Most of us today have an email address that we use at home for personal use. It’s getting to a stage where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to live your life at its best without using the internet. Whether that is for online clothes shopping, fast food takeaways, internet banking or your local grocery shop. All of these activities require you to have your own email address.
The email service provider we use varies depending on where we live and most likely the services we were closest to when creating our very first email address. However, that shouldn’t mean we don’t make the decision to change the email provider we use.
If I can think back far enough my first ever email provider was Hotmail. Possibly the first and most popular email provider that was available in the early 90s. I’ve also had email addresses that I acquired when signing up to internet service providers such as Virgin Media.
Why I moved to Gmail
I can’t remember the exact date I created a Gmail email address. It was definitely in the early days, so I would guess it was around 2006. I had already stopped using my Hotmail email address because I got locked out and could not get back in. Back then it was much harder resetting accounts because we didn’t link our mobile phones to our accounts as we do now.
I’ve even paid for an email address previously, which is pretty crazy when I think about it now. The service started off free and a couple of years later they began to charge. I was happy with the email provider, and I had given this address to many different people. Therefore, I did not want to change to a new email provider straight away.
I think I got my first Gmail email address a couple of years after the service was available. Back then I wasn’t a Google user, other than using their search engine. I had a Windows PC an iPod and a Nokia phone. This was well before we had the iPhone or an Android phone to choose between.
The main reason for creating a Gmail email address at the time was that I wanted an email provider I could trust. I didn’t want another email provider who would start charging for the service at a later date. Also, there were many email providers at the time, but none of them had a reputation that made me feel comfortable that they would still be around a few years later. I had no such concerns about Google, as they were pretty established, so it was the obvious choice.
Gmail became the leader of email providers
Gmail was launched in 2004 and after about three years they were the market leader. This is one of the reasons why many smaller email providers started to disappear. So I was pretty happy I made the decision to move to Gmail.
I didn’t really take advantage of Google Docs back then because I was still a huge Microsoft Windows fan. Chrome OS was not on the scene, so I used Windows computers both at work and at home. However, I was aware there were many who started to use Google Docs, as it was free to use with your Google account.
At this stage, there were only a couple of email providers I would have considered using. That was either Microsoft or Gmail, which was because they were the only established tech companies I believed would still be around in years to come.
The Chromebook was launched
I remember reading about a new type of computer using a Google operating system. At the time I got really excited because I had already started to get frustrated with using Microsoft at home. As soon as the first Chromebooks were launched I immediately went out and bought one.
To use a Chromebook you need a Google account. Because I already had a Gmail address by default I had a Google account. Therefore, I could use this Google account to register my first Chromebook back in 2011.
Anyone who buys a Chromebook would need to create a Google account. Many, like me, would have already used Gmail, so they could use this to register their first-ever Chromebook. For others who may have used another email provider like Hotmail. Would still need to create a Google account to register their Chromebook. It’s most likely many users in this position never started to use their Gmail email address, and continued to use their Hotmail account.
Managing two email addresses
Although it’s perfectly possible to continue using an email address other than Gmail when you own a Chromebook. Is it really something that makes much sense? Chrome OS and Gmail go hand in hand, and using one without the other is a bit of an oddity.
When you consider your Google account gives you access to Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs and many other services. All the things we most likely use if we own a Chromebook. It makes perfect sense to use the Gmail email address attached to our Google account.
If you own a Chromebook and can’t see yourself ever going back to a Windows PC. Then it makes sense to only have one email address to manage. Out of all the email providers available in 2022, it’s Gmail that I consider as being the one that will be around the longest.
Also, now that I am 100% Google, which means I own a Chromebox, a couple of Chromebooks, a Pixel phone, a Google TV, and a couple of Google Home speakers. I can’t imagine being part of that ecosystem and using an email address from another provider. It just makes no sense.
If you use an ISP email address, change it now
Something that still amazes me is how many people still use an email address provided by their internet service provider (ISP). The issue with doing this is that your email address will only be valid whilst you’re with that ISP.
If you decide to change your ISP because you want faster broadband speeds, which are only available elsewhere. Or perhaps you regularly change your ISP to get the best price. Using an email provided by your ISP is a way for them to keep you tied to them.
If you do leave your ISP the email address you have with them will be terminated. This means you’ll lose access to your emails. Therefore, I would strongly suggest avoiding using an email provided by an ISP.
It’s easy to switch to Gmail
Most email providers offer a forwarding service. This allows you to forward your emails to a different email address. This makes it much easier to move over to using Gmail because any emails sent to your older email address can be forwarded to your Gmail.
If you decide to do this and start using Gmail for all future online account registrations. It should only take a few months before you can safely start to forget about your older email address. It’s still a good idea to regularly log in to your old email service. This is because some of them may terminate the service if you don’t log in regularly.
However, after about six months you should be in a situation where you’ve changed all your accounts over to your new Gmail address. This would mean you’ll no longer have to worry about managing multiple email addresses.
Although it isn’t necessary to use Gmail as your main email provider if you own a Chromebook. It makes it much easier to do this if you don’t use any other type of computer. Of course, all our situations are different, so there may be reasons why you still want to hold onto your old email address.
If on the other hand you’ve moved over to the Chromebook and cannot see that changing anytime soon. Then I’d strongly suggest making the move and making your Gmail address linked to your Google account your primary email address.
If you own an Android phone as well as a Chromebook. Then the argument for using Gmail rather than any other email provider is even stronger. Using Gmail when most of your products are made by Google will make your online life much easier to manage.