I have owned the domain tux.com.au for several years and it has provided many benefits. Most of them are e-mail related and I will describe them here:

  1. Portable e-mail: I have changed ISP's about 6 times since owning my own domain but my e-mail has never changed. I know that you can get a Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail account but it is not very professional.
  2. Protected e-mail: Everywhere you register these days wants your e-mail address, so I make up one on the spot based on the location (web site or business). How I manage this is to have 3 mailboxes:
    1. My "real" e-mail address that I only give to people I know personally.
    2. A "catchall" account, if the address does not match any other mailbox (or alias) then it drops into this mailbox.
    3. A "crap catcher", mail sent to this account disappears into the big bit bucket in the sky. It is not a mailbox and it does not get re-directed to anywhere, it just disappears, poof, gone.
  3. I run my own mail server: I have my own mail server at home. The problem is that I don't know enough about mail servers to protect it from being exploited from spammers. The solution? Have a firewall rule on my Linux server that lets only my web host to connect to the mail server. When a message gets sent to one of the family mailboxes the web host is configured to forward it to my home server. When my wife and kids check their e-mail they are doing it on my home server. I have my mail server configured so that the mail stays on it. When (not if) I have to rebuild their computer they do not lose their mail.

I will give an example of how I use the "protected e-mail".

  1. When I registered on this site it asked for my e-mail address, so I made up on the spot and used ipernity@tux.com.au.
  2. The registration message did not match my real mail name and it was not on the list for my "crap catcher" so it fell into the "catchall" account.
  3. It stays this way, if I want to recover my password I know the address will be ipernity@tux.com.au and then I just check my "catchall" account.
  4. I always check my catchall account as well as my real mailbox.
  5. If all of a sudden a spammer got hold of that address I would start getting millions of messages sent to it.
  6. I would then add that address as an alias to the "crap catcher" account.
  7. The next spam (or password recovery) message addressed to that will never been seen, ever, by anyone.
  8. If I do need to use the password recovery facility I would delete the alias from the "crap catcher" account and let it drop into the "catchall" account.
  9. Once the password message was received I would add the alias back to the crap catcher account.

I think everyone should buy their own domain.