There are two types of email. These are known as POP which stands for Post Office Protocol or IMAP which stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. You should discuss the best method for your email setup with your website hosting company and it can be changed easily. All email setup should be included with your website hosting package although often you will be charged extra for additional addresses.
There are two ways of setting up your email address. In the first instance you could have a mailbox. A mailbox is a reserved part of the server which holds your incoming and outgoing mail messages and which only you can access via a password. An individual computer can then be set up to download these messages. This way allows you to have for example, “sales” or “service” in front of the ampersand sign and send messages to two different computers. This is known as POP email.
The downside of a mail server is that it has limits. When it gets to the stage when it is holding lots of emails it becomes “full” and some old ones get deleted to make way for new messages. Most email clients such as Microsoft Outlook or Thunderbird can be set to leave a copy of messages on the server. This is fine but gives the limit described above so normally the client is not set up like this. IMAP is the name given to this type of mailbox. Google email uses IMAP but Google gives you a huge amount of server space for free so this is much less of a problem. Also with Googlemail you can forward your mail to a POP account too so you get the best of both worlds.
The other option is mail forwarding.. Mail forwarding assumes that you already have another email address; maybe a Hotmail or Gmail address. In these cases the mail addressed to your POP email can be forwarded to your existing address. The user can have mail redirected to a Gmail or Hotmail account enabling it to be picked up on any computer anywhere. Think of it like a normal mail forwarding after a house move.
As I’m sure you are aware, your email address consists of your domain name prefaced by your individual details and separated by an ampersand sign. For example I have a “spare” email address in my dog’s name so I can use it to avoid spam in my real email. I could have either [email protected] or [email protected] Either will work OK.