This page has everything that you could possibly want to know about rad.dad. For real! But the most important thing to know is that if you need assistance, you can email email@example.com any time.
rad.dad is an awesome domain that’s too awesome to not share. So it’s also a service that makes it easy for you to own your own slice of it and manage the important parts (email, web stuff, and DNS) with ease. Everything is managed by a lone indie dev (this guy) who also happens to be a rad dad. Yeah, we use “we” all over this page, but that’s just because it somehow sounds better. It’s just one dude behind it though.
A rad.dad address costs $10 per year. You can register for up to 25 years at a time (buying more time in advance is a great way to protect against future price increases).
Registering is as simple as selecting your desired rad.dad address, providing an email address, and paying.
You can access your control panel by visiting rad.dad/control-panel. If you have more than one address, you’ll be prompted to choose one.
We’re using Passage by 1Password for passkey support. If you’re using a device that supports passkeys, we highly recommend that you secure your account with a passkey. If you can’t or don’t want to, you can still receive a code via email to use to sign in. Learn more about passkeys.
Your rad.dad address comes with two emails services, which you can use together or independently: email forwarding, and SMTP access.
Email forwarding determines what happens to messages sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can forward email to a single email address or to multiple destinations (just separate them with a comma when adding them to the forwarding field).
SMTP access is what lets you send email from email@example.com. You can configure your mail client or compatible mail service (like Fastmail) to use the rad.dad SMTP server, and then you can send outbound emails.
You can set up SMTP like this:
- Server: mail.rad.dad
- Port: 465
- Security: SSL
- Username: your full rad.dad email address, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Password: the password that appears in the Email section of your control panel
You can’t choose your SMTP password, but you can generate a new one any time by clicking on the Regenerate button.
Our SMTP setup lets you send 300 emails per day (a very reasonable limit intended to prevent egregious abuse). That’s still plenty of outbound email—it’s nearly one message sent email every 5 minutes, for a full 24 hours, which is more than most (sane) mortals would ever need to send.
Your rad.dad address comes with two forwardable URLs:
- you.rad.dad, a subdomain
- rad.dad/you, a path
You can forward these independently to any other URL. Note that if you route your subdomain elsewhere with DNS, the subdomain forwarding will no longer work because the rad.dad server will no longer be in control over your rad.dad domain.
For the forwarding to work, you’ll want to use a proper URL starting with
Ah, DNS. Abandon all hope, ye who mess with this.
Just kidding. It’s not that bad. But, things are a little different here. Most DNS interfaces coddle you with individual form fields for various pieces of data (port, priority, TTL, etc.) but ours is just a single text field that accepts a BIND-formatted entry, like this:
you.rad.dad. 3600 IN A 184.108.40.206
But you don’t have to use the full BIND syntax. Our DNS record parser is pretty chill, so you can skip the
IN part, and the TTL is optional. And you can even use
@ for your hostname, or just plop in a subdomain without a dot on the end, like this:
@ A 220.127.116.11
foo CNAME 18.104.22.168
_atproto TXT did=did:p1c:ewvi7nxzyoun6zhxrhs64oiz
For more complex records that use different parameters, you can refer to these examples:
mail MX 10 mail.elsewhere.tld.is an MX record with a priority of 10.
_minecraft._tcp 10 IN SRV 0 5 25567 minecraft.elsewhere.tld.is an SRV record with a priority of 0, a weight of 5, and a port of 25567.
@ CAA 0 issue "letsencrypt.org"is a CAA record with a flag of 0 and a tag of issue.
DNS is hard to get right and easy to screw up. Realizing this and being forgiving to yourself is half the battle. If you need help, just email email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Why does this cost $10?
- It costs $10 because we incur actual expenses (server infrastructure, maintenance, upstream service providers, support, etc.) and need to cover those costs. And we’re not going to cover them by displaying stupid ads or selling people’s data or doing any of the other gruesome monetization practices that have ruined the internet. Instead, we’re going to charge a fair price.
- Do you offer any kind of free trial?
- No, sorry. There’s just too much abuse and icky stuff out there, and in our experience the only way to stay clear of it is to avoid anything free.
- How do I know that this service isn’t going to just vanish and take my rad email address away with it?
- Because that would be very un-rad, dude. But seriously, we’re the same people behind omg.lol, and we’ve been doing this for years. And we’ll keep on doing it forever, because that is a rad commitment (and we’re all about rad commitments). Neatnik LLC, our tiny parent company, has been building on the web for over two decades (just check the domain registration date on neatnik.net, for reals). We’re not going anywhere.
- Why can’t I set a password?
- Because passwords are not rad! Passkeys, however, are—and they’re the future, so we’re using them here. You’re welcome.
- What about 2FA?
- Most passkey implementations are already part of a multi-factor authentication solution. The passkey’s private key itself is the “something you have” component of a traditional 2FA setup, while the additional factor of a device-level password/pin and/or biometrics are the “something you know” or “something you are”.
- I just sent myself a test email and it wasn’t forwarded.
- You’re using Gmail, right? And you sent the email from Gmail? This is actually normal (but weird) Gmail behavior. When you send a message from Gmail that is sent right back to Gmail, Gmail treats it like a single message and it’s tied to the same item that’s in your Sent folder. I have no idea why, but they’ve done this for years. Try sending an email from something other than Gmail and you’ll see that it forwarded just fine.
- Can I have more than one address?
- Yes, you can buy as many addresses as you’d like. Just enter the same account/login email address for each and they’ll all be grouped neatly together under the same account.
- I bought an address for a year and I’d like to add more time, but I can’t find where I can do that.
- It’s coming soon! You’ll see the option at the bottom of your control panel once it’s available.
- Can I change my address after I’ve purchased it?
- We’d really rather you didn’t, for several reasons... but, hey, life can be messy and we get that. Email us and we’ll see what we can do.
If you’d like to disclose a vulnerability or report any other security issues, please use the contact information provided in our security.txt file.
Made it all the way to the bottom of this page and didn’t find what you were looking for? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.