Using Google for Email with a Freehostia.com Hosting Account

Kirbyzcorner.com is hosted on Freehostia.com which offers users up to 3 free email addresses, but given how much we’ve grown accustomed to using Gmail for email services, we’d really prefer to have something similar for our Kirbyzcorner.com addresses.

Enter Google Apps!  We’ve setup Kirbyzcorner.com for Google Apps, and I’m able to use Gmail for all of our kirbyzcorner.com email addresses.  There is currently a free version of the service that allows you to maintain up to 10 accounts.  Each account gets access to a Gmail based mailbox as well as several other Google apps products (Docs, Calendar, etc).

Setting this up is pretty straightforward.  First of all you need to have a domain registered.  Then head over to Google Apps (http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/group/index.html) and signup for a free account.  They’ve got great, easy to follow instructions for setting up your Apps accounts; currently you get up to 10 accounts for free.  There was verification step where you need to add a TXT record to your DNS setup that can also be performed via Freehostia’s DNS management tool.

Once Google Apps has been configured, use Freehostia’s DNS editing tools to set assign Google as your mail host.  You do this by setting the Gmail servers as your MX record.

The list of Google Apps mail servers to use can be found here http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=140034 and here http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=174125.

The only hiccup I encountered was getting Freehostia’s DNS editor to recognize ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM as a valid MX setting when using V2 of Freehostia’s admin tools.  After logging out and logging back in under the V3 control panel I was able to complete the configuration, including assigning the priorities to the different mail servers.  To get to this option, look under “My Domains ->DNS Records”.

Within another minute or so I was able to send and receive mail as well as synch my mail and calendars with my iPhone.