Distribution Lists, Aliases & Email Accounts  Print this Article

Within your organisation it may be useful to set up various email accounts, aliases and distribution lists. This can be helpful for a number of reasons including:

  • Maintaining email addresses during staff turnover,
  • Providing a professional generic email address rather than a personal name,
  • Distributing emails to a team of people.


The following information will help you decide how best to manage your email addresses. You can set up each email address as either an email account, an email alias, or as a distribution list.


Email Account

An email account is where one individual person receives and sends emails.

An email account has an address e.g. [email protected] An email account also has a password.

You will provide one email account for each person in your organisation who needs to read or send emails.

An email account is the only place where people within your organisation can receive or send emails.

An email account is something a user can 'log in' to.



An alias is an address which is linked to an email account.


An alias does not have a password since it is linked to an email account.


You can not 'log in' to this address since it is not an email account. (If you do try to log in to an alias, you will simply be logged in to the associated email account)


An Alias is applied to only one email account.


One email account can have multiple aliases.


Distribution List

A distribution list is a way to forward emails from one address to more than one email account.


A distribution list does not have a password since it is linked to many email accounts.


You can not 'log in' to this address since it is not an email account.


A Distribution List is applied to one or more email accounts.


  • In the example above, emails to [email protected] are redirected to three different email accounts.



One email account can belong to multiple distribution lists.


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