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:
- 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.
- 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:
- My "real" e-mail address that I only give to people I know personally.
- A "catchall" account, if the address does not match any other mailbox (or alias) then it drops into this mailbox.
- 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.
- 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".
- When I registered on this site it asked for my e-mail address, so I made up on the spot and used firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- It stays this way, if I want to recover my password I know the address will be email@example.com and then I just check my "catchall" account.
- I always check my catchall account as well as my real mailbox.
- If all of a sudden a spammer got hold of that address I would start getting millions of messages sent to it.
- I would then add that address as an alias to the "crap catcher" account.
- The next spam (or password recovery) message addressed to that will never been seen, ever, by anyone.
- 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.
- 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.