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Question   What can aliases be used for?
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Top 5 in this Area:
1. What can aliases be used for?
2. What's the difference between aliasing and email forwarding?
3. Can I forward my mail to other accounts?
4. How do I send email FROM my hosted domain alias?
5. Can I get an address to forward to two different addresses?

What can aliases be used for?
What Is An Email Alias?

Email aliases allow you to forward email to other accounts, both within and outside of the DreamHost system. Email aliases are a standard feature for all Dreamhost hosting accounts.

How To Set Up Aliases

Just go to the "Mail > Addresses" area of our web panel, and click the link to Add Address. It should be pretty straight-forward from there!

What can I use aliases for?

An Example Setup

Let's say that Bob, a circus owner, has opened up a Dreamhost account to host his web site at bobsbigcircus.com. Bob, being the nice kind of guy he is, wants to set up aliases for his most trusted associates:
  1. Dumbo (a flying elephant, after a short acting career)
  2. Fred Boing - the head of the bouncing Boing family of trapeze artists.

The following chart shows some of the ways aliases can be used to direct mail:

Use #1: Assigning a default address

In the first row, the asterisk (*) means that any mail sent to bobsbigcircus.com and not covered by another alias will be sent directly to Bob's main user account (bobsbig). This way, Bob never loses mail.

Use #2: Forwarding to a non-DreamHost account

The next line belongs to Dumbo. Our elephantine friend has an account with another email provider - his address is 'elephant@bigears.org'. Dumbo would like to have all mail sent to him at bobsbigcircus.com to be forwarded to that address. On the left side, Bob has specified an alias name, and on the right the destination email account. Thus, any mail sent to dumbo@bobsbigcircus.com would be received at elephant@bigears.org.

Use #3: Forwarding the same mail to two different users

Fred Boing, Bob's best friend in the whole world, also has an email alias - but this one is a little bit different. Along with death defying feats of unimaginable danger, Fred is also an avid stock collector. However, during his shows, he is unable to keep as close an eye on his stocks as he'd like, so he has convinced Bob to look after them while he is working. With this in mind, Bob has set up Fred's email alias to forward mail to him as well. Thus, mail sent to boing@bobsbigcircus.com goes to Bob's account 'bobsbig', as well as Fred's other account, fredboing@trampoline.org.

Use #4: Filtering out Spam

Last but not least, Bob has been the victim of a massive spamming campaign by numerous life insurance companies. Rather than deal with it first hand, Bob has created a trick alias at spam@bobsbigcircus.com. He has embedded this address in several hidden places on his web site, hoping for spam robots to accidentally pick up the fake address instead of his own. Any mail sent to this address is forwarded to 'null' - which means that it is automatically deleted.

Email aliases are a very powerful tool, and can provide the entire communications infrastructure for your web site. With a little effort, you can provide aliases to your employees, friends, and even your site's visitors.

Why Won't My Aliases Work Yet?

Updates to your account made through the Account Control Panel usually take 15 minutes to become active. Wait 15 minutes, then try again. If an inordinately long period of time has passed, feel free to contact support for additional assistance. (Instructions for contacting tech support can be found in the Related Links column to the left of this window.)

Last updated: Nov 08, 2002.