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Here's the scenario:

I set up a VM on Azure - we'll call it I installed IIS and got my website working by hitting the URL.

I have a custom domain name I purchased a long time ago - I need to go to the DNS settings to change the A attribute of to point to the public IP for, so that any (*) incoming requests will be routed to the public IP of my Azure VM. Okay great, this works fine, I've done it before.

Here's where I'm stumped. I need to set up email. Specifically, a mailbox utilizing my domain name. I would like to have an email address that can use SMTP/IMAP for to start. I read about SendGrid for an outgoing SMTP service, and I read something about having to set up an MX record in DNS to handle the mail service.

QUESTION: If the official name for my VM is but I have my domain name pointed to its public IP, would the email addresses I set up be set up as, or is there a way to set it up to have a mailbox, and if so where would I start? Would you recommend SendGrid for the SMTP portion, and another provider for the incoming mail? I really need some help here, I'm stumped!

share|improve this question
Honestly, if you're not going to be running a mail server full-time, I would recommend that you go for an "all-in-one solution". Have all the time-consuming hassles of keeping of blacklists, dealing with spam, etc. be handled by them. Since you're already on the Microsoft/Azure trail, you might as well get an Exchange e-mail address linked to your Microsoft account with Office 365. You can have this run off your "custom domain" and all DNS/MX records are handled by Office365. – akseli Feb 4 at 16:03
up vote 3 down vote accepted
  1. There's no such thing as a custom domain name, regardless of what the marketing material or vendor states.

  2. Your domain name is not, it's just Your web site is

  3. If you want to receive email at email addresses then you need to create an MX record in the DNS zone that "points" to whatever email server/service you choose.

  4. Product/service recommendations are off-topic. Research a few email hosting providers and make a choice. Then follow their instructions on how to configure your MX record. You could install your own email server on your VPS. In this case the MX record in the DNS zone would "point" to

share|improve this answer
Thank you... by custom, I mean one that I come up with and register on my own as opposed to an automatically created one (from Azure). Thanks for the information. – Mike Marks Jul 19 '13 at 15:53
I went with's email service - they allow you to point to their email servers via an MX record. – Mike Marks Jul 19 '13 at 20:53

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