How to Get a Cool Personalized Email Address
Your email address is becoming more and more important. Since so many people have accounts with America Online, Hotmail and Google, it is becoming harder to find an address that is somewhat personal. Whether we know it or not there are a lot of people out there with your same name and are "competing" for the same email address. Here is a way to make sure that your email address will always be personalized. There is a cost ($20 per year or so), but I have found that it is well worth it.
You will need to find and register a Internet domain name that you would like to have as the part after the @ in your email address. The domain name does not have to be part of your name, it could be a hobby, sports team, etc. It just has to be available for you to register. There are literally hundreds of places to register your domain. A couple are 1and1.com, GoDaddy.com, Yahoo.com. The process and the cost is about the same wherever you choose. You will usually pay in the neighborhood of $11 or a .com domain all of the way down to $1 for a .info domain. Your choice. Each service has a place on their page to search for the domain name you want. Just keep trying until you find one that is available that you like. For example if your last name is Smith, try thesmiths.com, theGeorgiaSmiths.com., etc. If you can't find one that suits you under.com, try it as .net, .org, .info, .us and chances you will find one you like. Registration is different on each site, but it is not hard at all.
Once your domain is registered, look for something that says "email hosting" or "Exchange hosting". This is the package that will handle all of your email interactions. The cost is minimal approximately $1/month. With this you will get X number of mailboxes that you can create any email address for. For example, if you registered theSmiths.com, you could have email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or anything else you want.
You now need to decide how you want to receive your emails. You can either use their webmail or you can have all of your emails forwarded to another account (Hotmail or Gmail or for that matter you could have them forwarded to your work email)
You can keep this for ever as long as you pay to re-register it every year. Some registration sites give you a price break when you renew your domain for more than one year at a time.