Dave, I was wondering, if you cancel your msn account and get DSL, will you still have your msn e-mail account???
The sad news is that if you have an email address and mailbox through a Web hosting or Internet service provider like MSN, AOL, or Earthlink, and you’re using their address for your correspondence (that is, an address like “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “email@example.com”) then when you cancel your account, your email address vanishes too.
This is one of the strong arguments for using a separate email service like Hotmail, Yahoo Mail or Gmail (among many others) or, what I recommend, registering your own domain name and using an email forward.
Imagine, if you had registered “HeckInAHandbasket.info” (I dunno, is that actually registered?) and were telling everyone that your email address was “leroy@HeckInAHandbasket.info”, putting that on your business cards, your resume, etc etc., then you could switch service providers with nary a glitch. How? Because many domain registrars have the ability to set up permanent email forwards, so every message sent to “leroy@HeckInAHandbasket.info” would actually, secretly, be forwarded to your MSN account and end up in your “firstname.lastname@example.org” mailbox. When you decide to switch to Earthlink, say, you just update the forward and the printed address still works just fine.
Actually, having dug around in the MSN help system, it’s not clear to me whether you get an @msn.com address as an MSN subscriber or an @hotmail.com address. If the latter, then it’s entirely possible that you can keep your mail address even if you switch ISPs. If you cancel your Hotmail account, though, Microsoft says: “By closing this account, you are marking your account inactive. Stored e-mail will be permanently deleted and inbound mail will be refused. Your .NET Passport will still function, and your e-mail name will be reserved.”
So, if your address is something “@msn.com” then closing your account will close off your email address. If your address is something “@hotmail.com”, however, you should be okay (though I’d save / print any messages that were critical, just in case).