Tuesday, 20 August 2013

This is why you need a proper email address

According to an ISP review article, BE customers will be losing their BE email addresses. Can't say I am surprised.

It saddens me when I see companies with big sign writing on the side of a van with an @btinternet.com email address on it, not because it is BT, but because they are tying themselves to that ISP by the email address.

It is worse when you see a van with a proper domain name for their web site, and then an @someisp.co.uk email address on it, when clearly they could use their proper domain for email.

The Oatmeal have a good cartoon on this.

I suppose that these days using hotmail or gmail is probably fairly safe as a personal email address. At least you can change ISP when you like.

But the best thing to do is get your own domain. It is not hard to get one for the whole family, though common surnames have often gone. Domain names can be moved between ISPs/email providers if needed.

When my son was at school, he used things like hotmail, which was, to be honest, embarrassing. It is a bit like the "cobbler's children are the worst shod", running an ISP I could give him email on any new domain that he wanted. He was not interested. It was not until I finally got the domain fuck.me.uk that he decided to use a "proper" email address. He took great delight in ensuring that the school had his correct email address on record. Apparently they even called my wife to confirm he was not taking the piss.

18 comments:

  1. ahh how cool almost a *Bobby Tables*
    NICE

    is i@m.taking.the.piss.co.uk gone?

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  2. BT have just done something similar - back in the late 90's they partnered with the gov't to offer a "free email address for life" for every UK citizen, under the "Talk 21" banner.

    This month they emailed to say unless you are a BT Broadband customer they will delete the account unless you pay them £1.60 a month.

    Apparently BT had been denying the promises were ever made, and holding people to ransom!

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    1. I remember *Free email for life* from apple ... I've got a mac.com addy but sadly it's no longer free eh

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    2. Really? I don't pay anything for my mac.com address (It used to when it was part of .mac and them MobileMe) but they're free now.

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  3. My debate is always "which domain should I be using that isn't domain squatting?". If I take my last name, then what about all the other ones out there? I need something that looks professional, while also being necessarily unique to me.

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    1. At least you don't have a disciple's first name, and the most common Irish surname, I'm totally out of luck for even attempting that. The moral dilemma isn't relevant

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  4. I still have an old demon.co.uk address which we've had in the family since 1994. While I've tried to move as much correspondence as I can over to a gmail account. I still get quite a few emails through the old address. My father and I now pay Vodafone ~£4 a month between us to keep our email accounts alive as he's now on BT Infinity and I'm with AAISP. I do have several domains registered which all have their email handled through a grandfathered free Google Apps account, but all they do currently is forward onto my gmail and I rarely give those addresses out as I don't really do much the domains themselves at the moment.

    I think it's important to realise that back when we originally signed up with Demon, there wasn't really any other option for email. The likes of Hotmail and other Webmail-based services didn't seem to exist, and you got your email address for free as part of your dialup account. Nobody I knew back then had their own domain. If people had websites they were either hosted by their ISP or a site like Geocities.

    I think the Oatmeal cartoon is a little wide of the mark wrt. people having their own domains being skilled and capable. I know a number of people with them and 'skilled' and 'capable' are not the words I would use to describe them. They're simply people who had just enough cognitive capacity to type their paypal address into the Godaddy website.

    I'd also wager a good number of domains simply forward the mail onto one of the free services anyway. I certainly wouldn't pay the likes of 1&1 or Godaddy to host mail for me when I could get it for free.

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    1. I had a demon.co.uk dialup account from 1993 and got my own domain in 1994 through (if I remember correctly) a company called intenet.com (who must have made a fortune selling their domain name in later years!). All e-mail to the domain was forwarded to my demon.co.uk dialup account and everything worked fine.

      At that time, Demon had a "mail forwarding" option (£50 per year or something like that) which allowed you to forward e-mail received on a dialup account to other machines. After a while using my domain name, I got an e-mail from (IIRC) Cliff Stanford (who'd spotted my e-mail address in ,u demon newsgroup posts) asking whether I was mail forwarding since that was not allowed with a tenner a month dialup account ? I replied to say no (the e-mails were received with my dialup account and read by me on the same machine - no forwarding to others) and he replied to say fine but he'd appreciate if I didn't let others know about this loophole in Demon's T&Cs!

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  5. Actually, roughly how much would hosting email on AAISP cost? I'm just thinking that recent news makes gmail....undesirable.

    I've looked at the AAISP page, but it's making no sense to me. (To be fair, java isn't making sense to me either right now. It's claiming that ""}" is null currently. I'm not convinced...)

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    1. We do £1/month (+VAT) each for registration at nominet, DNS, email, and web space. So just the domain, dns and email is £3/month. There are extra for high volume email usage if you go mad, but like three months warning for those.

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  6. I still have, and use, a btinternet.com address I got as a secondary on my father's broadband connection in a previous house some years ago. Not a peep about having to pay anything for it despite the broadband connection having been lapsed a long time ago.

    As for domains with your name - I have surname-uk.com. Most people get it right, surprisingly!

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  7. Yep losing my btinternet.com address very soon.

    Trouble is there are very few places for the ordinary consumer to get email hosting for their domain at a reasonable cost.

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    1. Depends what you consider to be reasonable but you can register a domain with A+A or many others for in many cases a tenner a year or less, and then forward to an Outlook.com mailbox to get many Gigabytes of storage along with web access plus sync to Outlook and all sorts of mobile devices.

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    2. For now.... and that is what I am doing at the moment. Google apps for business (which I would have preferred to use) has gone subscription only and it isn't cheap.

      I would not be surprised at all if Windows Live Domains goes the same way too.

      Which would leave Zoho... Which I've never heard of so wouldn't place any money on its longevity.

      Best option for home users at the moment seems to be Gmail and trusting Google.

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    3. There's a trick using google app engine to get a free google apps subscription

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    4. I would be quite interested in hearing more on that trick Andrew...

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    5. The trick only allows single-user Google Apps for your own domain. Details: http://dutton.me.uk/2013/05/09/how-to-still-get-google-apps-for-free/

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  8. I still have my @ukgateway.net address, and my parents their @tiscali.co.uk addresses, despite none of us having given a penny TalkTalk (Tiscali (UK Gateway)) for a few years... Not sure how that works. A perk in the contract we got way back in the days of dial-up perhaps?

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