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4 Reasons to get your own domain name
1. Provider independence
This is the big one. Changing your email address is a massive pain. Not only do you need to tell all your human correspondents about your new address, but you need to tell just about every site that you’ve ever logged on to. Most sites use your email address to identify you, and that’s the only address that you can get a password reset sent to if you forget it.
Not so long ago, many people used the “free” addresses provided by their broadband (or dial-up) provider. This had the obvious problem that changing broadband providers meant changing your email address. Having your own domain puts you in control.
2. Real provider independence
Realising the problem of having your email address tied to your connectivity provider, many people have switched to using an address from a free email provider such as Gmail or Yahoo!, but this is really just moving the same problem elsewhere: your email address is now tied to your email provider.
What happens when you get fed up with the amount of advertising you’re exposed to in order to fund your “free” email account? Or your provider changes their email policy in a way that causes your address to be banned from mailing lists? Or you discover that the provider’s anti-spam policy is binning your legitimate email? Or they simply change their web interface in a way that you don’t like? By using your own domain name, you retain choice of email provider.
3. Disposable addresses
It’s hard to do anything online without being asked to provide an email address, but how can you trust that your address isn’t going to be added to a spam list? If you have your own domain, you can have as many addresses as you want. You can even have “wildcard” addresses so that you can make up new addresses on the spot. For example, if my address is email@example.com and I want to sign up to a service at www.somedodgysite.com, I could invent an address of:
If I start getting spam sent to that address then firstly, I know which site lost or sold my details and secondly, I can easily setup a rule to bin all mail to that address.
4. More interesting and memorable addresses
Unless you’re lucky enough to have a particularly uncommon name, any address you can get at the big free mail providers is likely to be some complex variant of your name. With your own domain name, you’ve got complete control. You could even have just a single letter such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
This also means that it’s less likely that your email will end up in someone else’s inbox by mistake. If one of your friends forgets that you’re email@example.com rather than just firstname.lastname@example.org, the email will get delivered to someone else. With your own domain, it’s far more likely that typo-ed addresses will get bounced, and the sender will notice the mistake.