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A few days ago Google announced that the users from the "G Suite legacy free edition" would need to switch to the paid edition before May 1, 2022, to maintain their services and accounts working. Because of this, many people are now considering alternatives.
One use case for G Suite legacy was handling email for custom domains.
In September, during Birthday Week, we announced Cloudflare Email Routing. This service allows you to create any number of custom email addresses you want on top of the domains you already have with Cloudflare and automatically forward the incoming traffic to any destination inboxes you wish.
Email Routing was designed to be privacy-first, secure, powerful, and very simple to use. Also, importantly, it’s available to all our customers for free.
The closed beta allowed us to keep improving the service and make it even more robust, compliant with all the technical nuances of email, and scalable. Today we're pleased to report that we have over two hundred thousand zones testing Email Routing in production, and we started the countdown to open beta and global availability.
With Email Routing, you can effectively start receiving Emails in any of your domains for any number of custom addresses you want and forward the messages to any existing destination mailboxes. We will automatically set up everything for you, and you can have it running in minutes today, at no cost.
Here's a step-by-step tutorial on how you can start receiving emails to example.com, forward them to Gmail (or any other email provider) at [email protected].
Using Cloudflare Email Routing with Gmail
First, login to your Cloudflare Dashboard and select your example.com zone. Click "Email (Beta)" in the left navigation panel, and request to join the Beta program.
Today it still takes a couple of days to get approved into the beta, but feel free to ping us on the Discord server or community forum if you can't wait.
Once you get invited to join Email Routing, we will take you to our three-step easy configuration wizard. The first step is to define the custom address [email protected] and the destination address [email protected]. Don’t worry too much, you can modify or add others later.
This step will trigger sending a confirmation email to [email protected] so that we can prove that the destination Inbox is yours. You need to open Gmail and press the verification link.
Then, on the last step, you need to configure your zone MX and SPF DNS records. We will do this automatically for you. Just press "Add records automatically". If you already have MX or SPF configured, we will guide you through the conflicts we find and help you solve them.
That’s it, Email Routing is now configured, and you can start sending emails to [email protected] and read them at [email protected] in Gmail.
Gmail address conventions
Gmail and G suite, now Google Workspace, support two email address conventions that help organize your messages and fight spam.
The first one is the plus ("+") sign. If you append a "+" sign and any combination of words after your email address, it will still get delivered to your inbox. For example, you can use [email protected], and it will get delivered at [email protected] and automatically get tagged “finance”. You can then use this to set up filters in Gmail.
The second one is Gmail ignores dots (".") in addresses entirely. For instance, sending an email to [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected] is all the same.
If you want to use these conventions with Cloudflare Email Routing, you can. Enable the "Catch-all address" feature and forward every incoming address for which there's no other rule configured to the verified destination address of your choice ([email protected] in this example).
This is only one small example of what you can do with Email Routing today. We hope you find it helpful if you're looking for a new home for your email. For more information see our documentation pages.
Email needs more innovation. We're immensely excited about Email Routing and our ideas for it in the roadmap. Expect improved metrics and advanced routing options in our rules engine in the near future.
Feel free to join the Beta today and ping us in our Discord server or community forum if you can't wait; we'll do our best to prioritize the community requests before we open the service.