One Gmail account, multiple e-mail addresses
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
- J. R. R. Tolkien -
We all know the advantages of Gmail, like their 7,5GB (and still counting) of storage, numerous lab features, filters, labels, one account for all services, ... What most people don't know, though, is that when you sign up for one gmail address, you actually receive multiple e-mail addresses, all linked to that same inbox. How does that work, you might wonder?
- First of all, you get the e-mail address that you register on two different domains: gmail.com and googlemail.com. If your e-mail address is, for example, email@example.com, then Gmail will automatically create the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org for you. You can send e-mails to either address and receive them in the same inbox. The reason for this is more a practical than a generous one, though. Apparently, the domain gmail.com is unavailable in some countries. Those users can then use the domain googlemail.com
- Secondly, Google suffers from something called Dot Blindness. This simply means that it doesn't recognize any dots (periods) in the username of a gmail address. More concrete, in the eyes of Google, the above mentioned e-mail address email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or even firstname.lastname@example.org are all the same and they are ALL yours! This, of course, also counts for the googlemail.com domain.
- Thirdly, you can use a plus sign, followed by any alphanumeric character at the end of your username. Google won't recognize the characters after the plus (+) sign, but Gmail filters will.
For example, the e-mail addresses email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com all end up in the same inbox as firstname.lastname@example.org, as well as a mixture of all three, like email@example.com.
These three methods give you an endless range of e-mail addresses that you can use by only registering one gmail address! Why use this? Well, simply because you can :). Other reasons would be to separate personal and business use or use the filters in gmail to automatically perform an action on a specific e-mail address. You can also easily track where e-mails or spam messages are coming from by for example, signing up for a newsletter with a specific e-mail address and then when, all of a sudden, you start receiving spam from that address, you'll know the source and you can even block it. One single account to rule them all :).