Do you own a small business that was relying heavily on Google Apps and now Google Apps is no longer free and you have to pay for the service? Perhaps you were hosting your email on a server and running out of space? Well, there’s a solution and it’s from Microsoft (we know some think that Microsoft means $, but this time it’s a free solution, free as the air you breath). Well, you and every one in your small business up to 50 can enjoy email hosting, Maps, SkyDrive (Excel web application, Word web application, Photos), Calendar and Profiles all for free. This article will be a step by step guide to show you how to take advantage of this exciting and powerful free tool;
Step 1: Before you do anything you have to have a domain name and if you don’t have one yet, use a service like GoDaddy, Hover or Domain.com to create register your domain name. After that go to the following link https://domains.live.com/Signup/SignupDomain.aspx and click on “Add domain” tab.
Step 2: You will be prompted by a window where you should enter your registered domain name, also leave the “Set up Outlook.com for my domain” option checked.
Step 3: A new window will prompt asking you to assign a domain administrator, in this step you’ll choose the administrator who would be responsible for the entire Outlook domain account you’re creating. There are two options in this step either choose an existing account or create a new account (you can choose any, both are correct). Here, we’ll assume that you already have an account, so click the continue tab.
Step 4: After signing in with your Outlook account, a window will prompt asking you to review the information and make sure that everything is alright, click on the “I Accept” tab if everything is fine.
Step 5: Before starting this step you have to open a new tab in your browser and login to your domain provider (e.g. GoDaddy, Hover, etc.). You shall go back and forth in the following steps between the Outlook.com tab and the domain service provider tab in the browser so follow carefully.
Step 6: In the Outlook tab and after step 4 you’ll be prompted by the following Window which contains mail setup information.
Step 7: You will have then to verify your account through an MX change, in this step you’ll reroute your emails from the domain you’ve registered to the new Outlook.com domain. Please note that the following steps differs from one domain provider to another so if you’re not sure please call the customers support for your domain service provider.
Step 8: Now go to the tab of the domain service provider in your browser (you’ve opened it already from step 5) and Go to the domain DNS settings and add mail MX points to Hotmail server. You have to add MX records as shown in the following figure and save the DNS settings.
Step 9: Again in the Outlook.com tab you shall find the TXT details as shown in the following figure:
Step 10: In the domain service provider tab you should use the above TXT details to fill in the following and save the DNS setting:
Step 11: In the Outlook.com tab you shall find the messenger configuration data as shown in the following figure:
Step 12: In the domain service provider tab use the above data to fill the SRV details and save the DNS settings. Then click on the refresh button at the top of the page. Once your DNS setting are ready, it shows Active status.
Step 13: Once your account is verified and active you go to your dashboard and click on the domain under which you want to create email/account and you’ll be prompt by the following window and you’ll have to fill the form:
Congratulations, this was your last step and now you can enjoy all of the benefits of this robust service for free.