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Setting email up under Mac OS 9 and earlier has become much more difficult with modern security standards, however it is still possible. To setup an email account you will need your own domain name, email host, and an SMTP delivery service.

Prerequisites

Domain Name

A domain name is a reference that is typically attached to a website e.g. 'www.example.com' is a domain name. In this guide you will need to purchase a domain name which typically cost between $10-$30/year. If you don't need a .com domain you can get free domains from Freenom. For the purpose of this guide It is not necessary to connect your domain to a website, but you can do this at a later date. A domain name can be registered at any domain registrar such as Namecheap or Freenom.

Email Hosting

You will also need to use an email hosting service. An email host is a service that can create an email account (bob@yourdomain.com), keep all of your mail on their servers and allow your email application to check these servers for new mail, or sending mail. I have chosen to use MXRoute since it's one of the cheapest email hosting options, is easy to use, and they provide excellent service and support. The beginner plan costs $30USD/year which lets you use an unlimited number of domain names, and offers 10GB storage. They also have a lifetime plan with a one-off payment option.

SMTP Delivery

MXRoute and most other email hosts use servers that enforce strict security protocols for SMTP on their servers. This means that you will be able to receive emails, but not send them because Outlook Express doesn't understand the newer security protocols. For SMTP delivery we will use SMTP2Go. SMTP2GO can handle all of the outgoing messages for the email account, and offer more flexibility over security.
Note: If you're going to use email under Mac OS 9 you must accept that all email transmissions are insecure. There is currently no way to implement modern security protocols with this system.

Services Setup

  1. First you need to register a domain name. You can do this at Namecheap or any other domain registrar
  2. Next create an account at SMTP2Go
  3. In your SMTP2Go account, go to Sender Domains, then add your domain name
  4. You will be given three CNAME records that you need to add to your domain's DNS settings. Go to Namecheap, or whatever domain registrar you used, and add these records to your domain's DNS records
  5. Go back to your SMTP2Go account and navigate to the SMTP Users section and add a user. To make things easier I made my credentials the same as what my email account will be.
    Example:
    username: bob, password: the same password I will use for the email account
  6. Create an account at MXRoute or any other email hosting service - the following steps assume you have chosen MXRoute
  7. Create your first email account and take note of the following:
    - Your new email address
    - Your password for the email address
    - The server used for the mail account e.g. blizzard.mxrouting.net
  8. When you create an email account, you will be given the following records that you will also need to add to your domain's DNS records as explained in step four:
    - 2x MX records
    - DKIM (TXT) record
    - SPF (TXT) record

Outlook Express Setup

After completing the above you can now set up the email account in Outlook Express. When creating an account make sure you select the POP protocol when asked.

  1. Go to the accounts preferences and create a new account. Enter all of the relevant personal information (Account name, Name, Email address)
  2. Receiving mail settings:
    - Enter your email address as the Account ID
    - Enter the server name you were given from MXRoute as the POP server e.g. blizzard.mxrouting.net
    - Enter the password for your email account set on MXRoute
  3. Under Receiving mail settings click the advanced options button at the bottom of this section.
    Make sure all options are unchecked and the default POP port is set to 110
  4. Sending mail settings:
    - Enter the server name you were given from MXRoute e.g. blizzard.mxrouting.net
  5. Under the Sending mail section click the advanced options button
    - Make sure SMTP service requires secure connection (SSL) is unchecked
    - Check the option Override default SMTP port and set it to '587'
    - Check the option SMTP server requires authentication and log on using the username and password set in SMTP2Go
  6. Save your account settings and test both sending and receiving an email.
General Settings

General Settings

POP Settings

POP Settings

SMTP Settings

SMTP Settings

Hopefully everything should work!

This guide was checked and updated on 2nd June 2021

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