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Take Control of Your Email Address

Do You Want to be Avoid being Forced to Change Your email Address?

Laptop with emailFor many people email is now an important part of keeping in touch with family and friends. For businesses it is now another way for your customers to get in contact with you and tool for you to use. If you are using the "free" email address provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) you will probably lose it if you want to change your provider or they go out of business. These days you can keep your telephone number, if you want to change from Telecom to Clear or from Vodafone to 2Degrees, but there is no such thing as email address portability.

Your ISP or Internet Service Provider is the company that provides your connection to the internet and they they will almost certainly have given you an email address. Telecom is still the ISP with the most customers in New Zealand. For many years they operated under the brand name Xtra and their domain name is xtra.co.nz. It is registered to Telecom NZ, they control it. The bit in front of the @ is the bit that tells Telecom to direct that message to you, but it's not really "yours", Telecom own it.

If you decide you want to take advantage of a cheaper or faster offer from a different provider. You will lose your old email address and the new provider will give you a new email address. You will then have to tell that to everyone you communicate with. You'll also have to change it with all the internet sites you've joined or subscribed to, and you may have to do it almost instantaneously. Your contacts are used to getting email from your current email, if they get an email from a new address they may not recognise it and classify it as spam. Someone may have your old address recorded on a piece of paper somewhere but have so far haven't used it so they aren't in your address book on your computer.

Your old provider is under no obligation to keep your old email address for you, they may allow you to continue to use it, they may disable it or worse they may allocate it to someone else. Don't risk missing out on news from loved ones or new customers and get yourself an email you can exercise a degree of control over.

If you get yourself another email address you control you can begin the process of advising people of your new address in your own time and reduce the chances of missing out on that important message, invite to a party, birth of a child or the best new customer ever.

Options to Get an Email Address You Control

A free email address from a service such as Google, Yahoo or Hotmail.

  • On the plus side its free.
  • You probably aren't going to be able to use your name unless its followed by a string of numbers. You may be able to dream up something that you like that identifies you to your correspondents so they have a chance of remembering it but it's unlikely.
  • If you are in business some people believe that using a free service is unprofessional
  • You will probably have to put up with a certain amount of advertising, the email provider has to pay for their service somehow.
  • Make sure you select an email provider that you are confident is going to be around for the foreseeable future.

Your own domain name.

  • You can control your own domain name for somewhere around $20.00 a year!
  • You can then have almost anything you like before the @ symbol, you have a virtually infinite number of email addresses you control. You can use a different one for each of the family, even the dog if you like!
  • If you know how you can set it up yourself, but you may pay a small fee for someone else to do it for you.
  • Your first choice domain name may already be taken.
  • You can have a website if you want to, but you don't have to.
  • There are numerous companies that will host your domain and mail server for a very small fee, or even free!

To get started think about what you would like your domain name to be and type it into your browser to see whether its taken. If it is try a few different versions, reverse the words or consider abbreviations. But remember you want your domain name to be reasonably easy to remember and reasonably easy to type. You can't have spaces and dashes can be a nuisance. Hopefully you'll keep this domain name for a long time so it's worth spending a bit of time getting it right.

Aside from the common .co.nz  suffix, in New Zealand we can readily also access:

.co.nz .co.uk .school.nz .cc
.com .org.uk .mobi .in
.net.nz .org.nz .biz .co.in
.co .geek.nz .info .name
.net .gen.nz .ac.nz .asia
.org .maori.nz .tv

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Tags: Computer Tips

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The information on this site is intended as a guide only. The information is of a general nature and does not and cannot ever constitute personal advice.
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