A lot of us manage multiple email accounts, and I personally like routing everything to one place, so I don’t have to bounce between different providers or tabs all day long. This is a list of the best solutions for an email forwarding service, including what I use for my business.
1. Forward Email
Type: Free (open source) and premium.
If you’re looking for a reputable solution for forwarding email, check out Forward Email. It’s a free, encrypted, and completely open-source solution that was launched in 2017. No logs or emails are stored, and it’s powered by Cloudflare’s privacy-first consumer DNS service.
The code is open to the public on Github (fully transparent), so you don’t have to worry about any personal or secret data collection happening! It currently has 7 global servers with over 25,000 active users.
Forward Email is pretty simple to set up, you add a few DNS records, and you’re done. Here are just a few of the amazing features included for free:
- Unlimited custom domain names
- Unlimited email addresses and aliases
- Unlimited disposable email addresses
- Phishing, executable, and virus protection
- Catch-all email addresses and multiple recipients per email address
- “Send mail as” with Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo
- Custom port forwarding
Paid plans are also offered for “Enhanced Privacy Protection,” whereas the email alias configuration is hidden from the public. Another nice feature in the paid plan is the ability to disable spam filtering options altogether, allowing Gmail’s spam filter to decide.
I can also say that Forward Email is the only one that hasn’t raised its prices on its paid plan over the years. They have stuck to their mission and promise! The developer of the project is also very active.
If you use a transactional email service provider such as Mailgun, they also have the ability to set up mail forwarding and routing rules. This is a great solution and can be set up relatively quickly.
For example, say you have an email coming into firstname.lastname@example.org. You can then forward all mail from that address to email@example.com with a simple click. Essentially you can set up all your domains in Mailgun and configure any routing you want.
As of February 2020, Mailgun no longer offers a free plan, and the email routing/receiving is only available in the Foundation plan or higher (starting at $35/month).
With that being said, if you send a lot of transactional emails, Mailgun is still worth the price, in my opinion. They have, by far, the best control panel that is also really easy to understand. I have yet to find a provider that has the same inbound routing capabilities. Mailgun is what I use for emails on all my sites.
Cloudflare has launched its new email routing service (currently in private beta). It’s completely free for domains you have on Cloudflare. You can add custom addresses for your domain and route incoming emails to your preferred mailbox. You can enable a catch-all address and add destination addresses.
The one drawback to Cloudflare’s email routing is that it doesn’t support sending or replying from your Cloudflare domain.
Pobox is by far my favorite premium email forwarding service if that’s all you need. $34 a year, and you can create as many aliases as you want on all of your domains and then forward the emails to your primary email account.
ForwardMX is a great reliable solution. Their plans start at $60 a year for up to 25 domains. This includes 5 domain aliases. You can forward an unlimited number of emails. This is perfect for small businesses that just need to move all their forwarding rules to one place.
Mailtie is from the developers of Safenote, of which I’m a huge fan. It’s completely free, and you can have unlimited aliases, catch-alls, multiple recipients, wildcards, and auto-responses. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that your DNS record will contain the destination address.
You can’t send emails from Mailtie, but you could add an alias to Gmail.
Type: Free and premium.
ImprovMX is free for up to 1 domain (max 25 aliases/domain) and great for smaller projects. Simply point your MX records and forwarding everything from one domain to any email address you want.
@EmailForward.mx is a cheap premium service that you can use to set up email forwarding and start receiving emails with your domain name. Their single domain plan starts at around $21 a year. One interesting feature it does have is two-factor authentication. This is great a little additional security.
Type: Free and premium.
SimpleLogin makes it easy to create email aliases that mask your real email and still redirect all emails to your main inbox. You can use email aliases to register to any service online, and they can be deactivated in one click. The software is open-source and available for all devices.
In addition, SimpleLogin allows you to add PGP keys to your alias, send emails from it, and has an integration with HaveIBeenPwned to notify you as soon as your email alias gets in a data breach. You can then proceed and deactivate it with one click.
You can add unlimited custom domains. Aliases can be shared and access can be controlled on a granular level. The only thing you need is a real email inbox, everything else can be masked and forwarded with SimpleLogin’s aliases.
Definitely one worth checking out! There is a free version and the premium version is $30/year.
Hopefully one of the above solutions works for you. I’m personally a big fan of Mailgun and Pobox. There are definitely other great SMTP solutions that do email forwarding, such as SendGrid, SparkPost, etc. But some of these can get quite complicated, and if you’re just needing to forward emails, one of the above solutions is quick and easy.
Any other good email forwarding services that we missed? Feel free to mention them below.
72 thoughts on “Best email forwarding service for 2023 (free and premium)”
You didn’t mention https://forwardmx.io it isn’t free but you can manage it much better than ImprovMX.
Thanks for the suggestion. I have now added this above, along with Mailgun.
I had issues with deliverability using ForwardMX because their servers are based in Switzerland and France. (That may be a privacy plus for some.) There’s a free trial, so use that to see if you encounter issues.
Thanks for the heads up Parker! I’m personally using Mailgun right now and highly recommend it for email forwarding. Never had a single issue.
Note, ImprovMX, once set cannot be edited. Huge drawback.
I also encountered issues regarding ForwardMX. Mails stuck for several hours. This is a no no and I’m going to change back to mailgun too. I’m very sad, because ForwardMX was exactly what I wanted. But email has to be reliable.
Hey SB! Yes, I just updated the post above. I personally use Mailgun for all of my email forwarding and it works great. No delivery issues.
Same problem here, problems to receive emails and delay to receive emails every day! Support doesn’t respond to my emails.
Hey Henrique, I recommend using Mailgun or Pobox. I personally am using Mailgun right now for free and never had a single issue. I’ve also used Pobox previously and their support is amazing!
I have had the same problems with forwardMX. There is often a long delay and one of there servers has been down for a while. There is no response to emailing them and no number to call so I have to switch to something more reliable.
I’ve heard others with similar issues. I personally use Mailgun and love it. Pobox would definitely be my first premium recommendation, used Pobox for about 2+ years previous to Mailgun and never had any routing issues.
Do any of these services forward the email before it gets to the the original email service provider server or do they all go to the email service provider server then get forwarded to the new email service?
With most of these, you are pointing your MX records (email DNS records) to the third-party service. Someone sends an email to you, the email gets routed to the third-party service and the relay the message (forward it) to wherever your route is setup.
Same old story with ForwardMX – forwarding just outright stops for hours or a day at a time. Support is non-responsive. Belongs on a worst list, not a best list
I’ve heard others with similar issues. I personally use Mailgun and love it. Pobox would definitely be my first premium recommendation, used Pobox for about 2+ years previous to Mailgun and never had any routing issues.
I’ve been using PObox since 1996 but I don’t supply a domain, I use an email address @pobox.com as my primary address which forwards to gmail. What i’m looking for is sometimes called Disposable email addresses only I seldom throw them out. Most Disposable services seem to be for very short use when an email is required (think Mailinator). I currently use Sneakemail and E4ward and am looking for similar service(s). I generate a unique email at these services that I use when signing up for a new service. It allows me to detect when they leak my email and I start receiving spam. It also allows me to delete that email without the headache of worrying about any other uses for that forwarding email. I hope this doesn’t make me sound like a spammer; I just like to shield my personal email most of the time and such forwarding services allow me to.
Got any suggestions for similar tools/services?
Russ, for the past 20 years I’ve been creating an email for every website and business I interact with (e.g. [domain]@mydomain). [domain] is the first part of the web site (i.e. woorkup) and mydomain has a catchall to my primary email. I periodically peruse my spam messages to look at the incoming email addresses. This allows me to see who is selling my email to who. Sometimes I stop doing business with those who sell my email, but mostly I use a gmail filter to delete future messages upon receipt. This is fantastic for places where you have a short-term need to communicate with someone, but only works because of Gmail’s fantastic spam filtering. It also les me selectively turn emails on and off, depending on need and the behavior of the entity I’m interacting with.
Hi Brian, this is an interesting article, which I found when searching for a forwarding solution for my personal email. My registrar, Namecheap, has its own free catch-all forwarding but their spam filter is overly aggressive and inconsistent. I can no longer afford to miss important emails (and not even know about them unless I’m infomed by the sender that they bounced).
One thing which I’m concerned about is trust: We trust our cloud email to businesses such as Google, but with a forwarder, we’re letting another party process all our email (including password resets or other security-related communications).
Mailgun and Pobox seem like they’re well-established large(ish) operations and one could assume a high level of trust. There is scant information about the likes of Forward Email and even less for ImprovMX (other than the little info provided by their host sites). Forward Email *seems* trustworthy in that it’s open-source software on GitHub, but it also seems like a one-man operation. Even if the version running is trustworthy, what if he gets hit by a bus?
I think these points should be taken into consideration when choosing a mail forwarding solution, in addition to delivery reliability.
That said, based on your recommendation I’m leaning toward Mailgun for my personal use. I am moderately tech-savvy, but I’m apprehensive about incorrectly configuring Mailgun and losing critical inbound emails in the process. You mention that it can be setup “relatively easily” but it looks quite complex to someone who is unfamiliar with many of the terms.
Do you happen to know of a good step-by-step tutorial to set up Mailgun for forwarding? In my case, I think I would need set up the rules on Mailgun, then remove Namecheap’s catch-all forwarding from the MX record, and then add Mailgun’s, using settings I have yet to fully understand.
P.S. I posted this once and it didn’t show up. Apologies if it ends up as a double-post (edited using feedback from the Orwell feature).
I’m catching up on things now that I’m working on my projects full-time. Hopefully, you got it figured out by now. I still use Mailgun for all of my email forwarding needs. They no longer offer this in the free version, but for my business, it’s well worth the cost. Also, as you said. I don’t have a trust issue with Mailgun. They are a very large company and someone I can rely on to deliver emails for my business.
ForwardMX is great when it works, but of most of the time, it takes hours to get emails. This is horrible for anything important. Support is non-existent.
Thanks for the suggestion of Pobox, I’m planning to switch over if the delay to receive emails is reasonable and there’s actually any support available.
Basically, Namecheap is domain registrar but they offer Free email forwarding for everyone, even the domain name not registered with them.
Yes they do….but since my law site is not liked by NC, they dropped my account and wouldn’t allow me to pay for the next year! Contacted support, and no reply, never!
With Cloudflare, and LIKE it with same web site, 2 years so far! And my account is…. FREE!
ImprovMX is the new ForwardMX :-)
They changed owners and the service is now very reliable.
They introduced “premium” for $9/mo (which is OK considering they support unlimited aliases). But free still works great!
Definitely justifies swapping ForwardMX and ImprovMX in your list!
ForwardMX as stated above is terrible!
As soon as all my mails clear I will be gladly leaving them. Worse service ever!
We just switched from ForwardMX to ImprovMX… ForwardMX does not respond to email… email usually takes about an hour to receive … last few weeks we didn’t receive any mail at all… ImprovMX delivers in just a few seconds!
A sloppy, uninformative article written by yet another lazy author who can’t be bothered to do proper research, demonstrated by the very brief descriptions of a very narrow band of offerings.
These are all products I have used over the years, so to say I haven’t done proper research is just plain false. In fact, I probably know more about Mailgun than most developers. I would love to find more time to add to this, but I have a million tasks at the moment. People read my blog because I share things I personally use, not crap you see on other blogs. That’s why I don’t allow guest posts or sponsored posts.
I use Mailgun extensively for my business and Pobox for personal stuff. They are great services! Next time, you probably shouldn’t assume things without knowing all the facts. You make yourself look silly. 😉
The easy way is to just get a anonymous domain provider, on that you can pay with crypto and only need a email address, then just configure c-panel to forward you email. With your own domain you can set up unlimited email box & WordPress has Themes with function`s for hosting your own email server etc.
That doesn’t sound easy to me. 😉 But thanks for the suggestion, someone might prefer that route.
You might want to add a disclaimer that ImprovMX is only free for a maximum of 5 domains. Anything over that requires a paid subscription.
Thanks for the recommendations though! I’m now running ForwardEmail on most of my sites.
Thanks Shane, I edited the post above regarding ImprovMX.
ImprovMX is free for 1 domain with up to 25 aliases
Oh great to hear they increased the number! I’ve updated the post above.
There is a new service https://emailforward.mx/ that I have started this month. Would you mind to add it? Price: 1 euro / month.
Thanks Rob! I’ve taken a look at it. Definitely another great option. I’ve added it to the post above.
As far as I can understand for the new Mailgun pricing apart from the Routes being taken out of the free plan which is now called Flex, by the way, I don’t think you get any free emails either. Unless I am mistaken?
Thanks, I’ve updated this slightly to better reflect what is actually happening. You are correct, the email receiving/routes are only available now in the Foundation or higher plan. The free plan is being discontinued altogether and replaced with a free trial.
Just wanted to say thanks, this is a great overview over some of the most popular solutions currently out there! :)
just a small question – if I may. I understood that you used pobox.com in the past. Do I get it right that I cannot add more than five recipients to any forwarder?
There will certainly be a good reason for it – but how can I deal with it when I have a larger recipients list?
So – any recommendation is welcome.
Yes with Pobox, you can only forward up to 5 destinations. I know with ImprovMX, they can do more on their paid plans.
You might be better of considering a Groups option like Google Groups or Yahoo Groups, as these are tailored for large subscriber lists. I do acknowledge that Groups are not the same as forwarders, so it depends on whether the actual email address is critical or not.
It’s one stop solution for email forwarding needs. Thanks, Brian Jackson, for your kind efforts to bring them to us.
I have worked with Fordwardemail.net and it was perfect but today I got an Email message after 4 hours and other Emails still didn’t receive them yet and It’s been 12 hours now
I’m using fowardemail.net for 18 months now. It mostly works but sometimes people send me message that they got all kinds of errors from my provider, like email cannot be delivered etc. Also, for a while it was cropping some of my emails and creating strange characters in messages. Managed to get it fixed with their support but it is obvious it is a small company with inadequate infrastructure if you want to absolutley rely on your email… Searching for an alternative now.
I’m using Dynu for store and forward inbound, it’s about USD10 per domain, SMTP (outbound) is another 10USD, for that I’ve been using Mailgun for years and I still have not had an invoice with more than USD0.01 from 4 domains billing together. They only charge you after you reach a certain minimum due so I don’t think that’s going to be anytime soon.
Thanks for the tip Gustavo about Dynu! Ya the issue with Mailgun though is the routing tools are no longer available unless you pay for the Foundation plan. Thankfully anyone who was already using Mailgun still has the routing rules in place, you just can’t create new ones or edit existing ones without upgrade.
Regarding Postmark, I just wanted to mention that they do not offer email forwarding:
“You can use their inbound domain and email forwarding to configure routing to different addresses”
I’ve just updated the post with more information on some of the services. I actually removed Postmark. Thanks for the tip!
Hi there improve MX updated there free domain limit from 5-1.
Hello! Thank you for this great list; it’s helping me in my decision moving forward. An update: ImproveMX now only allows one domain on their free plan, which is a shame, as I chose them based on being able to add up to five. It looks like they aren’t currently removing any extra domains that already existed before this change, but we’re not being allowed to add any more (I currently have two, and get a paywall when I try to add a third).
Thanks for the heads up. Bummer about the change. I’ve updated the ImproveMX section in the post above regarding number of domains in the free plan.
Hello Brian! Please add our email forwarding service EForw.com to this list.
Our annual premium plan for $9.99 beats competitors.
Please consider adding https://hanami.run to your list. They offers smtp as well. They are pretty affordable at $1/month and has great customer support.
I was looking for mail forwarding for my domain and stumbled onto this article. It was thanks to some user comments that I found Namecheap. Their “Stellar” package gives me everything I need and then some, like web hosting that I don’t need. At 1/2 price for the first 2 years, it’s very affordable and even at the regular price seems quite reasonable. Their free package wasn’t going to work for me because it didn’t offer a couple of things I needed (most importantly, configuration of subdomains). I am quite impressed with their services and the help I got setting everything up. There were a couple of other contenders I considered, but I had been using cPanel and given that is what Namecheap uses, it made getting up and running so much easier.
Yes, Namecheap works great, but to use their email forwarding you have to point your DNS to them. I prefer to use a DNS provider like Cloudflare as it’s much faster.
I guess speed could be a consideration for someone running a business. For my personal use, the speed of Namecheap’s service has been fine. I’ve only been with them for a week and a half but no complaints so far.
The issue with Namecheap mail forwarding is not its speed, but their spam filters. Senders from years ago still come through, new mail senders are systematically blocked. I haven’t been able to subscribe to any public service using my alias mail addresses for months. The verification mails never arrive and I have always been forced to use my real mail address.
I have now the MX records in the Namecheap pointing to Forward Email, and that solves the issue. I do not need the email forwarder to filter spam, my actual mail provider does that.
You could add anonaddy.com to your list.
I’ve been using anonaddy.com when I need a “disposable” address, or when signing up to a service when I don’t want to expose my “real” email address. The free service works well, but you can’t use any addresses that you’ve created to reply (unless you pay for the service, which is inexpensive).
Another service I’ve used is spamgourmet.com. It’s like anonaddy in may ways but limits the number of messages it will forward to 20 (for each email address), unless you take some action (either reset the counter or whitelist the address). On the upside you can send email from one of email addresses that have been created.
The nice thing about both services is that they allow email addresses to be created on-the-fly.
We tried to use ForwardEmail.net for our two domains but had to give up. The almost total lack of documentation and support made it very difficult but the frequent delivery delays and random non-delivery messages killed its usefulness.
I use Mailgun for all of my sites and business. That’s what I recommend if you need a super reliable paid solution. Haven’t had a single issue in years.
I’ve been using ForwardMX since December 2017 and found some of the same issues with support and deliverability.
I acquired ForwardMX in October 2020 and have put in a lot of work to overhaul the infrastructure and improve the service.
We’ve added a new single domain plan, at just $2/m (billed at $24/yr) and have a knowledgeable customer support team who reply to all emails within 24 hours.
ForwardMX also now has an outbound relay service that uses ZoneMTA with several IPs, to ensure fast delivery and to avoid any delays that were previously caused by a provider blacklisting a single IP.
I hope your readers will give us a chance, because a lot of the comments with issues here are from before I acquired the service.
Just setup ImprovMX to forward my webmaster/admin emails to my Gmail, and I just had to tell you guys about it!
I might be an exception, only wanting to forward < dozen emails per year, but I would never convert to premium for a service that effortlessly sends me 5+ service/notification emails during the <2 minute setup setup, but thinks it's acceptable to have my email sit in their queue for 53 minutes (as of writing this) immediately afterwards.
There's a difference between priority flow and holding data for ransom. It's 2021, Cloudflare is pushing 5million PPS on a single server box to support all of there customers fairly, while ImprovMX would rather let their servers burn heat than send my mail.
Do not recommend. Try a different service, or just setup a VPS so the frustration can at least net you knowledge.
Appreciate the heads up! I’m sure people will find it useful. For high reliability, I always recommend paying for Mailgun. That’s what I’ve used for years and never had a single issue.
Cloudflare just announced a free email forwarding service: https://blog.cloudflare.com/introducing-email-routing/
I was testing ForwardEmail and it looks great. It also supports regex to build forward rules, a very nice touch. But I had a problem with Yahoo Mail that is rejecting ForwardEmail IPs.
I’ve been using Apple’s ‘Hide My Email’ service mainly due to convenience. Anytime there is an email field it automatically generates a random email address and labels it with the website name so you can easily find it later.
I’ve also tried Firefox Relay and am interested in Cloudflare and DuckDuckGo’s forwarding services.
Yes, for personal use Apple’s Hide My Email service works great. I actually use that from time to time as well.
I use E4ward.com a lot. I have a couple of hundred addresses with them that forward to a couple of my real addresses. Cheap too.
Can POBox forward to a yahoo mail account or does it only work with gmail
Hey Andrew, you can use Pobox to forward to any email address. I updated the wording and removed “Gmail,” so it’s less confusing. Thanks
Could you add EForw.com in your review of services? The service has been running steadily for several years.