E-mail is and remains an important means of communication. There are all sorts of alternative messaging services such as Snapchat, Messenger, WhatsApp, even with video, such as FaceTime. But that requires your correspondent to use the same program, and to have an iPhone or Android device. This problem does not arise with the ’old one’, the classic e-mail, because it is universal. You are really armed for the future with your own e-mail address or domain name.
How does e-mail work?
An e-mail is a digital document, i.e. bits and bytes, that someone sends to your e-mail address. It can be a document in clear text (‘plain text’), or with text formatting such as headers, tables, figures, etc. ('html e-mail').
The file goes to your e-mail server via the digital route. This is a program on a computer that deals specifically with e-mail, and that server will usually be at your e-mail provider. Space is provided for it there, and your provider determines how big it is (5 GB is standard).
The e-mail stays waiting at that space until your computer connects to the e-mail server. You can then read the e-mail, and choose whether to leave a copy on the server or to download the e-mail to your own computer.
What is the difference between an e-mail address and an e-mailbox?
An e-mail address is a label affixed on the e-mail sent, to indicate to the postman (the e-mail protocol) the address where the e-mail has to be delivered. But there must be a physical post box, where the letter or e-mail can be put, i.e. the mailbox.
Most ISPs such as Telenet, Proximus, etc. provide one or more e-mailboxes of a certain size with your internet subscription. You can however also rent one or more e-mailboxes from an external provider.
How can you create an e-mail address on your own domain name?
A proprietary domain name is an absolute must for every company, every organisation and, yes, for every private person also. Because in that way, you always retain control of your identity throughout your digital life. You register a domain name with a registrar or domain name company. There are enormous possibilities for thinking up a nice sounding, catchy domain name for yourself or your company. Opt for the country extension .be, .vlaanderen, or .brussels, or one of the many nice extensions such as .bike, .guru, .xyz, .immo, etc. As soon as you have your own domain name for yourself, your organisation or company, you can create e-mail addresses there as well – an unlimited number of addresses with certain registrars, in fact. This has the following advantages:
- Create an e-mail address in your name. If you should change provider (switch from Telenet to Proximus, for instance), your e-mail address will remain unchanged – for your entire digital life!
- Have you launched your company only recently? Create e-mail addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Have all e-mails forwarded to your regular inbox. In this way, you know immediately what the e-mail is about. Later, when you have real staff man those departments, you can simply retain those e-mail addresses.
- Create e-mail addresses in the name of your company’s employees such as firstname.lastname@example.org
- You choose the domain name yourself. It will be unique, so you can choose your e-mail addresses just the way you want. You no longer have to make do with email@example.com, because 1241 Jean preceded you! No: opt for firstname.lastname@example.org!
- You have and retain control over your domain name and related e-mail addresses. If the free e-mail provider should change name or close shop, you do not have to notify all your customers – with the risk of losing them!
The registration of a domain name usually costs no more than €50 to €100 per year – often even far less. Do you think that your customers will take your company seriously with a free and often obscure e-mail address such as email@example.com on your business card, if they realize that you are unwilling or unable to assume the minimal cost for your own clear identity?