While it's technically possible to use the internet without an email address, it's hard to sign up to fully use many websites, apps and subscription services without one. Whether you have one already or you're looking to open an email account for the first time, you can create an email ID at a new account using a variety of free and paid email services.
Open an Email Account
There are plenty of free email providers online that will let you sign up for a new email address. Some of the most famous and well-respected providers include Google's Gmail mail service, Microsoft's Outlook service and Yahoo Mail (owned by Verizon).
Each of these services will allow you to create a new email address and send and receive messages to essentially anyone across the internet. You can access your account by visiting the provider's website and signing in or by using a desktop or mobile email app. Some popular email apps include Mozilla Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook and Apple Mail.
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To get started, visit the address of your email provider of your choice. You should see an email sign-in option and the option to create a new account. Click or tap the new account button, and fill out the form that appears. Remember to choose a secure password and memorize it or keep it in a safe place such as an encrypted password management program.
Choosing Your New Email Address
When you sign up for a new email address, you'll have to choose what that email address actually is, from the addresses at your preferred provider that are still available. You'll usually be able to type addresses that you want and see if they are available, sometimes receiving suggestions for alternatives.
Some people prefer to use email addresses that simply reflect their own names, such as using a variation on jsmith if your name is John Smith or Jane Smith, often followed by a number if you have a common name and other combinations are already taken. These often are seen as more professional email addresses. Other people may use a variation on a hobby or fact about themselves, such as hockeyfan123 or soccerdad52. If you're creating an email address that you intend to use for a small business, you might use a variation of the business's name, like a1plumbing, or a description of what you do, such as photowhiz if you are a photographer.
Keep in mind that email addresses generally work if you capitalize some letters or not, but they're usually written all in lowercase, so you will want to choose an address that's easy to read without the need to capitalize words. You can usually include some separator characters such as underscores and periods.
Choose an email address that affects how you intend to use it, meaning a more colloquial email address may make more sense for talking to family and friends and a more professional address may make sense for job applications.
Having Multiple Email Addresses
There's no rule that says you can't have more than one email address. Many people have a professional email address, perhaps issued by an employer, and a personal one. It's often a good idea to separate work and personal contacts that way. Keep in mind that your employer may be able to access your work email and may have policies about using it for personal use.
Also consider that you may lose an employer issued-email address if you stop working at a particular place, so you will often not want it to be your primary email ID for logging in to other services that you use personally.