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Mailinator: Disposable Public Email Addresses

Need a temporary email to receive a registration from a website? Try Mailinator. No cost, no passwords, no delay, no hassle.

From the FAQ:

Mailinator is a new kind of mail service. The biggest difference is that you don’t need to sign up. Any email name you can think of already exists at mailinator.com. Want goofy@mailinator.com? You got it. Want to be SuperGuy? BoohaBunny? FredInPants? No problem. They all already exist just waiting for you to check your mail.

How is Mailinator different than some other webemail? Say, Yahoo or Hotmail?
The differences are easy to list. Generally speaking however, anything you can do with Mailinator, you can do with some other email service. In fact, you can do more with other services since they allow you to actually send email (Mailinator only receives).
The differences are:

* Mailinator requires no sign-up. To create an account, you send email to it.
* You cannot send email from Mailinator.
* Your Mailinator email inbox can be read by anyone. There is no security here. If they know (or guess) your email address, they can read your mail.
* You cannot delete your email here (you can’t reply either), after a few hours, all email is auto-deleted.
* Mailinator has strict rules about what kind of email it receives. Plain text is best, html is filtered. Images, attachments, and fancy stuff is simply stripped away.

Why is this good?
In our internet world, you often need an email address NOW. Signing up for an email service takes time – that’s probably ok for most emailing, but every now and then you need a quick email address for just a single email. After that you don’t care what happens to it. Given that such disposable email is ready at your disposal, you can avoid giving out your real email address when you are afraid of getting spammed. Instead, make up any address @mailinator.com on the spot and go check it later.

(And following up on yesterday’s post on scaling databases, Paul Tyma provides a blog post describing the architecture and strategies he uses to handle 4.5 to 6 million emails per day on a single server. And not a big server at that: “A very modest machine with an AMD 2Ghz Athlon processor, 1G of ram (although it really doesn’t need that much), and a boring (IDE , low-performance) 80G hard drive. And honestly, its really not very busy at all.”)

Kudos to Paul for providing such a useful service, and also for sharing his strategies for accomplishing it on such modest hardware.

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  • Alan Rimm-Kaufman
    Alan Rimm-Kaufman founded the Rimm-Kaufman Group...
  • Comments
    One Response to “Mailinator: Disposable Public Email Addresses”
    1. PAUL says:

      The mailinator website is pretty awesome. It reminds me of the Open Inbox Experiment. Very similar ideas but still share the same uniqueness about them. http://openinboxexperiment.com/