Taking advantage of catch-all email addresses with custom domain names

Feb 17, 2018

Setup described next is the one I have on Fastmail, so your email provider/server might not support all these features.

A significant advantage to using your own domain name for an email address is that you are not attached to a specific email hosting provider. If something goes wrong, there’s always an option to take your address somewhere else. No need to worry about notifying people you communicate with about the change. This would not be the case with your default Gmail, Outlook, Fastmail, or some other address.

Setting up email address(es) on your own domain is possible one way or another with different services, but from what I’ve seen so far, Fastmail’s custom domain support is really well implemented.

The best feature is being able to easily accept emails from all addresses on your domain. For example, you can use [email protected] or [email protected] without having to explicitly specify every single one of those. This becomes useful if you don’t want to give your primary address to everyone. Let’s say you want to sign up for a newsletter. Just come up with with a unique address for it (like [email protected]) and receive all the emails like you would before1. The advantage is that you’ll be able to filter incoming emails accordingly. Sub-domains are also well supported, so you can have addresses structured like this: <name>@newsletters.example.com.

Whenever you start getting suspicious emails or spam, you’ll know which website/person is misusing your address!

  1. You can take this one step further and use unique addresses for every website that requires you to provide an email address. Use a password manager to keep track of which email addresses were used for each website. ↩︎