How do I get an email address that is email@example.com,
and be able to send emails?
This is actually a fairly common question, but unfortunately it
indicates a slight lack of understanding of exactly how email addresses
No problem: I’ll walk you through the pieces.
Whether or not you can get what you want depends on …
First, let’s take your firstname.lastname@example.org and break it down into two separate pieces: email-name@domain.
A domain would be something like “ask-leo.com”, “microsoft.com”, “gmail.com” or whatnot.
Domains are owned by individuals or companies. So, for example, “microsoft.com” is owned by Microsoft, as you might expect, “gmail.com” is owned by Google, and “ask-leo.com” is owned by me, Leo Notenboom.
You can own a domain too, as long as someone doesn’t already own it. You can use popular domain registrars to search for available domains, and then register it yourself. You can own as many as you like (I own 61 right now), again – as long as they’re not already taken by someone else.
So, given that you have a specific domain in mind that you would like to have an email address on, you have these options:
Register the domain, if it’s available. This is by far the most flexible; once you own a domain, it can be yours forever (for a periodic registration fee, of course), and you can do whatever you want with it.
Ask the existing owner for an email address on it.
Now, that last one is actually facetious, because unless the domain is already specifically set up for public email addresses, it’s extremely unlikely that the domain owner is going to just hand out email addresses to anyone who asks. For example, if you desperately wanted an email address on “ask-leo.com”, I’m not even going to bother to reply to the request; it’s just not going to happen. Ditto for wanting a “microsoft.com” address – Microsoft is using that domain for its employee and business email, they’re not going to hand out email addresses to random people without a clear business reason for doing so.
I’d claim that the vast majority of owned domains fall into that bucket: you’re simply not going to get an email address on an arbitrary domain that’s owned by someone else.
The first thing to realize is that every email name is owned by and controlled by whomever owns the domain it’s associated with. So, for example, I control every email name that could be used on “ask-leo.com”, Microsoft controls every email name on “microsoft.com”, Google controls every email name that could be used with “gmail.com”, and so on.
You can’t get an email name without the cooperation of the owner of the domain. And as I mentioned above, you’re not likely to get an email name on a domain that’s not set up for public or arbitrary email services; it’s likely not worth even asking.
But what about email services like “gmail.com”, or “hotmail.com” or so many of the others?
It’s simple: you can get anything you want …
… unless someone else has already taken it.
And there’s the problem: for most popular email services, all the popular names are already taken. Heck, even most of the unpopular names are taken . That’s why you see email names like “leo123” or the like – you can guess that plain old “leo” was taken long ago by the first Leo to come along (it wasn’t me!), and thereafter all the people wanting to have the “leo” email name were forced to choose something else.
The bottom line in all this is that it’s actually nearly impossible to get a completely arbitrary email address email@example.com. What you can chose from are:
any email name on an available domain name that you purchase yourself
any available email name on the domain owned by an email service provider