With Telecom promising
naked DSL by December
, the broadband market looks set to
(finally!) heat-up. But many users will find themselves trapped by
their old email accounts. That's why you should start preparing now.
The problem's simple: wherever you are now you're almost certainly
using an email address in the format username@current-ISP.co.nz
But what happens if you change Internet Service Providers? If you opt
for Orcon over Xtra, for example? Or iHug over Telstra? It
suddenly becomes a hassle because you need to warn everyone on your
mailing list that you're now username@new-ISP.co.nz
If you run a small business that might also mean updating business
cards, stationery, flyers and even advertising. And what then if, six
months down the track, you're courted by even-newer-ISP.co.nz
The traditional solution is to use a free email account from the likes
, but they have
their limitations. First, there are often some pretty onerous terms
and conditions attached to their use -- Google's Gmail for
example has three separate documents (1
Second, they're really
popular which means it's really
you'll snag a memorable mailbox name. (After all, who wants to be
email@example.com?) Third, they don't look very professional.
Free email accounts are often used by bogus businesses and Nigerian
. And finally, they can sometimes be tricky to
integrate into non-Web-based email programs.
So what's the real solution? Simple. Buy your own domain name.
For around $1 a week you
could own www.johnsmith.co.nz
(still available at the time of writing). You don't have to
build a website around it -- though of course you can if you want to.
The important thing is that the johnsmith.co.nz
domain name then belongs to you, and that means that any email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
will -- with a simple email redirection setting -- be forwarded to
whichever ISP you happen to be using at the moment. If you change
ISPs, just change the setting to point at your new
one. It really is that simple.
There are other advantages too. You can put anything you like in front
of the @
and the mail will still go to you. This can be used as a basis for
filtering incoming mail. You might be known as jsmith@...
business contacts and jono@...
to your friends, for example. Or you can set up multiple redirects so
that mail addressed to NaggingWife@...
goes to her-indoors' Xtra account, UnrulyTeen@...
goes to the brat's Gmail account and MiserableSod@...
goes to you.
You can even set up a cheapskate website on this basis. If your ISP
offers free homepages (many still do but you have to ask for
them to be activated), you can redirect www.yourdomain.co.nz
to point to
the homepage address and make it look like you have a proper
Redirection -- whether it's to a website or email account --
is invisible to your users and correspondents.
So how do you set all this up? Visit a domain
and see what they offer. The best local deal
I've spotted so far comes from RegisterDirect
where, for $59.95 a year, you can register a domain name and
mail forwarding. I'm sure readers will have other suggestions
so check the Comments section below.
One final point: once you're set up, don't forget to change your return
email address in the Account Settings section of your email package!