Zoho is an Indian company that offers, among other things, Zoho webmail: free and without advertising, where you can also use your own domain name, for a professional looking email address.
Tip 1: Own domain name?
Before we start, let's talk about own domain name. You can already have a .nl domain name for a few euros a year. For example, you can use your last name as a domain, something that is often still available. You can then choose first name@last name.nl as your e-mail address. Another variation is your full name as domain and then as e-mail address for example [email protected] or again your first [email protected]. If the .nl name is already taken, you might want to see if there is another domain available with a new generic main domain, such as .email, .xyz or something else. You may pay a little more for this, but that will not be more than one or two tens per year. There are various parties online where you can register your domain name. Sometimes there are even promotions where you can take out a domain for free for a year, but watch out for catches. Also read: 20 super useful Gmail tips.
Want to give Zoho Mail just a try? That's also possible: you can just create a Zoho email address with @zoho.com and later switch to an address of your own domain. Advantages of Zoho are that it is free, there are no ads and Zoho respects your privacy. For example, even the NSA is having serious trouble cracking Zoho's strong encryption, according to Snowden documents from 2015. It is unclear whether it has already succeeded, although it seems unlikely.
Before you actually start, it is advisable to have already registered your desired domain name and to be logged in to the party where you bought your domain name, so that you can quickly adjust the DNS settings.
Tip 2: Sign in to Zoho
Let's get started by signing up with Zoho. To do this, go to www.zoho.com/mail. Then click on the big red button in the middle Get Started Now. On the page that has now appeared, click on the far right Free on the option Sign Up. Enter your domain name in the top text box and click the button Add Domain. It is now necessary to fill in some details, most of them are self-explanatory. Bee Email Address enter the e-mail address you would like to have. This address also directly becomes the account you use to sign up with Zoho. Top up Contact Email a current email address where Zoho can reach you. Finally click Sign Up. Your account will be created in seconds and you will receive an email at the contact address provided. click on Setup [domain name] in Zoho.
Tip 3: Verify domain
Of course, Zoho needs to make sure that you really own the registered domain. For this, the DNS records of the domain must be adjusted. That may sound tricky, but it's just copying and pasting some text and clicking Save. If you just clicked Setup [domain name] in Zoho, you are now on the page called Verify Domain. There are three ways to verify your domain: CNAME and TXT require you to adjust the DNS, or you can upload an HTML file if you also host a website on your domain. We use the CNAME method, since it is very fast and you will have to adjust the DNS settings again anyway, so you can do it already.
Here's what you do: You log in to the party where you registered your domain and search for the DNS settings. You often have to go to the settings of your domain name and usually the manual of the company describes how to adjust the DNS settings. In this case, we need to add a CNAME record to the DNS records. You do this as follows: choose at Type in front of CNAME. Top up Name (sometimes called Host, Alias or CNAME) enter the value listed on Zoho's website and fill in Address enter the address zmverify.zoho.com. If your hoster asks for a TTL, you can leave it at the default value or enter the value 617. A priority is also not necessary. Save the DNS record. In Zoho, click Verify by CNAME, the green button at the bottom and click Verify Now. If the verification is successful, "Congratulations! You have verified your domain [domain name]" will appear. Then there is a username followed by your actual username. click on Create Account and the first mailbox is created. We are not done with the DNS records yet. In order to actually receive mail, we will have to adjust it again later.
Tip 4: Additional users
Before we do that, you may want to add additional users to your domain name. With the free version you can add up to 10 users. For example, the entire family can use the same domain name. Or if you have a small business yourself, you can also give colleagues access. Click on Process to Add Users. If you don't want this, click on Skip and proceed to tip 5.
You can add a user in two ways: the first is to fill in all the requested information yourself and assign an email address to someone. click on OK if you did. You then have to transfer the username and password to the user yourself. You can also invite the user by clicking at the bottom of Email ID enter an existing email address. The user can then enter their own details and create a Zoho account, where they can also choose the email address themselves. click on OK if you did. Left on Add User you can then add more users. click on Back to Setup when you're done adding users and want to continue setting up your domain name.