Is your email address just a TEMPORARY one?

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What if I told you I would give you an email account, and it’s all yours to use.  You can use it for personal or business email or whatever you want.  There’s only one catch: you can only have it temporarily.  At some undetermined point in the future, your access to that email account would be cut off and you would not be able to use it at all after that.

temporary email


Would you use that email as your primary email address?  Would you give that address to all of your friends and family?  Would you put it on your business cards and give it to all of your clients as the best point of contact?  Probably not.  It wouldn’t really make sense to be tied into an email address that you will lose at some point in the future.

Guess what.  YOUR email address might be a temporary one.

Does your email address end with:

  • or
  • or
  • or
  • or
  • or
  • or
  • or

Can you see what all of those have in common?  Each one is an Internet Service Provider (ISP).  When you sign up with a company to provide you access to the internet, they also give you an email address (or several) that you can use.

If you’re using the email address that was provided to you by your ISP, it’s only yours temporarily.  When you change internet providers, you LOSE your email account.

I’ve been encouraging people for many years to NOT use the email that comes with their internet service.  And it’s kind of ironic that one of the common objections to changing their email address is:

“I really can’t change my email address, because I’ve had this one for years and this is how all of my friends, family and customers know how to contact me.”

They’re kind of surprised when I tell them that at some point they are going to have to change it anyway, whenever they decide to change internet providers.

At that point they kind of throw up a defense that they know is weak –

“Well, I like my internet provider so I will just stay with them.”

Come on.

You seriously expect to be using the same internet service the rest of your life?  Technically it could possibly happen, but the odds are highly against it.  It’s much more likely that you will move to a different area that your current ISP does not cover, or a different ISP in town will offer a better deal or a faster connection (or both).

Or, your current provider might get bought by a larger company, meaning the domain name changes (so everyone’s email address changes).  Sound familiar, Fairpoint customers?

Why put yourself through all that hassle, when you can have an email address that is yours to use for the rest of your life?  And it’s completely FREE?

I’ve been using Gmail since it was introduced by Google in 2004.  And even though I have changed internet providers a few times in the past ten years, my email address has always been the same one.

Of course, you don’t have to use Gmail.  There are lots of web-based email providers, and many of them are free also.  I like Gmail for a variety of reasons (lots of storage space, great spam filter, Outlook compatibility, etc.).

Your other option is to just get your own domain name.  This costs about $10 per year.  Then you can have whatever email address you want.  For example, if I bought the domain name “”, I could have the email address,, or whatever one I wanted – because I would own that domain name.

Whatever you decide, my recommendation is that you take care of it now.  When you change your email address, it’s good to do it when you have time to proceed strategically and make sure everything goes smoothly.  I can help with that.  If you wait until you are forced to change emails (because of one of the above mentioned situations), you might miss something important.  Let’s avoid that.

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Moe Beaudin
June 30th, 2014

I found out the hard way when I moved from one city that had Comcast
to my present location that doesn’t. After I was immediately terminated
by Comcast when my service ceased, I could not get into my emails.
I contacted Comcast and they said there was no way to get into my
emails and I lost all of my photo’s, video’s and other emails I had from
friends and relatives. Comcast never informed me of my inability to
access my emails immediately when service ceased. Not even a
day or weeks grace period. Once they flip the switch to cease your
service they are done with you. This was almost 4 years ago now
and I also have Gmail for my email provider.

Scott Johnson
June 30th, 2014

It’s no surprise that Comcast was recently voted “Worst Company in America” by readers of Consumerist. It’s an award that they work hard to earn, year after year.

Bob L
June 30th, 2014

I’ve always archived all e-mail and attachments here at home, with appropriate “hard” backups on and off site.

Granted, an e-mail address change would be inconvenient, even aggravating, but at least I don’t expect everything to disappear if goes away.

I have avoided gmail because of concerns about Google’s rather insistent attitude about mining the e-mail content so they can make my life better in some way … enough of that.

Anyway, am I missing something important here?

Enjoying your stuff,


Vee Foote
July 1st, 2014

How do I go about getting my own domain? Thanks.

Scott Johnson
July 1st, 2014

It’s not just about losing past emails; it’s also about the hassle of having to change email addresses every time you change internet providers. Gmail isn’t the only option of course. You should do whatever you’re comfortable with.

Scott Johnson
July 1st, 2014

You would just need to check and make sure the domain name you want is still available, and purchase it. I buy all of mine at

July 2nd, 2014

Excellent advice that I too give all my people. It’s not if but when your email will need to be changed. I have gmail and yahoo and don’t ever bother with my address. I love knowing I’ll never have the hassle of doing a change of address. You’re fantastic, Scott!

July 28th, 2014

It’s kind of funny. I switched from Comcast a couple years ago, however, my email is still active. My wife still keeps using it for her coupon sites, which is fine with me, since I don’t care to see 50 emails from Kellogs, Betty Crocker,m etc each day.

I have used the same hotmail email for 20 years though, and it is on my resume, business cards, and anything that I want people to always be able to reach me.