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Mailinator

Disposable Email Service


Tiny
Published 04/16/2012 and rated Ratingstars3 3 out of 5 stars
by Robyn Valenzuela
What can you use the app for?

Mailinator.com is a disposable email service which can be used to address SPAM issues. Users could arbitrarily make up a @mailinator.com address. It never even needs to be registered before. As soon as an email is sent to the address, the address goes "live." From there anyone could access the email by going to Mailinator.com and typing in the recipient email address. Emails are purged from the Mailinator system within 10 days. Text emails are ideal for this system, and HTML emails are stripped down. Additional attachments and large images are also condensed or not accepted at all. Mailinator is certainly not ideal for any email which contains any spec of one's personal information, since literally anyone could view this. However, for anyone who has been in the situation where they are asked to provide an email address and they know it's for SPAM purposes, Mailinator is a perfect alternative to providing one's personal email and then deleting the unwanted emails routinely.

Mailinator screenshot
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What is the history and popularity of the app?

Mailinator is the very first disposable email application, it was written by ManyBrain, Inc in 2003 and they also run a website known as Talkinator, which is an instant messaging application with a few differences. There are some copycats to the Mailinator idea, but they are the originals. Mailinators says that they get millions of emails a day, so apparently there are a bunch of people who use this service.

What are the differences to other apps?

Mailinator is different from other email services since users do not need to sign up, register for or "claim" an email address. Instead they could make on up on the fly or use a simple one like "abc@mailinator.com" to people, websites or organizations that they feel will SPAM them in the future. It is by no means to replace traditional email services or serve as a person's primary email service. There is absolutely no security or privacy for Mailinator, so users should not have ANY email sent to a Mailinator address that could contain any pertinent information. Mailinator is really meant to just fill in a required email address field when users would rather not provide their primary email address and they don't have a dedicated "SPAM" address already setup.

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How does the web app look and feel to use?

Mailinator is extraordinarily simple to use. In fact, it only keeps up to 10 emails for any email box, and all emails are deleted within hours. Emails are stripped to the very basics to prevent anyone from getting a virus when they open the email. Anyone could access any email, they simply need to know the address (i.e. name@mailinator.com). To check an inbox, simply go to the Mailinator site and type in the inbox name. From there users can see what emails were recently sent and open them if they wish.

How does the registration process work?

There is no need to register for Mailinator. Anyone could go to the web application, type in any inbox, and check out the recent mail activity.

What does it cost to use the application?

Mailinator is free for everyone to use. The site is supported through some advertisements which are located throughout the site. There are no plans to make Mailinator a paid-for service.

Who would you recommend the application to?

Mailinator.com is ideal for those who want to protect their privacy, and do not want to give out their primary email address. It is risky in that anyone could logon and see the email coming through it. Therefore, it should be provided sparingly. It isn't recommended for e-receipts or even when signing up for some applications, since those may reply to the email with a login credential or repeat some of the information which anyone can use. The perfect case for using Mailinator would be for offers or obligatory email fields that do not have any other piece of the user's information. Really, it would seem that users should create a "SPAM" email for this purpose since it could house emails that are considered junk but that could possibly include some personal information. Mailinator is good for someone who needs to provide a fake email address on the fly.

  • Disposable Email address to protect against spam
  • Email is automatically deleted after one hour
  • All attachments are stripped out of the message making it safe to read
  • No sign up required – Time Saving
  • Access email through the website, RSS Feeds or customized widget


Mailinator video

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