This past Sunday something came up in conversation that I hadn’t thought about for some time. A friend at church recently had to change her email address because she changed Internet providers at home. I’ve taken my GMail and other accounts for granted over the years, but this reminded me of why I have those other accounts, and not just the one from my Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Here’s the thing: if you only have the email account from your ISP, and you change ISPs, you have to do all sorts of extra work…
- Tell all your friends about your new address
- Change all of your online accounts that reference that address, like utility bills and such.
- Change any email subscriptions like Yahoo! Groups and such, so they go to the new address.
…and so on. And you have to do this every single time you change ISPs. In my friend’s case, it was because she switched from Time-Warner Cable to Verizon’s FiOS fiber-optic service. But it could be for whatever reason: moving to a new location that isn’t served by your previous ISP, for example.
Now, if you have an email account that’s independent of your ISP – Google GMail, for example – then you’re spared the inconvenience of having to go through all that hassle. No matter who your ISP is, your GMail account remains the same. Have all of your online subscriptions, emails from your friends, online utilities, all of that stuff sent to your GMail account, and if or when you need to change ISPs you don’t have to do a thing.
It sounds completely obvious, but I’m betting there are a lot of people out there who go through this whole process, completely unaware of the advantage of using an ISP-independent email address, hence this post. Heck, I may even put the URL for this blog item on my business card…!