Avoid Using Email Addresses Provided by Your Internet Service Provider

September 10, 2010

Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) provides you with one or more email addresses as long as you subscribe to their service. However, we recommend that you not use these email addresses. Why? The main reason is that it’s a pain to change email addresses. If you ever move or change Internet services, then if your email address is tied to your Internet service, then your email address will have to change. We recommend you have an email address that is not tied to your Internet service.

There are two ways you can have an email address that is not tied to your ISP. You can use one of the free email services, or you can get your own domain. Here’s information about each.

The most fun way to have your own email address is to have your own domain. A domain is like a website address, only you don’t have to have a website there. You can just have email if you want. Your domain name could be something like SmithFamily.net. Then, you could have email addresses on that domain. You could have Fred@SmithFamily.net, Bonnie@SmithFamily.net, and so forth. Everyone in your family could have their own email address on the domain. If you have a small business, we recommend that your business have its own domain because it just looks more professional than having something like JoesPainting@aol.com. Joe@JoesPainting.com looks more professional.

With domain email, you can read your email on the web, or you can have it downloaded into your favorite email client like Outlook, Windows Live Mail, or Thunderbird. Of course, your domain has to be unique.  The SmithFamily.net example I used above is already taken. You would have to find one that is not already being used. But generally it’s not too hard to do.

The only real drawback to having your own domain is that it’s not free. A domain costs about $15/year and then on top of that there is a charge to host your email on that domain. We charge $25/year for email hosting. So it’s a total of $40/year. Not bad. If you want a website with that, then the price goes up. The total cost would be $15/year for a domain name and $120/year for web/email hosting for a total of $135.

The other option is to use one of the free email services. These include services like yahoo mail, Hotmail, Gmail, and many others. We recommend Gmail. You can go to gmail.com to sign up. You can read your email on gmail’s website, or you can have it go into your favorite email client like Outlook, Windows Live Mail, or Thunderbird.

If you are already using an email address associated with your ISP, this doesn’t mean you need to do anything now if you don’t want to. You could go ahead and convert over to a different email address now, or wait until you have to. If you do it now, the advantage is that you can take your time transitioning over to the new email.

If you have any questions about this or would like to set up your own domain, please contact us.

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