The most essential element of an e-mail is the e-mail address. The address tells the Internet where to send a message. Your personal e-mail address is like having your own post office box. It is a unique address that allows people to send messages directly to you.
Let’s look at a sample e-mail address and see what each of the parts are for:
- linda –The user name of the e-mail account holder is a unique, assigned name that can be a real name, initials, a nickname, or a descriptive word such as “information.”
- @ –The axon sign is required in all Internet e-mail addresses. It allows the e-mail software to distinguish between the username and the domain name.
- com –The domain name identifies the company, organization or e-mail service of the account holder.
Taken together, the three parts of an e-mail address provide a completely unique address identifier for every account, which allows the Internet to find your mailbox among all the millions of other mailboxes in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get a personalized domain name?
Personalized domain names are great, particularly if you run a business or need to present a higher level of professionalism in your communications. Getting your own address is a fairly easy process. You simply need to register your personalized domain name and subscribe to an e-mail hosting service. For more information, see Name Your Domain.
Will an e-mail address always end in .com?
While .com is the most common ending for an e-mail address, addresses can be registered to any type of domain. For example, most colleges use the .edu ending, so student and faculty addresses end in .edu. Likewise, government organizations use .gov, so your representative’s e-mail probably ends in .gov.
Can I use anything for my username?
You can use any combination of numbers and letters in your username. You can even add many types of special characters. There are some restrictions on the types of special characters and their placement within the username (for instance, you can’t put two periods together), but usernames are very flexible. The biggest restriction is that you cannot share the exact same username as anyone else at your domain.
Someone is already using my username. What can I do?
Most e-mail providers will suggest alternative user names when you register. These are often your name with some combination of numbers after it. If none of these are ideal, you have a few options:
- You can create your own unique username. For instance, if your name is Bob and you have cats, your username could be “bobthecatguy”.
- You can try a different e-mail provider. If your name is taken at Gmail, try Outlook.com or Yahoo Mail. The same username can be registered with different domains.
- Register your own domain. If you register your own domain, you can create any user name you want to go with it. You can even create more than one.