Internet domain name host - your advice and experiences?

My primary reason for contemplating purchase of a domain name is to have long term ownership and control over my email address. Using the email address hosted by my internet provider is ok until I want to change providers - then I will lose it. Wouldn’t it be good if there was “email address portability” in the same way that there is for phone numbers?
One alternative is provided by “free” accounts available from Google (gmail) and the like, but then you’re at the mercy of the evolving policies and practices of the host, as well as the longer term viability of the corporation.
But back to the question - can anyone share advice and experiences in selecting a vendor/host and avoiding scams?


Hi @R345, welcome to the community and your thought provoking post. Many possibility also have considered contemplating what you have raised.

We use:

  • ISP email (close friends and family only, and personal financial communications) - if we change ISP, migration to a new ISP is very simple.
  • free email (all other personal communications)
  • domain email (business only) - if leave the business, closing the domain/email has no personal impact.

Two things needed, to register domain name and then an email host/client company. These are different and have different annual fees. They can also be provided by the same company.

Some domain registers are reluctant to register domains without a business profile, such as ABN etc. You may need to do this depending on the domain registrar.

Domain name is another consideration. You may need to justify the domain name being sought - such as you have rights to the name. This may include a business profile.

Do your homework. Not only scams, but back-door security to accounts, personal information and emails.

We use VentraIP, an Australian company bound by Australian laws. I would be very nervous about using a foreign domain and email host as they will be bound by the laws where the host/company is located.

If you are not tech savvy, setting up and managing your own email client can be daunting. If you go down this path, and not tech savvy, factor in IT support costs.

True, but ISPs and domain/email hosts are no different to change. They could go out of business, be bought out, move location to another country or change their own hosting policies/T&Cs.

I would look at free, secure email clients for personal emailing… and would only explore domain/email hosting if there was also a business function.


Welcome to the community.

We have had our own domain name for well over 20 years. I used to use American hosting sites as they were significantly cheaper at the time, but getting help with problems or answers to questions was an real issue.

The pricing differential decreased significantly, and in 2009 we shifted to NetRegistry/WebCentral, an Australian business located in Melbourne.

We are down to only one domain name now, and it costs under $30pa to park our domain there and have all email sent to our Outlook account. If there is a problem, or I have a question, there is an Australian help desk to phone and get assistance. When we were first migrating from the US hosts, we had some issues and the assistance we got was great helping us until things were ironed out.

As with the previous post, we only used the domain email address for business related matters, and used free email addresses for personal correspondence.

Stick with Australian reputable large organisations.


Thanks phb,
they are all very helpful comments - and it is especially interesting to see your different usage of ISP email, versus free email, versus private domain email.
My ISP email address has become not only my primary contact details for so many purposes (with a lot of contacts and other service providers and subscriptions, such as with Choice!), but also my primary ID for so many online accounts - the prospect of having to change over to a new email address is daunting. This creates a degree of “stickiness” that severely constrains me from having any real access to competition amongst ISPs. Surely I’m not the only one?
Your comments do encourage me to think again - maybe one of the major free email providers offers just as good long term certainty as having my own domain name (with the challenges of managing the domain name and email host).
After I make that choice then I need to start the long process of extricating myself from dependence on the ISP email address.
Then back to the “portability” issue - it seems wrong that this label (email address) that can become used by others as such a deeply important part the personal identity they have for me can then be revoked by my ISP.


I raised the issue of portability of email addresses in 2017 - see topic Need ability "port" email addresses


I’ve had a couple of domain names but no business attached. If you are determined to have one, I’d second VentraIP, but also consider their “budget” line, Zuver. I no longer bother with my own domain, and I have not used an ISP email address for more than 20 years.

In the meantime, I would not go for google mail, simply because although privacy is supposed to be secure, I don’t believe it. If you are willing to pay for a good, secure, email, there are two that spring to mind… Protonmail (has a free level and also a VPN which has a free level so plenty of time to try it out) and Tutanota which I have never used. A friend of mine has been using for about 20 years so that speaks well of its longevity. All of these have the option to host your own domain for email if thats what you want (but they dont sell it to you, you buy from a domain registrar and then edit the MX records to send via your new email service.)

I use three free email addresses but am gradually concentrating my email into my primary which is iCloud. (the other two are Zoho, probably best for a business but the email is fine, and Outlook for which I hav somehow managed to score many GB for storage over the years). iCloud and Outlook both have the capacity for aliases. I use one of the aliases for my main address… this hides the real address and protects it from spam.

Hope this helps, somewhat.


Yes, moving over to a new email address can be a exercise in itself, but done once, hopefully doesn’t need to be done again.

Something which can help you manage this is to use a password manager. While it doesn’t change your email address in itself, what it allows you to do is have a listing of all your logins where you can systematically go down the list changing contact details. A similar process is required when you move house or say get a new mobile number.


Firefox also has that capability.

Settings->Privacy and Security->Logins and Passwords

as does Edge

‘…’ → Settings->Passwords


I think I need to prune mine or sell some - just spent over 350US to renew ‘most’ of them :wink:

I’m looking at other options as well - the legacy free ‘google apps’ is going away, with paid options costing quite a bit, but with better functionality. I pay for extra storage already, and the free mail/etc with multiple domains has been nice … alas … the paid option is in the order of 16.80AU per user per month - I have 5 users … but that gets 10TB across the lot … decisions decisions …


Have you looked at Zoho? They have a lot of apps (I am only using mail) but you can have multiple users. Being on the free level, I’ve no idea of pricing, but the range of options always seemed very good, maybe better than the google lot


Hi R345,

If you have technical skills, you can opt not only to own a domain name but also host it at home.

That is what I do. In fact, I own multiple domains. Servers are at home (none of them using Microsoft operating system for a good reason), run full security stack: FIPS, SELinux, FIREWALLD, HIDS, Nessus scans, disk encryption, service encryption, and much more.

Then you can set email addresses as you please.

And here is a trick we do.

For each vendor or external contact, we create a unique email address and keep database. For example, account at my bank is linked to a unique email address. If, one day, I receive email on that address from source other than the bank, I know that either:

a) Somebody abused bank’s security and grabbed my information,


b) Bank gave away my information.

Then, I change the email address and discard the vendor as a reputable company.

This way, I caught many other companies doing the “dodgy” business.

In addition, on your own servers, you can trace where emails came from, and collect number of other logs that can help in forensic investigations.

By using various RBLs (RealTime Blackhole Listings) and other email safety features, I filter around 93% of all emails that attempt to enter my server and reject them as source of spam, unsolicited traffic, source of virii, and similar.


thanks for that link, vombatis, some interesting discussion there and makes me wish that someone had given me such advice a long time ago! Now I’ll just get on with the task of extricating myself from my ISP email address.
One thing I find difficult to accept is the analogy between ISP email address and street address: I’ve changed addresses many times and never once had a contact or service provider fail to identify who I am (generally starting with my legal name!) and accept my advice about my new address. On the other hand many online contacts and accounts only identify me by my email address - it is their primary key in the absence of which I don’t exist - can’t simply update “my” details but instead have to take on a new “identity”.

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thanks PPpov3, that’s really impressive - alas I can only dream of having the technical skill, resources and time to aim for such a great solution. It will be a big enough goal for me to tackle the very pedestrian task of erasing my dependence on an ISP email address and moving to an address I have longer term control over.

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Remember: If you are not paying for the product then you are the product.

For many free providers, you have to wonder about long term financial viability.

Terms and Conditions can change adversely. I had one free provider just close down a domain on me, even though the company itself continued to operate.

I would be confident that your Googles and your Microsofts have no problem with financial viability and their core domains won’t disappear on you but obviously there would be major privacy concerns. I personally would never use either Google or Microsoft.

A free provider or even a paid provider is better than going with your ISP-provided email address but not as good as registering your own domain.

For your primary reason, “long term ownership and control over my email address”, you can’t beat registering your own domain. (That still gives you options as to how you host that domain e.g. self-host at home, self-host via a VPS, paid hosting. For sure the third option, paid hosting, is the easiest if you are not very technical.)

I self-host via VPS and have had my own registered domains for more years than I would care to say. Self-hosting has the advantage that you have no limit on the number of email addresses you can have, and you can even have email addresses in subdomains (with no limit on the number of subdomains either).

I would recommend against self-hosting at home because of the difficulties of fighting against mail providers who have overly aggressive anti-spam measures. Some of these problems will also occur when self-hosting via VPS. I do have to spend some of my time hassling idiotic, unresponsive companies who have broken email systems that think that my email is spam. (That includes Google!!)

I would also recommend against self-hosting at home because you are supposed to have a pair of redundant servers and that is a more difficult requirement to meet at home.

If you self-host, you will be responsible for ensuring that you do not become a source of spam and you will be responsible for getting rid of incoming spam.

There is therefore something to be said for paid hosting.

Because you have your own domain, even if the paid hosting company goes pear-shaped, you will be able to move your hosting to another company. You could lose a small amount of email in the move (particularly if the hosting company becomes insolvent and shuts down abruptly).

The choice of an Australian company v. an overseas company involves compromises. In the event of a dispute, you have a reasonable solid regulatory regime if you stick to Australia. On the other hand, your exposure, if you pay monthly for example, is not high e.g. if you just have to walk away - and, financially, walking away usually would make more sense than attempting to use the regulatory regime. The downside is that an Australian company is subject to an intrusive surveillance regime. That may be important to you, or it may not. It is to me.

I use overseas companies exclusively. This is more due to timing than surveillance i.e. there just weren’t many Australian options around when I was setting up (and the surveillance regimes didn’t exist back then). Clearly you have to be sensible about it. If you host in Afghanistan or Russia etc. then you are perhaps taking on unreasonable risk. :wink:

Definitely not. This is a well-known problem. There just isn’t a good solution.

Case in point: You have an email address with One.Tel. You move to Optus, so email is redirecting from One.Tel to Optus. Well, we know what happened to One.Tel. You can’t expect a company that becomes insolvent to continue to forward your email or even to cooperate in the forwarding. It doesn’t exist any more. Noone cares. No employees. Noone to sue. Goneski.

So register your own domain, organise a company to host it for you … and take the one-off pain of updating everything.


As a general question to those posters who have their own domain name, in what form is it?

A traditional gTLD and ccTLD such as, or

One of the hundreds of gTLDs that have been made available via various domain name registering companies in recent years?

My email provider by default blocks out most emails coming to me from such domains as the later, and what does get through I block.


I have multiple but in my case mostly historical generic TLDs (i.e. traditional) as it was cheaper and is easier to register there rather than somewhere in .au

Bad bad bad.

Yes. Both .com and

Why bad bad bad?
I am not interested in getting emails from .icu, or .biz, or many others.
Pretty tempted to block anything coming from while I am at it, except I have a few friends who like to use that service for private matters.


It’s bad that your email provider by default blocks newer gTLDs. This is a really dumb anti-spam rule, since it takes no account of whether the email actually is spam. It could be valid to use the TLD as an input for machine learning of what spam is, or to use it as part of a Bayesian filter etc.

There could also be problems in getting anti-spam to unlearn in the future i.e. right now the newer gTLDs are relatively new, and relatively few people are using them for legitimate email. What happens as those newer gTLDs become more widely adopted for legitimate purposes? Worse still, what if they never get adopted more widely precisely because of dumb anti-spam that just blocks by default?

Anyway, all of the above illustrates some of the challenges if a person wanted to self-host !

(PS: No irony that you are asking this on a forum that is in the .community gTLD? So if Choice ever decided to offer participants a free email address in that domain then your provider would be blocking us all.)

What you do in your email client is up to you.

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You haven’t been offered yours yet?

Edit: joking.