Hands On: Signing Up and Configuring Outlook.com Premium with a Registered Domain

This week, Microsoft removed the preview label from its Outlook.com Premium email service, so U.S. residents can get what is the final product. (There is no word when this will become available in other countries around the world.)

The Outlook.com Premium service is just $19.95 per year until the end of March; it's regularly $49.99 annually. It allows you to take an Outlook.com based e-mail account and connect it to a domain you already have registered elsewhere. A second option allows Microsoft to facilitate the selection/registration of one through their own Custom Domain service which costs another $10 per year.

Yesterday, I told you that I would provide a detailed walk through of the sign-up and registration process to move one of my Outlook.com accounts to the premium service and this gallery will do just that along with some dialog along the way.

The process does take about 30 minutes or so, and it requires that you have access to your domain registrar account so that you can make changes to your domain settings. The first change, adding what is called a TXT record entry, helps to identify that you have access to those settings for the domain and verifies your ability to make them.  In the second phase of the process, you will be given additional DNS settings to configure a new MX record, this points mail destined to your domain to the right server/service, and then a new CNAME record which is used to set-up autodiscover so that when you add one of these new personalized email accounts to an app it will find the right server settings to make it accessible in that app/program.

How these DNS settings can be modified are different with many registrars, so it is best that you first research how to access those settings so that you can make the required changes. Otherwise, contact your registrar's technical support and ask them for assistance. I had one issue with getting the required CNAME entered so I had my host in a live chat for assistance and we were able to sort the issue out in real time.

If you choose to go with Microsoft's Custom Domain service as part of Outlook.com Premium then they will take care of the domain registration and DNS settings for you and that costs just $10 per year above your normal premium subscription fee.

No matter which way you move forward with the domain, you will be able to have up to five accounts using @yourspecialdomain.com e-mail addresses and the process even includes the ability to invite others so they can setup their own account. That process will be the subject of another walk through later this week.

The first email account you setup with Outlook.com Premium and your unique domain is also an alias for the original Outlook.com e-mail address. If this is a Microsoft Account that you use with other Microsoft services like Xbox Live, Windows 10, OneDrive, or any other Microsoft related items then that first custom domain account will also work to log into all of those services.

For instance, if your Microsoft Account is [email protected] and the first e-mail account you create when setting up Outlook.com Premium is [email protected] then either one of those can be used to log into all of those previously mentioned Microsoft services.

If you do invite others to get their own personalized email account with your customized domain, they will not be aliases for your original Outlook.com e-mail address and they will have their own accounts separate from yours.

Check out the gallery to see the steps in signing up for and setting up the Outlook.com Premium subscription for one of my Outlook.com accounts. I will provide any additional information on the gallery images to clarify what is happening in each step.

But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.

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