Adam Darack is the IT administrator for the town of Edgartown. He writes regularly about the technological issues facing Island business owners. Got a question? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Dear Geek.”
I’m writing you after spending two hours on the phone with customer service getting an issue with my email fixed. I am so frustrated with this, and feel there must be a better solution for me. I currently get my email from the company that provides Internet service to my house. Help!
You’ve Got (No) Mail
Dear You’ve Got,
This is one of the more common questions I receive, and there’s a chance I’ve mentioned it in a previous article. Your Internet service provider (ISP) is happy to set you up with an email account, and here on the Island, this typically ends in @comcast.net or @verizon.net. It makes things easier in some ways, because your email is connected to your billing account and other services offered by that ISP. The problem, however, is that they are in the business of providing Internet, not top-quality email services. Comcast does offer some enhanced business email services, but I’m writing to the everyday user with a singular, or perhaps a secondary, email address.
I can write articles for the paper (my friends might laugh and debate this statement), but I write fun tech articles. Nobody is asking me to write hard-hitting news. Your ISP can provide email, but let’s have a company specializing in email handle this for you. It’s all about specialization.
The good news is that you have a handful of capable free options. Personally, I am partial to Google and enjoy their @gmail product, but Microsoft and Yahoo also offer great email services. As with most things I mention in my articles, since there are a few options, I recommend test-driving them to determine the best fit.
Once you choose a solution, migrating your email and contacts from one provider to another can be an easy task. There are ways that you can go into the settings of your new email account and have it bring over all of your emails and contacts, or you can pay a service with a more simplistic interface, like yippiemove.com, to automatically move everything for you.
No offense to the ISPs, who are our Internet lifeblood out here on the Island, but I think you’ll have a better experience with one of my suggested email platforms, and if you ever need help troubleshooting, chances are you have a friend, relative, or computer person that can easily help you instead of having to place a call to whatever country’s customer service agent ends up picking up the phone. The past week hasn’t made us quite as popular with the international community as we used to be … and that’s as close to politics as this Geek will get today.
I hope this helps, and have fun testing out the new email platforms. It won’t be as painful as it may sound, and I guarantee it’ll be easier than having to repeat the call you mentioned when you wrote in.