Another rant about your email account

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This is a topic about which I have written before. But it bears repeating.

Your internet provider sells you a service – connecting you to the internet. Along with that service comes other things. One of those things is an email account. You should not use this email account.

I repeat: don’t use the email account that you get from your internet provider. If you are not sure why, click on the “before” link in the first line of this post.

I am mentioning this again now because I have received several emails and phone calls from friends in Maine who use Verizon as their internet provider. As you may have heard, Verizon’s New England accounts have been taken over by a company called Fairpoint. Obviously Fairpoint doesn’t want its customers using an email address that ends with “” so all Verizon email accounts have to be changed.

I probably don’t need to tell you that it is a hassle to change your email address. You have to change it in your Outlook (or whatever email program you use). Plus you have to tell all of your friends your new email address, and some of them won’t change their records until you tell them a dozen times. Then you have to change your email address for any newsletters you receive.

And this doesn’t even take into account the fact that Fairpoint has been completely overwhelmed and understaffed to handle this change. They received over 13,000 phone calls in three days because of problems with the email changeover. At one point, if you called, you received a recording that said there were too many calls to handle so you would have to call back later. In the meantime, you can’t send or receive email.

Why put yourself through all that?

Use a Gmail account and keep it forever, regardless of how many internet providers you use throughout your life. You can get a hundred Gmail accounts if you want – they are 100% free. You can still use your Outlook or Outlook Express or Thunderbird email software. You can get your email from any computer in the world that has an internet connection. And you never again have to send one of those “here’s my new email address” messages to all your friends!

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February 18th, 2009

Hi, Scott,

I don’t use the email address from my ISP for two reasons:

First, as you’ve noted, it’s a hassle to change your email address if you change ISPs.

Second, if your address at your ISP ever gets onto a spam list you’ll have to change it anyway – there’s no other really effective way to avoid spam once that happens.

I have my own domain, and use an email address there for family and friends (if I didn’t have my own domain, I’d use Zoho Mail or Gmail). For almost everything else I use disposable email addresses which forward to a dedicated address at my domain. I never sign up to a website or service using my “real” address. There are numerous free disposable email providers, with each providing a slightly different type of service. I mostly use or, but I’ve also used and

e4ward and mailnull require that you login to create a new disposable address, mail-filter and spamgourmet allow you to create addresses on the fly.

Using this strategy I haven’t needed to change my email address for several years. I don’t need a spam filter because I very rarely receive spam.

John S