Frequently Asked Question
Can I use my own domain with Countermail?
Last Updated 3 years ago
Yes, if you have your own domain, you can transfer all email handling to our server.
We can not host web pages for your domain (A-record), we can only host the email handling (MX-record) for your domain.
- You can't register domains through us, you must first do this through a domain registrator, we recommend Active-domain or Namecheap for common TLD names, for more unusal countries (TLDs), we recommend EuroDNS.
- To be able to create a domain user you must first have a premium account
- You purchase the domain option the same way you purchase premium services
- You can purchase multiple domains to a single premium account
Our Rules and Regulations for using your own domain:
- We do not allow catch-all addresses, due to abuse. Using a catch-all address is never good, because you will receive much more spam emails. If you need multiple incoming forwarders, you can create identities for your domain instead of using a catch-all.
- The address firstname.lastname@example.org will always go to Countermail's own abuse-account.
- If your domain DNS MX record does not point to our server, your domain will be deleted from your account within 48 hours. If your domain was deleted, you have to pay again if you still want to use the domain option. If you have an explanation that you can prove to us why this happened, we might re-add the same domain name for free, but only if it was deleted maximum 7 days ago, there are no exceptions for our domain rules
- You can not use domains which can be used for Phishing. If you try to use a domain for Phishing, we will close your account permanently.
- If your domain name is very similar to some other well established internet service, it may be removed because of the risk of phishing abuse
- You can not use your domain to send out mass emails outside your domain
- Unsolicited emails cannot be sent to an individual subscriber unless prior permission has been obtained or unless there is a previous relationship between the parties.
The price for using your own domain is a $15 one-time setup fee per domain (not per user). So you only have to pay once for each domain, there is no annual cost, only a one-time fee. But this does not mean that you can change the domain name as you wish. The setup-fee is locked for a specific domain name. If you later want to change domain name, you have to buy a new domain option.
If you want different logins (separate accounts with separate Inboxes and keys) you need to purchase one premium account per login. We have discounts if you buy 5 premium accounts (or more).
As a domain administrator, you can:
- Create unlimited identities* for your own domain, e.g email@example.com
- Enable/disable accounts
- Add/delete Admins
- Add/delete identities for other domain-users
- View status or your accounts
Important! Learn the difference between a Domain-Identity* and a Domain-user
A domain-identity* (domain-alias) is a anonymous forwarder to your Countermail account, you can both send and receive email from/to a domain-identity, but it shares the same Login-credentials and share the same Inbox and data as your main Countermail-account, and if you add the domain-identity to your PGP-keypair, it shares the same keypair (optional).
You still login with your normal Countermail account-name. You can create unlimited with domain-identities. Domain-identities are free, no extra costs.
You can see your own domain-identities under Settings / Identities. You can also add & delete your own domain-identities under Settings / Identities. Click on the '+'-button at the bottom of the middle column, enter the full email address in the right window where you can see the email-field. Click on Save.
A domain-user is a separate account under your own domain, the domain-user has its own login-credentials, its own Inbox, and its own keypair. It has no special limitations (as a domain-identity has). It's like a separate premium account. The first 10 days are free, then you need to pay for the domain-user (if you want to continue using it). With a domain-user, you must login with "firstname.lastname@example.org" and with its own password.
You can add & remove domain-users under Settings / Domain panel. Warning! A domain-user requires its own premium subscription payment, so you should not delete a paid domain-user. If you want to keep the premium subscription but delete the domain-user, you should contact us first so we can transfer the premium time to the new account.
If you have a separate domain user, you must login with the full name: "email@example.com" to our webmail.
If you only have domain identities*, you login as usual with your normal Countermail address.
* = earlier we called it "alias" and "aliases", now we call it "identity" and "identities"
Domain and DNS setup instructions
Remember that you can't register domains through us, you must first do this through a domain registrator, we recommend Active-domain or Namecheap for common TLD names, for more unusal countries (TLDs), we recommend EuroDNS.
These are the first steps you need to do after the domain option purchase:
1. Log out from your Countermail account and log in again
2. Go to Settings / Identities and add all domain Identities you want on your domain
3. Login to your Domain registrar, and change the DNS MX record in your domain registrars control panel, click on the links below to see sample pictures from some Domain registrators:
ActiveDomain, GoDaddy, EuroDNS
DNS MX record:
Before we can receive mail for your domain, you will need to configure the DNS MX records. Mail Exchanger (MX) records are the part of DNS records which direct email to specific email servers. You can change these through your web host or domain registrars control panel. The MX record you should add/change for CounterMail look like this:
DNS record type: MX
Host (hostname): @
Server name (Points to): db1.countermail.com
Priority level: 10
TTL: 86400 (seconds)
You should remove all other DNS MX records for your domain, only keeping the above. Changing the MX records will not affect your existing web hosting (home page). It is not necessary to point other DNS records (e.g. A records) to a different IP address, or to transfer existing web hosting.
Now you have to wait until the MX-change is finished on your registrators DNS-servers, depending on the DNS-cache, it could take several hours.
When the MX change is done, all emails will come directly to our server, it will not pass your domain registrator servers.
Below are some other DNS records that we highly recommend that you add to your domain DNS, to avoid that your outgoing email ends up in the recipients Spam/Junk folder.
DNS TXT/SPF record:
You should also add a DNS TXT/SPF-record for your domain to avoid that your email ends up in recipients Spam/Junk folder. You add the DNS TXT-record in the same place you added your DNS MX record.
DNS record type: TXT
TXT/Host/Name: blank (leave empty, which should default to your own domain name, eg. "mydomain.com")
TXT Value: "v=spf1 include:_spf.countermail.com mx ~all"
TTL: 86400 (seconds)
You should also add a DNS TXT-record for your domain to avoid that your email ends up in recipients Spam/Junk folder. You add the DNS TXT-record in the same place you added your DNS MX record. After you added the DKIM record you should email to "firstname.lastname@example.org" so we can verify it.
DNS record type: TXT
TXT name: default._domainkey
TXT value: "v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=MIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUAA4GNADCBiQKBgQDleuhcWI2zOP0LPrxEMpWxGrDTZB2WxCzaYp2xyD/E2Ul5xaL4ApqmoR251L5F++x7qnymbXGI+vVrZdXtFBAXTw+erJYYb88I3fQBc4SaPeJlCKiTUrKGypTUipo+Ua5DF1XR6RkIHimQPJZqlVihR/cUrYqOVi0yszN5n0QmewIDAQAB"
TXT ttl: 86400
Turn on DMARC by adding a DMARC policy to your domain's DNS records to get info about your domains message delivery results. You add the DNS TXT-record in the same place you added your DNS MX record. Make sure you have created the "email@example.com" alias/identity!
DNS record type: TXT
TXT name: _dmarc
TXT value: "v=DMARC1; p=none; rua=mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org;"
TXT ttl: 86400
Third party testing tools (for both DNS MX and other tests)Please see this link for testing tools: