Secondary email addresses

Welcome to Computing Matters 10 – Secondary email addresses

Republished from October 2008

Many computer users only have one email address with one provider. This newsletter is aimed to get you thinking about setting up a backup secondary email address with a different provider.

Having a backup email address will not cost anything and can prove to be very useful.

Sometimes I find myself unable to email certain people from my email account. Reasons for this have been temporary glitches with my email provider, or even longer term issues where my email provider is rejected by some company firewalls. In situations like this, a secondary email address is useful to use either at certain times or with certain contacts.

The Converse is also true. Sometimes your contacts will be unable to email you at your regular email address (perhaps since their own provider has been “black listed” by your provider). In such a case, they may find it easier to email you with a secondary address.

Two examples of secondary email addresses are Google Mail and Hotmail. There are of course many other free email addresses available out there!

So, for example, although my principle email address is gabriel at, I also have gabrielfriedman at and gabrielfriedman at Of the two, I recommend Google Mail – which even offers free pop access – this means you can set it to come into outlook automatically with all your other emails. Googlemail offers great storage capacity and a useful email grouping facility. Other features such an online calendar and access to online tools such as an online word processor and spreadsheet (called “Google Docs”) are also available at no cost. If your principal address is already Google Mail, then hotmail will make an excellent secondary email address.

If you are still reliant on your broadband ISP (internet Service Provider) for your principle email address (e.g. you have a bt, tiscali, orange, blue yonder, virgin etc. related email address), please consider changing your principle address and slowly wean yourself away from the ISP email address. The reason for this is to avoid independence on a broadband ISP for your email – if you decide to leave them to try another ISP, or if you leave the country to another (where, most likely, the ISP do not operate), then you will lose the email address. So Best to setup a second email address and receive both for a year until on your contacts are aware of the new email address and you are no longer tied to one ISP.

I hope you find this newsletter useful. Hopefully it will help make your day to day practical computing easier.



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