We all remember the good old days of AOL when you’d get that CD in the mail and in minutes the computer took over your phone with that unmistakable dial-up tone. Then, you’d hear those three little words you had been waiting for – “You’ve Got Mail”. Memories.
While you may be nostalgic for years gone by, having an email account through your internet service provider (ISP) is no longer a good idea. Here are five reasons you should NEVER use your ISP’s email service.
1. Freedom of choice. Having your email with your ISP means that you are locked into their services. If you switch ISPs, you have to start over with a new email address, which could mean losing all your saved email and contacts. Besides the hassle, locking into an ISP does not give you the opportunity to take advantage of the marketplace and whatever deals are available on internet services which could cost you large amounts of money over time. As it turns out, your “free” email from your local cable internet provider really isn’t free after all.
2. Better email product. Quite simply, ISPs are in the business of providing internet service – not email service. This means their “free” email service is going to be inferior in both capability and quality compared to the services of mega email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, or MSN. This is because mega email providers make money with email – they are incentivized to make sure they have the best email product on the market. They work hard to retain your business, even if it is in fact free.
3. More extras. One of the ways that free-email providers keep their customers is through all the free extras they provide. For example, if you get a Gmail account, you get free document storage, free Google calendar, and access to create free websites through Google Sites. It is also very easy to link your email account from your free-email provider to your smart phone – they all have an app for that!
4. Less spam. ISP email is just not as good as the free-email providers at blocking spam. Again, ISPs are in the business of providing internet services, not creating high-functioning spam filters. It seems that ISP spam filters have a much more difficult time identifying spam emails and are always blocking out too many or too few emails depending on what parameters they use. With an ISP email service, you are likely to spend more time sorting your emails and trying to avoid viruses.
5. Less Junk Mail. You would think that because you are paying for your ISPs email service that you would have less junk mail, but that’s often not the case. When you sign your contract with your ISP you generally agree to let them fill your inbox with any offers they want to send you. In most cases, they even have the right to give your information to their “partners” which are other third-party vendors. You can be sure they make money off of selling your information to these other contacts. They also make sure that all of their emails will make it through your spam filter. With free-email providers you can set your privacy settings and not worry about a junk-filled inbox.
If reading all of this has inspired you to stop using your ISP’s email service, remember that most free-email providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, or MSN provide some tools to import your current contacts and email, so you don’t necessarily have to lose anything to switch over.
Author Jason Lancaster writes for InternetServiceProviders.org, a website that helps people find high-speed internet service in Texas and across North America.