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Why usernames look like email addresses?

Discussion in 'E-mail Discussion' started by jherzog, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. jherzog

    jherzog Registered

    Dec 7, 2006
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    Hello all,

    I have been using WHM/Cpanel for years and am quit accustomed to inner-account usernames (email, ftp accts, etc) looking like email addresses. A lot of my clients and even some co-workers/developers constantly question why their usernames look like email address and how that seems to not be the stardard in any environment besides WHM/Cpanel. I don't really know the logic behind it but trust it is for a sound reason. Could anyone provide me with a high level (this is for my developers so technical is good, no reason to dumb it down) rational for this nomecature? It would help me out a lot.

    Thank you,
  2. jalal

    jalal Active Member

    Jun 15, 2005
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    Lets say you have a server, and it's hosting 1,000 domains.

    Now, you have, let's say, Thunderbird and you want to check mail on If you just connect with the username 'info', the POP3 server won't know which mailbox to give you (as each domain could conceivably have an info email address). So, you login with your full email address so that the server knows which mail box to get.

    BTW, this is the standard in cPanel and all other environments I've worked in. Sort of an industry standard.
  3. SageBrian

    SageBrian Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2002
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    NY/CT (US)
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    Root Administrator
    unfortunately, email software still seems to use just the 'username' part of the email as the default setting.

    This was great when everyone used their ISP for their email address. Everyone at the ISP, like Earthlink, had their own unique email address, therefore the username could just simply be the username.

    Also, if you have your own dedicated mailserver, like Exchange or some other internal setup, there was only one domain to deal with, so again just a 'username' was needed.

    As ISPs started merging, or being swallowed, they started having to make adjustments to logins. We started to see settings like user\ (if I recall correctly).
    If you used their webmail, you would have a dropdown box to make sure you used the proper domain, since the ISP was now handling more than one domain. You can have more than one 'johns' on a server.

    For a short time, I remember working with a system that every email account was a unique username on the server. What a pain in the butt.
    If I setup '' they might be 'info'.
    '' then might be 'info2'. would be johnsmit might be john1234

    Now, imagine trying to explain to all the users that the login for their email is completely different from their address. And, of course, the mail software like Outlook is still defaulting to just the first part of the email address, so the user still has to watch their settings.

    I think Outlook and Thunderbird (and other software) should either remove the automatic entry of a username as default, or use the full email address (forcing lowercase). Empty is better though, since if forces some sort of thinking on user input. (then we just have to worry about typos)

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