In April 2023 123 Reg, a British domain registrar, sent out a notification that they’d soon be discontinuing catch-all email forwarding as of May 2023, and that I’d have to buy a ‘mailbox’ for about £28 per year, and enable catch-all forwarding on the mailbox instead.
I’ve been using 123 Reg for 15-20 years, and it was a big surprise that they’d now start charging for something so basic, especially since I’d literally just renewed my main domain with them for another 10 years for £150.
It’s worth saying up front that my setup with 123 Reg is really simple.. I just have the domain + email forwarding with them. My (very limited) web hosting is with Free Hostia, which just needs a A record adding in Advanced DNS. Other than that I have no other 123 Reg services to migrate; your situation may be different.
Thankfully these days it’s easy to transfer to another domain registrar, and ChatGPT came in handy for giving me a shortlist of British-based registrars offering free catch-all email forwarding.
After taking a look at each one (obviously ChatGPT isn’t up-to-date on the news of 123 Reg now charging for forwarding), I decided to try Fasthosts, and followed their domain transfer instructions on a secondary domain I have.
Before I initiated the transfer I took screenshots of all my settings on 123 Reg, just in case I needed to refer back to anything.
The transfer didn’t quite work as I expected when I selected the ‘Keep this domain’s current nameservers’ option, and after a quick Live Chat session with Fasthosts tech support (who were super-responsive), that got resolved. When I transferred my main domain I chose the ‘Use Fasthosts Nameservers’ option.
Once the transfer has gone through, you’ll need to click on the ‘Add Forwarding’ button to add the free web & email forwarding package;
After that’s been added, you’ll be able to configure catch-all email forwarding;
If you need to configure the domain to point at your web hosting, then you just need to add the A record, just like you did on 123 Reg.
And that’s pretty much it.
Hopefully that was useful for anyone else in the same boat as me; and if other companies end up doing this, the same steps can be followed to transfer to wherever doesn’t charge for this service.
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