Mailinator – A Temporary Inbox

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I recently discovered a very useful site, Mailinator.

Essentially it allows you to create a temporary email inbox. This can be very useful when signing up to a website which you do not want to provide your real email address to.

All you need to do is enter a email address on the signup to whatever website you wish to register for, ending in one of the following:

  • mailinator2.com
  • sogetthis.com
  • mailin8r.com
  • mailinator.net
  • spamherelots.com
  • thisisnotmyrealemail.com

You can then visit Mailinator.com, enter the email address you have used and read any email that is sent to that address. After a couple of hours the email gets deleted so you don’t need to worry about it being visible to anyone forever.

There are 2 ways to get email into any given inbox. When you check an inbox, listed at the top is the Alternate Inbox name. Emailing that alternate name is the same as emailing the regular name of the inbox. For example, the alternate name for “joe” is “M8R-yrtvm01” (all alternate names start with “M8R-“).

Thus, you can email joe@mailinator.com OR M8R-yrtvm01@mailinator.com – either way, the email will arrive in the “joe” inbox (and nothing into the M8R-yrtvm01 inbox). What’s more, there is no way to guess an an alternate name. If you give out the alternate, only YOU will be able to check the emails because only you know the original inbox name.

In short, pick yourself a nice, long, and hard-to-guess mailinator name – and then give out the alternate. People can email you but can’t read your email !

(mailinator faq)

This can be a very useful site to use when you are unsure what a website will do with the email address you give them. I expect that if this service gets abused then sites may start to block addresses to the above domain, but until then use it wisely 🙂

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