Mailinator the Disposable Email Address Service

Mailinator is a disposable email service that lets you use any email address under the domain @mailinator.com you can think of, and then pick up the mail at their site. You can use any alias you can come up with using the Mailinator domain @mailinator to sign up for websites, register software, post to message boards, and any other occasions where you need an email address quickly but don't want to give out your real address.

The advantage here is that there is no connection to your real email address, so when registration email lists get into the hands of spammers—whether accidentally, through hacking, or because a list is intentionally sold to spammers—you're protected from getting spam. 

All @mailinator.com addresses are throwaway addresses.

The other big advantage for using Mailinator is that there is no setup you have to go through to use a disposable email address. Certainly, you can create a new email address on Gmail or Yahoo! Mail, for example, and use that when signing up on websites to avoid spam, but to do this you do have to set them up before you start using them, and that setup is going to require filling out at least a bit of information. With Mailinator, there is no registration—just make up an alias with the @mailinator domain and use it on the spot.

Getting mail that is sent to your throwaway address is easy: log in at Mailinator with the email address.

Since everybody can do this without a password, Mailinator is useful only when you don't really want to communicate.

There are two important points to make not of when using Mailinator. First is that mail sent to a Mailinator email address is only kept for a few hours; it will eventually be deleted (other disposable email services have varying durations for how long email is kept).

The second point to remember is that all mail sent to Mailinator is automatically public—meaning any message that goes there can be accessed by the general public.

When Sites Reject @Mailinator Email Addresses

Sites may get wise to disposable email accounts, and many have restrictions on email addresses from these types of services like Mailinator. A site may decline to complete a registration that uses a disposable email account service domain it recognizes as such. 

Mailinator offers a range of other domains besides @mailinator you can use for the same purpose, and these are far less likely to be recognized as a disposable email account. On the Mailinator front page, you can find these alternate domains displayed for use.

For example, if you attempt to register on a site using an @mailinator email address, and it is rejected, try using one of the alternate domains from the Mailinator site, such as @sendspamhere.com. It will work the same as an address with @mailinator. 

These alternate domains change on the front page of Mailinator. The full list isn't revealed because, simply, registration sites could simply obtain that list and ban all of those domains from registration, defeating the purpose of the alternate email addresses.

Pros

  • Addresses are very easy to use and don't require any setup before using them.
  • There is no connection to your real email address.
  • Offers alternate domain names if mailinator.com addresses are blocked.
  • Provides an unlimited number of email addresses for everybody to use.
  • Mailinator addresses can be accessed simply by entering the username.

Cons

  • Useful only when you don't really want to get mail.
  • All Mailinator mail is public—anyone can see emails that are sent there.
  • Emails sent to Mailinator are temporary and will disappear after a few hours.
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