Google

2011-08-20

Your personal domain with Google Apps

So, you finally decided to own your domain name. Who can blame you for that? john@locke.com sounds way cooler than a generic john.locke@hotmail.com, right? ;-)

So, what are the options?

Well,  I guess the answer depends on what you want to do with it.  There are many services out there that let you register your domain. GoDaddy.com is probably one of the most famous one. I used their service and it got better over the time. If, for example,  all you want is that people reach to your blog when they type your new domain name, almost all registrars do that free of charge.

But, then what? I will tell you what I like to do with the domain names I register for personal use. Well, first thing first, I love Google services.

  • I would like to have an e-mail service for my new domain, that's managed like gmail. 
  • I would like to create accounts for my family and sometimes friends as well and I would like them to have a common set of services (like calendar, storage area, contacts etc.)

Enter "Google Apps". Google is not a domain registrar per se but they have a partnership with one and you can easily get your domain name registered and Google Apps domain created for $10/yr. Once you do that, Google automatically adjusts all the necessary DNS settings for you and if you would like to manually edit anything, you can easily do that from within Google Apps dashboard. Simple!

One added benefit is that, your personal information is hidden from WHOIS directory. Normally, you get charged extra for that. This is especially useful, if you would like to have a private domain that you only use for certain (private) activities.

For example, you could buy something like "mysecretdomain.com" and configure an e-mail like "me@mysecretdomain.com". Then, use only that e-mail when your finances are involved (bank accounts, e-bay, amazon etc.).

You might also use Google docs from that domain only to keep private stuff and use your, say, gmail account for everything else. This might also help reduce the attack surface if someone is trying to steal your known account.

If you, for example, had a weak password recovery option with your gmail and someone guessed it, they still would not know about your secret domain where you keep the important stuff, which might reduce the damage... It's a wild world out there, you can never be careful enough!

Update: Added the pic on top (originally posted by Tom Anderson)
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