What is an email domain and how to choose one

An email address always has the same structure: the user name in front of the @ symbol and a domain name behind it. But what is the email domain all about? And what are your options for customizing the email domain to create a unique email address?
Image of wooden Scrabble tiles spelling “DOMAIN” on a wood surface
A unique domain spells an unforgettable email address
Keep reading to get the 411 on email domains!

What is an email domain?

To put it simply, the part of your email address behind the @ symbol – in other words, @mail.com, @email.com, @usa.com – is called a domain. It functions like a virtual street name that lets your email get delivered to the right address. Each email domain is associated with a specific mail server or servers. So, for example, an email sent to an address ending in one of mail.com’s 200+ domain names will be delivered to the servers in our company’s data center.
An email domain can have an almost unlimited number of email addresses associated with it – after all, think of how many different combinations of letters you could put in front of the @mail.com email domain! It’s the name in front of the email domain that makes your email address distinctive and lets email be delivered to your inbox, like the number of your house or apartment in your postal address. 

How is an email domain different from a website address?

 A domain name is one part of an email address, but domain names also are also part of the addresses of webpages (called the URL). For example, all of the internet pages associated with our business start with “www.mail.com/”.  You can tell the difference between an email address and a website address because they are formatted differently: web addresses always start with www. and email addresses always contain an @ sign. The domain name in the website address serves the same purpose as discussed above, however: It identifies the server associated with the domain, in this case the server(s) where the website is stored.
Fun fact: Computers actually use IP addresses when they talk to each other, so you could just type the IP address that’s associated with a domain name into your browser and you’d get the same result as with the domain name itself. However, to human beings, IP addresses just look like random strings of numbers that are almost impossible to remember, so domain names serve as a user-friendly option for finding websites.

How do you get your own domain?

If you’d like your own domain so you can set up a customized website plus email addresses, you have to purchase a domain and register the name. There are numerous web hosting services, like IONOS, that will help you with this process. Please keep in mind that you can only register for a domain name that’s not already in use, and that you don’t actually “own” the domain – you will pay an annual fee for the right to use it exclusively. Having your own domain lets you set up an email address with @yourdomainname. This is a great option if you are planning to have a website and would like your email addresses to share your brand or company name. However, if you are simply looking for a quick and easy way to get a customized email address, you can sign up for a free account with an email provider like mail.com that offers a broad selection of unique email domains.

How do I choose an email domain?

Instead of signing up with a free email provider that uses the same generic domain name for all its customers, you can choose an email domain that makes a statement about your profession, business or interests. To find the email domain that’s right for you, just go to our list of 200+ domains and select the one that grabs your attention. Then click on that domain name or use the domain chooser at the top of the page to check the availability of the email address you’d like and create an email account under that name:
Screenshot of mail.com domain chooser
Select an email domain and check the availability of the email address you’d like to create

Good to know: If you can’t decide on the perfect email domain name or you’d like to use several for different purposes, with mail.com you can create and use up to 10 email addresses within a single account.
Select a unique email domain name to customize your email address – but not until you’ve left us some feedback below!
Images: 1&1/Shutterstock

Posted in

Domains Email Internet

13 people found this article helpful.

Related articles

How to choose an email address

Need a new email address? Once you have decided on a provider, the toughest part is coming up with a unique email address. Maybe you just want to use your name, maybe you are looking to get creative and choose an address that reflects your personality or business. And once you come up with a great idea, you find that your dream name isn’t available!
Cookie the Pom wears glasses and looks at iPad
Creative email names can be hard to find!
Never fear – mail.com can help you find the perfect name to go with our unique domains. more

Posted in

Domains Email How-to
7 people found this article helpful.

How do I send a job application by email?

When sending a job application by email, make sure to proofread – and don’t forget your attachments!
When sending a job application by email, make sure to proofread – and don’t forget your attachments!
Nowadays when you look for a job, many large companies have an automated application system where you upload and submit your CV and other documents directly. However, some companies don’t utilize such systems and request that you send your job application by email. Or you might be applying for a position without a formal listing at the suggestion of a recruiter or colleague, so you need to send an email as a job inquiry. In such cases, it pays to make sure you make a positive and professional impression. Follow our tips to make sure your job application email doesn’t slip through the cracks! more

Posted in

Email How-to Domains
24 people found this article helpful.

Mail Collector: One inbox, multiple email accounts

Ever wondered if there is an alternative to the usual dance of switching between multiple email accounts to keep track of your correspondence? mail.com Mail Collector to the rescue!
Smiling email icon on computer keyboard
With all your emails in one place, you’ll be smiling, too!
Find out how you can check all your emails in one place. more
3 people found this article helpful.

Website cookies: Annoying or useful?

Unfortunately, website cookies are not a yummy treat – although the fact that they only exist in the virtual world means that at least they don’t contain calories! When the pair of shoes you were admiring weeks ago suddenly appears in ads on every website you visit or online shopping sites know your name, website cookies are behind it.
Three chocolate chip cookies stacked against a white background
Website cookies may not be delicious – but they can be useful!
But are cookies safe? mail.com answers all your questions. more

Posted in

Website Internet
3 people found this article helpful.

What is a mailer daemon – and why did my email bounce back?

It’s the dreaded bounce message: “Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender.” If you receive it, it means something went wrong and your email never made it to the intended recipient. But why can’t some emails be delivered, and who is the mysterious “mailer daemon” who sends them back to you?
Internet email communication in cyberspace with envelope sign hologram over working cpu in background
Not sure why you received a bounce message? mail.com explains how to fix a bounced email.
mail.com sheds some light on these error messages and what you can do about them. more
5 people found this article helpful.

Who is the inventor of the internet?

We all know that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb and Karl Benz, the automobile. But who invented the internet? Even though we use the internet every day, we don’t widely cite a specific genius behind this innovation. This may be because the internet has been the result of gradual development rather than a flash of inspiration that can be attributed to a single person. But there are definitely some key figures along this path who deserve to be celebrated.
Man with laptop on lap reads screen with surprised expression
Many people don’t know who actually invented the internet – do you?
Join us for a whirlwind tour of the history of the internet! more

Posted in

11 people found this article helpful.

Where did my emails go!? mail.com helps you find them

You’re sure you had an email about last week’s project in a folder, but now it’s nowhere to be found. Or even worse, you know you saw a new email from your grandma, but when you go to your mail.com inbox to look at it, it’s gone!
Stressed businessman looks at his laptop
Missing mails? Don’t worry – mail.com can solve the mystery
Keep calm and read this blog post – mail.com will show you where to look. more
6 people found this article helpful.

Your Compose E-mail window: Spellcheck, attachments and more!

You’re writing an email in your mail.com account and would like to change the font – is that possible? Where do you click to add a recipient from your address book? And is there even a spellcheck? Today we’ll take you on a tour of the Compose E-mail window in your inbox.
Open laptop on wooden desk with hands typing
Looking for the spellcheck? Let us show you around the Compose E-mail window!
Join us in exploring its many functions! more

Posted in

How-to Email Inbox
14 people found this article helpful.

Email emojis

It’s hard to imagine our online communications without emojis. They have made the leap from our emails and texts into popular culture, with an emoji movie and their own “holiday”: World Emoji Day on July 17. In honor of this special day, let’s take a look at the history of the emoji and its predecessor, the email emoticon.
Three balls painted to look like emojis against a blue background
These little guys are in the spotlight on World Emoji Day
Plus: How to add emojis to your mail.com emails. more

Posted in

Email Trends
15 people found this article helpful.

Create an email signature

Whether you are looking for a way to highlight your professional credentials when contacting others by email or would simply like to let your personality shine through, an email signature is the perfect solution.
Hand holding fountain pen writing on blank paper
You can set up a signature to customize your emails in just four easy steps
Discover how to set up an automatic email signature today. more

Posted in

Email How-to Inbox
15 people found this article helpful.