How can I switch broadband and keep my email address?

Switching broadband makes sound financial sense and the good news is that you can switch and take your email with you.

Broadband packages often come with a free email address when you sign up. This can create a dilemma when it comes to switching packages for a cheaper, faster or more flexible deal. Our email accounts are a key way of keeping in touch with friends and family, and where we store important information with the companies we have a relationship with. That means changing email address can be a hassle.

The good news is that you don’t have to lose your account or your data. Most broadband companies will let you switch and keep your email address, although some may charge you a fee for doing so. We’ll run you through the various companies and what you need to know if you’re switching account.

I have BT broadband, will I lose BT Mail?

When you switch from BT broadband, BT will keep your BT Mail account live for 60 days. After this, unless you make 1 of 4 choices, all of your BT Mail accounts will be permanently deleted and you won’t be able to access any of the personal data or information in your account.

During the 60-day period, you have the option to move your BT Mail account to either a Basic email account for free or to BT Premium Mail for a £7.50 monthly fee. Switching is relatively simple and BT will automatically move your accounts across for you.

During this same period, you can also decide to link your BT Mail account to a friend or family member’s BT Broadband for free. The fourth choice available is to choose to close your email account.

It’s worth noting that if your BT email addresses are deleted, you’ll have the option to re-use the email address for up to 3 years. But sadly you won’t be able to recover any personal data previously linked to that email address.

I’m switching from Plusnet, will I lose my Plusnet email account?

If you switch from Plusnet to another provider you can take your email account with you. Like BT and others, the company will charge a small monthly fee and will migrate the account and all emails for you.

Can I ditch Sky and keep my email address?

Sky has switched to Sky Yahoo! Mail, which the company claims means you have an “email for life”. It is essentially the free Yahoo! Mail but with Sky branding. That means if you switch from Sky you’ll be able to keep your email address, and with it all the messages and data you’ve stored in your account. Sky does reserve the right to delete an account if you haven’t used it for 180 days. Beware that where Sky closes a “dormant” account, you’ll lose any associated data and content.

Can I switch from TalkTalk and keep my TalkTalk email account?

All TalkTalk broadband customers have TalkTalk Mail included in their package. Should you leave TalkTalk, you can subscribe to TalkTalk Mail Plus and keep your email address for £5 per month or £50 per year. Otherwise, you’ll see your functionality reduce 30 days after you leave, and after 5 months TalkTalk will delete it.

Can I switch from Virgin Broadband and keep my email account?

Once you give notice to Virgin Media, you’ll only have 90 days before your email address is cancelled. After that, Virgin Media will clear out your emails, delete all data associated with your account and shut it down. Existing users of Virgin Media email accounts need to ensure that they log in to the account and check their email address once every 90 days to avoid the risk of it being closed.

Bottom line: Consider getting a free email account not tied to a provider

You don’t need to be tied to any broadband provider with your email account. You could make the switch to a free webmail account. While it might be a hassle in the short term, it will give you the freedom to switch pain-free for years to come.

There are a number of options available including Apple iCloud, Google’s Gmail, Microsoft Outlook (formerly Hotmail) and Yahoo! Mail. The choice you make may depend on the types of devices you have (if you’re using an iPhone versus an Android-based phone, for example).

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the storage capacity for each may vary, although some will allow you to pay a monthly subscription to increase storage. It’s also worth noting that many of these email accounts have a large number of users and so the chances that your name isn’t already taken are slim.

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