Why You Should Think About Using iCloud+ Custom Email Domains

If you’re not using your own custom domain name, you should be

Key Takeaways

  • iCloud+ will let you use your own custom domain names with the iCloud email service.
  • Setup is easy, and you can test the beta right now. 
  • Owning your email domain is essential for owning your online identity.
An empty Inbox on an iPhone.

Solen Feyissa / Unsplash

A personal email domain is an easy way to safeguard your future communication on the entire internet. And now Apple has made it super easy to set up.

Users of iCloud+ can now add their own custom domain name to their iCloud mail. That is, instead of being kool_kim1988@iCloud.com, you can be kim@koolkim.com. And that’s not just vanity, or being more, you know, kool.

If you want to leave Apple, or Gmail, or any other free mail provider, you leave your email address behind too. All future mail to that address, including security messages and more, will disappear forever. Your own domain, on the other hand, comes along with you, wherever you end up. 

"Using a custom domain has several benefits that makes it an attractive option. First and foremost, your domain is yours; you own it, you manage it, you can even sell it if you choose to. Your domain name is yours for life, provided that you renew it yearly," information systems administrator Zachary Harper told Lifewire via email.

Custom Mail

When you register a domain name, something like Lifewire.com, you can use it for email as well as for a website. But you need a host for that email. You can sign up with one of many email providers, like Hey.com or Fastmail, and pay them to host your mail. Even Google lets you pay to do this. You then enter the details of your new domain name, and any mail sent to it ends up in your inbox. 

"Using a custom domain has several benefits that makes it an attractive option."

If you decide to move to a new provider, you just transfer the domain. All your new email now comes to your new email service. This has advantages, most obviously the increase of security and control. 

And now, Apple will host your email domain for you. This will be a feature of iCloud+ in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey and can currently be tested on beta.iCloud.com. iCloud+ is just Apple’s new name for paid iCloud services. If you are already paying for extra iCloud storage, or you’ve signed up for Apple One, then you already have iCloud+.

Advantages

For iCloud+ users, this is great news. For no extra cost, you can have a custom domain name. iCloud Mail isn’t as flexible or full-featured as something like Fastmail, but that’s not the point. The point is that it’s almost zero effort for you to start using a custom domain. And you should.

Not only does a custom domain give you control and ownership over your identity on the internet, but it also looks a lot better on job applications or even for general use. If you’re trying to set up a business, and your email is still the same naughtypuppy@hotmail.com you’ve been using since your teens, then you’re not going to get much trade. Or not the right kind of trade, anyway. 

Overhead view of someone's hands typing on a a MacBook.

Cytonn Photography / Unsplash

And even if you are setting up a business as some amazing dog whisperer, then the email address big-woof@naughtypuppy.com looks much more professional, right? Plus, when you own that sweet domain, you can use it for your website, too. 

Hooking It all Together

There’s one other step to take before hooking this up, and that’s to get a domain name. For that, you’ll need to find a domain registrar, and then you need to pay them for the domain of your choice.

"As of right now," says Harper, "Apple is not a domain registrar. You need to get your domain name from an official domain registrar."

The setup procedure at Apple is the same as anywhere else, but Apple has streamlined it to make the process more straightforward and less confusing. 

But once you’re done, you’re done, and you can start enjoying that sweet feeling of online exclusivity and not looking like some noob who doesn’t know how to quit Hotmail.

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