When signing up to an Internet Service Provider (ISP for short) you’ll often be given an e-mail address by that company. By default we all have a tendency to use that e-mail address – for no reason other than we have it. One thing you may not be aware of is that if you leave that ISP you are likely to have your e-mail cut off as well. Now that’s not the end of the world, but it can be a real pain in the neck telling all your contacts about it, changing what e-mail account various online services are registered to (e.g. Amazon, eBay, maybe even utility suppliers). The amount of pain you will feel is directly proportional to the number of years you have had that e-mail address for – and filtering out what you want or need to keep from the dross is actually quite challenging. This will have even more of an effect on you if you use that company’s webmail site (as discussed in this article). If you do login to a website (maybe the BT or TalkTalk website) to collect your e-mail then you will lose all of your e-mails and all of your contacts!
Either way, if you want some added flexibility when it come to your choice of ISP you might want to consider some of the free e-mail services. These providers (Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo to name a few) are very unlikely to cut your e-mail supply off at the source – as long as you keep the account active (by using it), and you stick to their terms and conditions. They also usually come with a larger mail box size (at my last count Gmail was up to 15GB which is pretty impressive) than your ISP.
You will find many of the same features you get with your current ISP e-mail address. You’ll be able to use webmail if that is your thing, you’ll also be able to set up a desktop e-mail client to download the information to your computer if you wish. In fact you may even find some of the free e-mail providers offer a range of features that your current ISP e-mail address doesn’t come with. A good example of this is the IMAP protocol (discussed in more depth in this article). Your ISP is unlikely to provide IMAP. Companies like Google (providers of Gmail) do, and something like IMAP is a great way for keeping your mail synchronised across multiple devices. Google also provide a mail aggregation system which will allow you to collect the messages of other e-mail accounts – a handy feature for those considering moving over. Think of it a bit like the Royal Mail redirection service!
If you need help setting up a new e-mail address, or general advice on which service has the features that are of most benefit to you and your situation then please feel free to call into the shop, drop us an e-mail, or give us a quick bell.