Thursday, August 04, 2005

Why its bad to trust a carrier when email is concerned

Recently, a TamsPalm author got himself a Sidekick from T-Mobile. He got a shiny new tmail.com address for use with the machine and immediately began spreading it among his peers. Most of you won't see why, but he is making an incredible mistake.
Lets wade back into history to make things clear. Many carriers suddenly closed their email services(palm.net, t-email,...) and left customers sitting in the rain. Changing an email address is a mayor pain in the butt. There are newsletters, forums,...-and some services even use your email address as account name. Updating all of these is almost impossible-especially if you just have 30 days of time!
But actually, there is no need to swap address to use push email! Most providers(Gmail, eg) support POP3 forwarding which solves the problem. People get the Gmail/foo address which is set to autoforward email to your IM address. Autoforwarding happens almost instantaneous at mail receipt FYI, and the from,... Parameters remain unchanged. Then, setup your IM email program to tell users to reply to the foo address if possible. If your carrier now decides to disable your address, all you need to do is change a parameter in your foo account. No reconfiguration orgies needed..
Call me paranoid or mentally ill, I have been called worse. But I stick to my GMX account, no matter what carrot a carrier waves. Do you trust your carrier?

5 Comments:

Blogger Steven Fisher said...

Just a few years ago, @home.com disappeared and took a lot of email addresses with it. This took my email address with it, which resulted in some awkward moments for a few pieces of shareware (luckily the authors were generally on the ball).

Plus there's always the chance you'll want to switch carriers...

Employer email addresses are just as bad for other reasons. It seems the only really safe thing is to buy your own domain name.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi,
it is the safest bet to take a big freemail service that either is backed by a portal, paid service or big company E.g. I dont beleive gmail will go away.
Your own domain can be grabbed,...-so there always is a little risk.
Best regards
Tam Hanna

1:51 PM  
Blogger Steven Fisher said...

Any free mail service could go away tomorrow. It isn't just the company going under that you need to worry about; they might also decide providing free email isn't in their best interest anymore. Or it could change its rules or become otherwise so crappy that you don't want to use it anymore.

In contrast, domain names can only be grabbed by your own negligence. I trust myself over Google and Microsoft both, and should anything go wrong I'd rather have only myself to blame anyway. Other than losing the domain name, the worst case is you need to point it elsewhere.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi,
your word in Gods ear. There was a scandal with a german provider once that killed hundreds of domains....
Best regards
Tam Hanna

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