Upgrading email, best email, fleeing ISP email

I have about 5 emails via my ISP, as well as a gmail and yahho account. My Thunderbird client currently reads all but the yahoo account. I’d like to leave my ISP: what should I do about emails?


  1. Just use your gmail account and filtering, though I don’t especially like my gmail username.

  2. Get my own email domain: see these instructions for Thunderbird, my email client.

Ookay, but what sort of domains look lame? Which template should I use? Pretend my name is John Corey Smith:

me@johncsmith.com (johnsmith.com is not available)

me@jsmith.xyz (jsmith.com is not available)

me@chutesandladders.com or jsmith@chutesandladders.com (in other words make a domain up)

  1. ??
    I’ve been procrastinating this task for literally years and my feet are colder than dry ice: help me dopers, you’re my only hope.

Past threads:
Is it “bad” to use numbers in your email address? 2012

whats a non isp email account 2014

Is yahoo / hotmail unprofessional seeming? (2009)

Not liking your gmail username isn’t much of a problem. It’s free to make up a new one. And you can have one account that checks both old and new until all your contacts get the news.

The domain name you pick isn’t that big a deal, most people will simply add your address to their contact list and bring it up by your name. They might have to type it in the first time, so don’t make it too long. I prefer a made-up domain, if you decide to let friends and relatives use some of your allotted mailboxes they’re not mistaken for you, e.g. if you want to share the service with your niece, jenny at chutesandladders looks better than jenny at johncsmith.

A few random things to watch out for:

Trademarks, domain name disputes - If the name is similar to a trademarked name, e.g. eddiecbauer.com, the company might try to take it away from you. There’s a band out there with the same name as one of my domains but luckily I registered mine way before they were formed and they’re not rich and famous enough to come after me.

Read the service’s legalese carefully, some of the cheap ones will register the domain under their own name and later demand a hefty sum if you decide to move to another service. Make sure you become the domain’s owner and you can get the AUTH codes easily for transfer.

You don’t need to spend a ton of money but don’t go too cheap either, from a very quick glance, it looks like the basic service from Hover gives you just a couple of forwards, i.e. you still need to keep a real mailbox elsewhere, either your ISP or gmail-like. Pick a service package that gives you at least a couple of mailboxes and a bunch of forwards. Also a super cheap service may get too popular and fall behind on support, or even drop some messages.

Not too important but it’s better to use a service hosted in your own country, this way you’re not subjected to the laws of multiple countries.

Hope this helps.

This question is a lot like “Please help me buy a truck”. It really depends on what you need it to do, and on your budget.

If “personal email and that’s it”, then I’d say you probably want to avoid dealing with personal domains and setup and so on. If you’ve been happy with Gmail except for the unfortunate username, just get a new username. If you’re a “cold feet type” and you choose an email setup that you have to do some work to keep it running and available, I can almost guarantee that some day you’re going to miss a step and run into trouble.

This. Actually, get more than one. Get one domain for personal emails and one for professional emails. Then just have them forward your email to Gmail or whoever.

Make sure the domain host provides Catch-all forwarding.

No idea what you mean by “work to keep it running and available” and “miss a step.” I’ve been using my own domain and an email service (web hosting service to be precise) for the past 15 years and all I’ve had to do is pay for the service once a year and renew the domain every 10 years. If you’re worried about missing a payment, any half-decent hosting service will give you some time and multiple warnings before suspending your account, and you can always add a recurring event to your calendar.

I’ve had my Gmail account since at least 2005 and I can count the number of outages and problems on one hand. It just works and has terrific spam filtering. Gmail is hard not to recommend.

ETA: I deal with professionals from around the world and Gmail accounts are common among them. Lawyers, Fortune 500 companies, IT professionals, HR firms. All I’ve seen using Gmail for business.

That’s true, and you don’t even need to have a Gmail address to be using Gmail. My work email has the domain name of my employer, but it runs on Gmail software with the exact same interface as my personal Gmail.

I have had my own domain for probably 15 years now, I got tired of my email address changing every time I changed ISPs. I went through a number of variations, but right now my domain is hosted by GoDaddy (maybe $20 a year?) and the email is Gmail (free). The spam filtering on Gmail is excellent. At the time I made the most recent setup there were very clear instructions on the Google website about setting up Gmail with you own domain name.

Don’t get domain .xyz–people don’t remember these and will type .com instead.

The nice thing about Gmail is excellent spam filtering; if you get your own domain you will have to make arrangements for this.

Can you make any recommendations for hosting services? I’d prefer to get away from gmail… I feel like I’ve sold my soul at this point.

The only hosting service I know is the Canadian one I’ve been using forever. If you live in the States you should look for one in that country, sorry I can’t help you with that.

I’ve been a happy GMail user for several years now. It’s a trivial matter to change your GMail username.

I recommend you stick with GMail for the time being. I know you don’t like it, but it’s free and easy to use, as well as universally accepted.