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This is Leo Notenboom for askleo.info.
I'm occasionally taken to task for what some people consider "Hotmail bashing". Folks get upset with me for repeatedly pointing out that they shouldn't rely on Hotmail.
If you've read Ask Leo! for any length of time, you know that I frequently reiterate how bad an idea it is to keep important information in only a single, free, email account. And, while I try to be generic and say "free email account", I often use Hotmail as an example, or reiterate my opinion when answering a question that was related to someone's problems with Hotmail.
There are two issues at play here.
First is that I get more questions relating to problems with Hotmail than I do with any other service, hands down. In fact I probably get twice as many Hotmail problems as the other free services - combined.
What kind of problems? Lost and hacked accounts. Accounts that suddenly lose all email or all contacts. Or scenarios where people can't login to some Hotmail accounts from some machines, but other accounts or other machines work ok.
The list goes on.
Folks, I get these every single day. 10, 20, sometimes 50 times every day. Not so for the other services.
So if you think I'm down on Hotmail ... well, I guess I sort of am. But not because I want to be. Remember, I worked at Microsoft for many years. I left on great terms, I still respect the company, and I still want Microsoft to continue to thrive.
But I can't argue with the data that shows up in my inbox. I know that many of you have used Hotmail for years without a single problem. In fact, so have I. But if you saw what I see, you'd be very, very nervous.
The second issue is simply the wisdom of leaving important information in the hands of a third party with next to no customer support. Again, every day I hear of people losing contacts, losing email, losing documents that they've saved in email - and having nowhere to turn, and as a result never, ever, being able to get any of their critical data back.
If you don't have some way to backup your important information, then leaving it all in a free service - any free service - or heck, any pay service - that doesn't have responsive and responsible customer support, is just asking for trouble.
HotMail, Yahoo, GMail ... they're all great services, when used appropriately. Using any of them as the single place to keep all your important email and contacts is not using them appropriately.
"You get what you pay for" has never been truer if you run into a problem.
I'd love to hear what you think. Visit askleo.info and enter 11200 in the go to article number box and leave me a comment. While you're there, browse over 1,000 technical questions and answers on the site.
Till next time, I'm Leo Notenboom, for askleo.info.
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