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Since CloudFlare doesn't provide E-mail forwarding I need to leave my DNS management on Namecheap.

What DNS records (A,CNAME,...) would I need to point to CloudFlare (and to where) to be able to still use their functionality whilst leaving the rest up to namecheap?

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    You seem to be asking something that's not what your question is asking -- Is your real question "How can I use Namecheap for email and DNS, but CloudFlare for web hosting?" – voretaq7 Nov 14 '12 at 1:18
  • Don't see how that is much different from the question I asked but yes that's what I mean... I want to use Namecheap for email and DNS and cloudflare to act as CDN, web hosting is located on a third provider. – Onitlikesonic Nov 14 '12 at 8:09
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I ended up using Mailgun to "solve this problem" which gives me free mail servers to do the forwarding as I needed, there doesn't seem to be any way of doing this just with namecheap and cloud flare as the problem I stated. Thanks everyone for the help.

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"Cloudflare does not make it easy for you to use their service without giving them DNS access (I think it is only possible through their API)"

You don't need to change to our DNS when activating through a CloudFlare hosting partner.

We also do offer CNAME setup to some users that can't change to our nameservers.

"Then add them to your Cloudflare zone file and this will point all mail back to your previous provider."

Yes, people would most certainly want to have all of your mail and MX records in your DNS settings at CloudFlare (if someone signed up directly). Thanks for answering this:)

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  • I see that Namecheap is a 'CloudFlare hosting partner'. If I'm already using Namecheap for domain name and dns how can I use CloudFlare without changing to CloudFlare's name servers? – pseudosavant Dec 31 '14 at 23:34
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    CloudFlare hosting partners offer an option to turn us on in their panel options (cPanel, etc.). That offering will only work on CNAME records (generally www) & not on A records (we couldn't protect the root domain in that situation). – damoncloudflare Jan 6 '15 at 19:17
  • Thanks. Sounds like it is for web hosting partners. I only use Namecheap for domain/DNS, and I definitely want the root domain using CloudFlare too. – pseudosavant Jan 7 '15 at 1:00
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You can perfectly well manage your DNS within CloudFlare. Just use its DNS manager to set your MX records to whatever they need to be.

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  • Yes, I don't have a mail server though and for most of my domains I just require a catch-all forward to an email on another domain – Onitlikesonic Nov 14 '12 at 0:36
  • So how are your MX records set up now? – Michael Hampton Nov 14 '12 at 0:42
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    I'm only making use of namecheap's redirection, as far as I can see it uses their servers "eforward[1,2,...].registrar-servers.com" which only work if the DNS is being managed on namecheap itself. Also I'm trying to avoid using my hosting (which differs from namecheap) MX Records since they are not too reliable and I plan to change soon. – Onitlikesonic Nov 14 '12 at 0:49
  • Shouldn't cloudflare work if I just forward them somehow the A and CNAME records? I just can't seem to find out where to forward them to... – Onitlikesonic Nov 14 '12 at 0:50
  • The problem is if you set 3rd party DNS, namecheap removes the ability to setup email forwarding from their panel. If I was adventurous I'd see if one could setup forwarding, THEN switch the NS and see if it kept working... I'm not. – jb510 Feb 8 '15 at 5:51
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This is not easily possible. When you setup CloudFlare, it will transfer all your current records. It is usually an on or off kind of thing. You can exempt each A or CNAME record from Cloudflare by clicking the orange flag. With namecheap, they probably rarely change their MX records. I would switch, it should still work, just make sure all your records are identical (which CloudFlare should do for you anyway).

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Cloudflare does not make it easy for you to use their service without giving them DNS access (I think it is only possible through their API). Regardless, the better solution here is to keep DNS with Cloudflare and simply point your mail (MX) records back to where they are now. You can source what your current MX records are by performing 'dig mx domain.com' in a unix terminal or some other service to find MX records. Then add them to your Cloudflare zone file and this will point all mail back to your previous provider.

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OK, if you have a website (e.g. on GitHub pages) for a custom domain on a DNS provider (e.g. Namecheap) and you want to put the CloudFlare CDN / HTTPS proxy in front of it and have mail forwarding work, this is the order of tasks you need to perform:

  1. Set up Mailgun for your email forwarding – as Onitlikesonic wrote, this is a good starting tutorial
  2. After you have these new MX/TXT rules in your DNS provider then follow these instructions to set up CloudFlare and have it scan all the DNS rules
  3. You might have to add missing rules (the 2nd mail server, 2nd TXT rule), so be sure to check the Advanced DNS settings for your domain on Namecheap
  4. Switch Namecheap to a custom DNS (the "Domain" tab) and enter the name servers CloudFlare provides
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