the subdomain address A@B.domain.com.
Now that you mention it, I do remember that setting being there in the past, but I suspect it may have been a casualty of the new UI; setting up aliases now only allows you to type in specific addresses.

It's still totally possible to do this manually by typing in the target plus address yourself, of course (as I noted above), but there doesn't appear to be any specific option for it anymore.

Quote:
There is also a related choice on applying or ignoring subdomain addressing when using your own domain.
Fortunately, that option is still there under the Domain settings, with options to ignore plus addressing, use plus addressing, or reject mail addressed to a subdomain entirely.
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Old 25 Oct 2018, 09:36 AM   #9
gardenweed
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There is an implication in this thread that one needs to create an alias to be able to apply a subdomain for that address. (For domains I own)
But I think that might be the case only if you have not created the "*" catchall for that domain.
Is this correct?

For example, say I have domain weeds.com
And I have setup the catchall alias *@weeds.com to point to my Fastmail user account.

If I create a subdomain address on the fly such as
fred@greedybank.weeds.com and give that address to greedybank ...

Then emails to fred@greedybank.weeds.com should arrive in my FM account without the requirement to setup an alias of greedybank@weeds.com.

I have tested this and it seems to work fine.

Any comments on this method?
I guess it would fail if I removed the catchall on my domain.
But other than that?
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Old 29 Oct 2018, 01:00 PM   #10
n5bb
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Arrow Details of subdomain delivery

Quote:
Originally Posted by gardenweed View Post
There is an implication in this thread that one needs to create an alias to be able to apply a subdomain for that address. (For domains I own) But I think that might be the case only if you have not created the "*" catchall for that domain. Is this correct?...
There are several issues which affect delivery of messages sent to subdomain addresses. Let's say your domain name is "example.org" (which is the reserved by the internet standards for such hypothetical discussions). I'm referring to how the Fastmail Settings>Domains setup screen shows these settings if your domain DNS records are hosted by Fastmail.
  • Your DNS records must contain records such as these to receive messages sent to your domain (user@example.org). This does not allow any domain except for "@example.org", so does not enable subdomains. In other words, the use of "example.org" as the domain (part after @) is literally exact:
    MX example.org 10 in1-smtp.messagingengine.com (TTL)
    MX example.org 20 in1-smtp.messagingengine.com (TTL)
  • In addition, your DNS records must contain records such as these to receive messages sent to any subdomain of your main domain. Of course, you could only add specific subdomains rather then the wildcard *:
    MX *.example.org 10 in1-smtp.messagingengine.com (TTL)
    MX *.example.org 20 in1-smtp.messagingengine.com (TTL)
  • By default, Fastmail enables an A record for mail.example.org which allows you to use that URL to reach the Fastmail login page. This A record disables the wildcard MX entry for the single mail.example.org subdomain for email. So Fastmail by default adds MX records for mail.example.org so you can receive email at the mail subdomain.
  • All of the above just allows a MTA server to discover the IP required to reach the Fastmail incoming MX mail server. When the MTA contacts the Fastmail MX, it announces the envelope TO address. The Fastmail MX then checks whether that mail account is active and accepts mail for that specific domain or subdomain address as you have configured your account in Settings>Domains and Settings>Aliases.
  • The first setting at the Fastmail account which affects acceptance of an email at a subdomain is in the Mail section near the bottom of the Settings>Domains screen. You can set one of the following:
    • Accept mail to anything@user.example.org and deliver it to user+anything@example.org. This means that you need an alias "user" set up at the Settings>Domains screen and messages will by default be delivered to the "anything" folder due to the plus+addressing. This is the default setting and what people usually mean in EMD when Fastmail subdomain delivery is discussed.
    • Accept mail to user@anything.example.org and deliver it to user@example.org. This means that the subdomain is ignored and the message is delivered to the "user" alias.
    • Reject mail to anything@anything.example.org. This will reject messages sent to any subdomain.
  • Note that the "user" described at the bottom of the Domains setup screen must be enabled in the Aliases setup screen as an active alias.
    • This can be due to a wildcard *@example.org alias.
    • Or this can be due to a specific alias user@example.org.
    • If there is both a wildcard alias and a specific alias, the delivery settings in the specific alias override the wildcard delivery settings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gardenweed View Post
... For example, say I have domain weeds.com And I have setup the catchall alias *@weeds.com to point to my Fastmail user account. If I create a subdomain address on the fly such as fred@greedybank.weeds.com and give that address to greedybank ... Then emails to fred@greedybank.weeds.com should arrive in my FM account without the requirement to setup an alias of greedybank@weeds.com.I have tested this and it seems to work fine. Any comments on this method?
If you have your DNS MX records at weeds.com set up to accept messages for any subdomain and the default subdomain setting at the bottom of the weeds.com Domains setup page and the *@weeds.com alias enabled in the Aliases setup page, then messages sent to anything@anythingelse@weeds.com will be delivered to the target you set for the wildcard alias. This is assuming that you don't override the wildcard alias delivery setting with a specific alias entry.

If you want to disable that one subdomain (greedybank.weeds.com), add an alias for greedybank@weeds.com and set it to reject all mail. This will disable that alias but allow others to continue working.

Bill
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Old 29 Oct 2018, 11:39 PM   #11
gardenweed
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Bill - thanks for the detailed explanation.
There are a few ideas in there for me to test out - in particular the creation of an alias to then reject unwanted emails to a subdomain.
Your contributions to this forum are much appreciated.
Cheers.
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Old 30 Oct 2018, 10:27 AM   #12
n5bb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gardenweed View Post
... the creation of an alias to then reject unwanted emails to a subdomain.
Thanks for the kind comment! The advantage of creating an alias which is disabled is that the message is rejected at the SMTP connection stage. This means that it's just a non-existing address for the sending system and does not generate any other internet traffic. If you instead try to reject an email with a rejection message, that rejection might get sent to an innocent third party if a spammer uses a fake return address -- see Joe Job.

Bill
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