Category Archives: Web

Using Outlook.com to send and receive other email accounts or domains

One way of using outlook.com in order to receive from other domains, you can setup the domain as a custom domain using domains.live.com as per my other blog post at http://www.msdonkey.com/web/using-a-custom-domain-with-outlook-com/ (N.B. Microsoft have disabled this, so it is not possible to use custom domains).

There is a neater way of doing this if you have an account at outlook.com which you use as your main account, and have other domains or email addresses which you also need to access. This enables you to send and receive emails from within the outlook.com web interface, as well as from most mobile device email clients e.g. Android, Windows Phone, and IOS.

This approach is also beneficial when using mobile devices, since you can still send and receive email from the other addresses, but you only have to add one account to the device. This saves time when setting up the device, but more importantly saves battery since the devices only have to communicate with one server.

To summarise, the method outlined achieves the following:

      • Setup your other email address to forward to outlook. This is the best method to receive emails as quickly as possible (near instant).
      • Setup Outlook to send emails through your provider, without ‘Sent on behalf of’ text.

Receiving emails in Outlook 

The best way of doing this, if you are able to setup an email forwarder at your ISP or hosting provider, is to just forward on the emails from your other account. Configuration steps will vary, but if you have you own domain this normally involves going into your domain hosting control panel, creating a mailbox, and then setting up a forwarder for it. I recommend doing it this way over using Outlook to fetch your emails, because your email delivery will then be instant, rather than relying on Outlook to poll your emails every 30 minutes or so.

Once done, test it by sending an email to the new address, and see if it arrives in your outlook.com mailbox which you have forwarded it to. That then takes care of the receiving mail part.

You can also do this easily in gmail for example, but going into Settings, and then Forwarding and POP/IMAP, and clicking on the ‘Add a forwarding address’ button.

Sending emails in Outlook.com

Now, how do you configure the account so that you can send email from the account also using outlook.com?

      • At Outlook.com, click on the settings cog icon, and then Options.
      • Click on Your email accounts
      • Now, you have already setup Receive using email forwarding, so just click on: Add a send-only account
      • Enter the name, for instance it might be a company generic mailbox e.g. Company Sales, and enter the email address e.g. sales@domain.com
      • Click Advanced options (don’t enter a password)
      • Now there are 2 options for sending email:

OutlookSMTPSetting

      1. Send emails using Outlook’s server – this option will show your normal email address (on behalf of the other address). This is not ideal and can be confusing for recipients of the email, because they see both email addresses. So I do not recommend this.
      1. Send emails using your provider’s server – this option will send the email using SMTP through your providers SMTP servers. Contact your email provider where the domain is hosted, and find out what SMTP settings they need.

I would advise using the latter option if at all possible, it is by far the best option. To do this, you will need to provide details from your hosting provider, like this:

OutlooksSMTP

 

Make sure that you use the correct port and encryption details – if you don’t want to use SSL then clear the box and use port 25. The account details should be those that are set with your provider. If you add gmail or another account which Outlook is aware of, it will add the SMTP server details automatically.

Once everything is setup, your accounts will be shows as send only in outlook.com. This is because you are only using outlook to send the emails, you receive emails by using the forwarder setting from your other account.

The great thing is that other mail clients using outlook.com, such as the Outlook app on Android, and the Windows 8 mail app, will allow you to send email from the other addresses. Using Android with the outlook app from Microsoft, when you create a new email, click the 3 dot more icon, and then choose ‘change ‘from’ address.

Using Windows 8.1, when you have created a new email, just click on the More text under the To and CC fields, and then  choose your email address from the drop down at the top.

 Sort incoming email into folders

If you want to keep email from different addresses separate (for example, your personal address and business address), Outlook.com can automatically sort incoming mail into different folders as per http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/outlook/gmail

 

      1. Click the Options icon, then click More mail settings.
      1. Under Customizing       Outlook,       click Rules for sorting new messages, and then click New.
      2. Under Step 1:
        On the first list, select To or Cc line.
        On the second list, select contains.
        In the text box, enter the address for the email you want to sort.
      3. Under Step 2, do one of the following:
        – If the folder already exists, select Move to and select the folder from the list.
        – If the folder doesn’t exist yet, select Move to a       new folder, and enter the folder name.
        – You can also automatically forward, delete, add or remove a category, or flag the message.
      4. Click Save.

I would also highly recommend that you setup 2-step authentication in your main accounts (outlook or gmail) in order to secure them further.

Google chrome standalone offline installer

Chrome can be difficult to install on a machine which is not connected to the internet. You may ask why you would want a web browser installed a machine which cannot browse the web, but it is often required for browsing internal URLs, or testing a web server internally, for example.

The normal installer downloads a small installer, which then downloads the actual browser. This also fails through a proxy server. Luckily you can download the standalone installer using this link:

http://www.google.com/chrome/eula.html?standalone=1

Using a custom domain with outlook.com

If you have your own domain, you can use the new Outlook.com web interface to access and store your emails. This also works with the old hotmail interface of course.

You will need an admin live ID. So if you have a live ID, use that to setup the custom domain. You will then sign in using that account if you want to manage the custom domain.

  1. Go to http://domains.live.com/
  2. Click on Add domain.
  3. Enter your domain and click Continue.
  4. Set the MX record as instructed using the DNS tools where your domain is hosted.
  5. Once you have created the MX record, go back and click on Refresh. I found I could do this immediately, seconds after creating the MX record.
  6. It then takes you to Member accounts. Now you can create user names @ your custom domain.
  7. Now you go to hotmail.com or outlook.com and sign in using your custom domain.

The interesting thing is that this also means you can use a device with activesync support to now easily get push emails on the move – you don’t need to configure anything else on the domain. Autodiscover even works – it is like have a cloud based Exchange server for free, you just have to put up with a few ads. For instance on a Windows phone or iphone, just add it as a hotmail type account with your custom domain email address, simple.

Note when creating the MX record: with some ISPs you will need to put a . at the end of the record, for instance:

982059051987e84fasdasdasd5d44.pamx1.hotmail.com.

Notice that it has a period or full stop at the end. To check if it has been created correctly, do an nslookup as follows:

  1. Start Command Prompt.
  2. At a command prompt, type nslookup, and then press ENTER.
  3. For TXT record, type Set type=txt, and then press ENTER. For MX record, type Set type=mx, and then press ENTER.
  4. Type the domain name that which you are trying to verify, and then press ENTER.

From <http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2515404>

 It should end in hotmail.com, and not have e.g. domain.com at the end.

Non-authoritative answer:

domain.com  MX preference = 10, mail exchanger = 982059051987e84fb9118ff625d44.pamx1.hotmail.com.domain.com

That is wrong! If you get this, add a period at the end when you add the MX record.

It should be:

Non-authoritative answer:

domain.com   MX preference = 10, mail exchanger = 982059051987e84fb9118ff625d44.pamx1.hotmail.com

Another problem I encountered was where users had already created a Microsoft account using the email address. So if they were already using this email address and created a Microsoft account for some reason, when you try to add the account, it will say that the users already exists, and asks if you want to import it. This is fine, but it means that the user has to know their password! If they don’t, they won’t be able to logon  obviously. So I would suggest before moving to outlook.com or hotmail.com, if the mail domain is already in use, you check with all users if they have created a Microsoft account. You could also test by trying to logon using any old password – it will say ‘the Microsoft account does not exist’ if there isn’t one.

The problem I had was that it asked me to import an existing account for someone, who didn’t have one! This confused me for some time, no one had ever set a password, so it was impossible to login. There were no password reset options (e.g. secret question etc.). In my case what I did was remove and re-add the account 3 or 4 times, and suddenly it added it without importing and asked me to create the password.

So I finally got everything up and running, Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) support is great – much easier to setup on iPhone, iPad etc. – just choose a new Hotmail account and enter the custom email address.

The one caveat with doing this, is that you cannot use the mail client on OSX to sync using Exchange – Hotmail or outlook.com doesn’t support direct Exchange connections, only EAS connections from mobile devices. This means you can only use POP or IMAP from Apple Mail, which won’t do contact or calendar sync. It is rumoured that Office 2013 on OSX will support this properly, akin to Outlook 2013 on PC.

If you need that, I would suggest using a custom domain with Google. Personally I just prefer the outlook.com interface.

The interesting thing is that this also means you can use a device with ActiveSync support to now easily get push emails on the move – you don’t need to configure anything else on the domain. For instance on a Windows phone, just add it as a Hotmail account with your custom domain email address, simple.

I would recommend this for anyone wanting a first class email solution for a personal custom domain, or even a very small business solution for zero cost.

SkyDrive sync on Windows 8

So those of you running Windows 8 might be wondering, how do I sync my files to SkyDrive?

The answer (sort of) is that you download the newly available Windows Essentials 2012 beta, and specifically install the SkyDrive app. This is a desktop app (not Metro), but the difference between this and the built in SkyDrive app is that you can actually sync files. The built in app is just a SkyDrive browser.

What this doesn’t do however is sync existing folders. It basically gives you a SkyDrive location in Windows explorer, so you can see your SkyDrive files, sync them to the local computer, and copy files up to SkyDrive. This is not a replacement for Mesh unfortunately.

1. Download Windows Essentials 2012 from here:

http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/windowsexperience/archive/2012/08/07/introducing-the-new-windows-photo-gallery-and-movie-maker.aspx

2. Choose the components you want to install when you download. Once installed, run SkyDrive (you will now have 2 when you do a Start-search.

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3. Click the Get Started button, obviously. What it does now is sets up a local folder that will sync.

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The default location is in your profile. You can change this, but it will still create a SkyDrive folder. So you cannot for instance sync an entire folder. This is a pretty big set back for those used to Mesh. A final screen lets you know that you can retrieve files from the PC if you have forgotten them and your PC is on, so this means other files that are not in SkyDrive, they could be anywhere.

When install is complete, what you then end up with is a SkyDrive location you can dump things into in Explorer. When you click on the folder, you see all of your files on SkyDrive. So this is like an explorer view for all your SkyDrive stuff, the benefit being that you could then create a new folder or just drag and drop stuff in and out of SkyDrive.

What this is lacking is syncing of existing content. You could restructure important documents to move them all to SkyDrive, which I would recommend, but this is still limited. What if you have a bit photo folder you want to backup, or a game which is saving content to specific location and you can’t change that? This could be the gap that SkyDrive Pro fills, part of Office 2013.

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