Email is a tool I am sure we all use, but it can be the cause of a lot of problems and frustrations.

This month I am going to go over a number of points that you should know about your email.

Most people will have an email address provided by their Internet Service Provider such as or It’s great that ISP’s provide this service, but there are downsides to using these email addresses.

In my opinion the biggest issue is when you choose to switch ISP’s. For example, when you close your account with Xtra to move to Slingshot, you will lose your email address. The only way to keep it from being deleted is to continue paying your old ISP a monthly charge.

Space can be another problem. Most of the larger ISP’s have large capacities, but a lot of the smaller companies limit how much email can be stored on their servers before your mailbox becomes full.
We also see a lot of businesses who use an ISP email address for their business email. If your business has a website then you already have a domain name. This can be used to give your email a more professional look. Your Website hosting probably already includes email services, so it may not cost anything to start using this alternative.

So our recommendation for both home users and business is to use an email address that is independent of your ISP. The sooner you change the less trouble you will have in the future when you want to move your phone or internet.

Gmail and Hotmail (now known as are the two Free Email Services that we would recommend for home users. Due to the problems over the last couple of years that Spark Xtra have had with Hacking and SPAM, we wouldn’t recommend using Yahoo.

Businesswise Google and Microsoft both provide a great Hosted Email service which costs around $60.00 - $80.00 per email account per year. These are great options as they give you the benefits of a corporate mail server without having to pay thousands of dollars to buy and then maintain an email server. They also sync perfectly with Outlook and devices like iPhones and Android Phones and Tablets. This means if you read an email or create a calendar appointment on your phone, both your PC and Tablet are updated immediately.
If you do decide to change your email service, you won’t want to cancel your old account just yet. I normally tell clients to keep the old address alive for as long as possible. This is just in case your contacts do not update their address books. A simple forwarding rule can be set up on your ISP webmail to forward all new email to your new address. It’s also a good idea to let all your friends and family know your new address, but once you have made the move, you should have no need to change in the future if you move away from your ISP, town or even the country.

If you would like some help or advice with your Email, feel free to come in for a quick chat at our store at 30b Domain Road Papamoa, or call us on 07 574 2891.

For the month of August only, if you mention you read this article we will give you a free 12 month Subscription to Live Drive Online Backup worth $100. Conditions Apply find out more at

- Jonny Bloore
Owner of iFix Computers
If you have any questions or a suggested topic, please email us at