At present I am using Google Apps for my domain, but I want to set up another email provider through my domain as a second MX server, in case Gmail fails (it only promises 99.99% uptime).

I tried using Outlook.com for my domain, but it won't accept other MX records while claiming ownership - which will cause downtime.

Is there any way to fix this or use another free online email provider for my domain?

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    Do you remember when you added the MX records for Google Apps to your domain records? You added five of them. What do you suppose are the chances that all five of Google's incoming mail servers will fail at the same time? – Michael Hampton Aug 21 '12 at 7:35
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    Also, if none of the SMTP servers in the MX-records is up, the mail will be queued and tried to be resent at a later time. There is extremely low risk that you will ever loose a mail. – pkhamre Aug 21 '12 at 7:40
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    I agree, mailservers keep and try to send the mail 24 hours by default. some even longer. In that case 'only' 99.99% uptime is more then enough – Goez Aug 21 '12 at 8:04

There are some redundancies built into the SMTP protocol, specifically the retry interval. I've seen this run as long as four days, so I would not be concerned about this at all. Google has multiple MX targets, so you will most-likely receive your mail, even in the event of a temporary outage. Its delivery may be delayed, but your mail won't be lost.

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