If you've decided to switch ISP, it's worth setting up a separate email account first. In the meantime, you can access both through Outlook Express
Q Having re-read the article on cutting your broadband bill, I’m tempted to change my internet service provider (ISP). However, at 78 years of age I find that some decisions take a bit of time. The thing that holds me back is notifying essential websites of my new email address.
Your advice suggests that a new address can be added to an email program (Outlook Express, on my Windows XP PC). However, I have only ever used the email address given to me by my ISP. What’s the simplest way to get an alternative email address up and running before asking my ISP for a migration-authorisation code?
A The very simplest way to get an alternative email address up and running would be to set up an account with a webmail service such Gmail or Hotmail. You can give this new email address to anyone you want, from friends to other websites and even your old and new ISPs, and you’ll be able to access the emails from pretty much any web browser – even at your local library, for example.
Indeed, in our opinion it makes an awful lot of sense to have at least one email address that is independent of your ISP – so we suggest doing this anyway, as a backup to any ISP-provided email address.
Then, when you’ve transferred to your new ISP, it will almost certainly offer you a new email address. There is no compulsion to use this – it simply comes as part of the deal (in the same way BT gives you a phone number but you might tell people to call you on your mobile).
However, it may be that the ISP will accept support queries or send account-related information only to the email address associated with your account – and that typically means the email address it has given to you. So it does make sense to add this new account to your email program.
To do this in Outlook Express, click Tools and choose Accounts. Now click the Mail tab and pause for a moment: the entry listed here (under the Account heading) should be the email account associated with your current ISP. You can return here later to delete it, if you want, but to add a second account (the one from your new ISP), click Add and then Mail.
Now follow the wizard’s prompts to complete the task. Note that you will need some information that only the new ISP can provide (such as the incoming and outgoing email server addresses) but the process is pretty straightforward.
Indeed, if you wanted, it is even possible to add a Gmail or Hotmail account to Outlook Express following much the same process, so you could receive those messages in your normal inbox – get back in touch if you need more help on this point.
Updating your subscription status