Maybe It's Time for a New Email Address

by Keith Gatling | 14 days ago

Do you have internet service with TimeWarner/Spectrum? Then perhaps it’s time to get a new email address.

Why?

Don’t get me wrong, this has nothing to do with whatever you, or anyone else, might think of their service, but there are two very practical reasons why you should go with something different.

The first is that it’s tied to TimeWarner/Spectrum. No…really…it’s nothing personal about them. It’s just that your twcny.rr.com email address is tied to that particular internet service provider (ISP), and if you ever switch ISPs or move outside of the twcny.rr.com service area, you lose that email address, and all the email connected to it.

Even if you move to another place with TimeWarner/Spectrum service, you’ll lose that email address. Yes, it’s a big company, with branches all over the country, but TimeWarner/Spectrum North Carolina, Albany, and Kansas City are separate ISPs with email addresses of nc.rr.com, nycap.rr.com and kc.rr.com.

The second is that TimeWarner/Spectrum is using old email technology, which affects how your email appears if you’re looking at it on more than one device. To make a long and overly technical story short and simple, TimeWarner/Spectrum is still using a system called POP, which assumes you’re only using one device, while some of the others use a newer system called IMAP, which takes into account the fact that many of us check our email on phones and tablets as well as possibly on multiple computers. This difference between POP and IMAP is one of the reasons why after you’ve deleted 80 messages from your phone, you find that you have to delete those same 80 messages again on your tablet, and yet again on your computer.

New Email AddressSo what do I suggest you switch to? I’m going to suggest a service like either Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo. And I suggest them for five reasons.

First of all they’re all portable, or ISP-independent. This means that if you go from TimeWarner/Spectrum in Onondaga County to Xfinity in Pittsburgh, with an outlook.com email address, you won’t lose a thing.

Second, they also have relatively decent web-interfaces, which means that it doesn’t matter whether or not you use them on a Windows machine, a Mac, or a Chromebook. And this web-interface thing means that you don’t have to deal with putting arcane settings into your desktop email program (like Microsoft’s Outlook or Apple’s Mail). Your setup is your email address and password. Period.

Third, you can bid a fond (or not so fond) farewell to desktop email programs like Microsoft’s Outlook (not to be confused with online Outlook) or Apple’s Mail. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen have horrible problems when their hard drive died and ate the email that was stored in their desktop program. 

Fourth, they also all have pretty good mobile apps to work on your phone or tablet. And if you’re using their specific mobile app (instead of the generic mail program that comes with your device), once again, you don’t have to worry about any special settings other than your email address and password. 

Fifth, and finally, if you make a point of always using their web interface and mobile apps, you almost never have to worry about whether they’re using POP or IMAP, because their system is talking to…their system, and what you do in their app on your phone syncs with what’s in their app on your tablet, and what’s on their website.

It All Sounds Good, But…

You’re worried about changing your email address. You’re worried about having to tell all your friends that you’ve changed your address. You’re worried about having to move all your old mail over to the new service. And, of course, you’re worried about having another password to remember.

Because you’re not going to use that same old password again. 

Well don’t worry. If you think the time has come for you to switch to a more portable email address, come see me, and I’ll help you through it. Don’t just come in for a drop-in session though, we probably won’t have enough time…especially if there are other people waiting. Your best bet is to make two one-hour appointments with me, then we’ll have that time all to ourselves to talk through what you need to do, which email service you should switch to, and iron out any kinks that might come up.

We’ll also have time to come up with a nice new password for your new email address, that’ll be easy for you to remember, but hard for someone else to guess.

So call 315-457-0310 ext. 140 to make that appointment, and I'll see you at our scheduled time. Cheryl will tell you where and when.