ISP-Supplied Email Accounts By Josh Blagden | JB - Mac Help | JBlagden

ISP-Supplied Email Accounts   By Josh Blagden

As you probably know, ISPs often provide email accounts for their customers. Understandably, some people actually use the email account which was provided by their ISP. The problem with using the email account supplied by your ISP is that you can only use that email account while you have that ISP. If you switch ISPs, you’ll lose your ISP-supplied email account. Suppose SNET is your current ISP and you want to switch to Verizon FIOS - you’d lose your SNET account and you would need to notify all of your contacts of the switch and hope they’ll make the necessary change in their contacts list. The trouble with making that transition is that not everyone will make the necessary change in their contacts list, or they might delay until they try to send you an email and get a Mail Delivery Subsystem email indicating that their email could not be sent. Also, when you make that transition, you might not be able to bring all of the emails from your old email account to your new one.

The best kind of email account is one from Google, Yahoo, Juno, Hotmail or similar email providers. Email accounts from companies like those are ideal because they aren’t tied to a specific ISP. I suppose you could call them “nomadic accounts”. The nice thing about those accounts is that you can use them regardless of your location and ISP. Also, some ISPs are still using POP3 accounts with very little storage. For example, an ISP might still be using POP3, which is an older email protocol which does not synchronize folders between servers and clients. Also, an ISP might only provide 250 megabytes of email storage on its servers, so you’ll either have to delete emails from the server once a month or set you email client to delete emails from the server after receiving them, which will cause you to only be able to pick up a specific email on one computer or mobile device. 

If you go with Google, you’ll get around 15 gigabytes for email storage, which is great because it allows you to keep emails for decades while being able to access them anywhere from any computer which has Internet access. Google has a great spam filter as well. Google also uses IMAP instead of POP3. IMAP is really nice because it allows you to move an email from your inbox to a folder and that change will be copied over the server, which causes that change to be reflected wherever you check your email. Microsoft’s Hotmail email accounts provide 5 gigabytes of storage, and Yahoo email accounts provide 5 gigabytes of storage for emails. Google, Yahoo, and Hotmail/ all use IMAP, which is very useful for the reason I just mentioned.

Conclusion: Never use an ISP-supplied email address. You might not think you’ll switch ISPs now, but the day might come when you want a better one, you might move, or your ISP might go out of business.

© Joshua Blagden & Justin Barczak 2013-2015
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