You need an email address to use almost every website these days, but you probably don’t want to use your real email all the time. Perhaps you don’t trust a site, want to avoid spam, or need to make a second account on a service you already use.
We’ll show you services that let you access temporary email addresses to let you send and receive email without using your real address. Keep in mind that most of these sites don’t promise any kind of security, as anyone can access an inbox by name. Also, many websites block these domains, so they might not work everywhere.
While some throwaway email address providers look like they haven’t updated their site in a decade, Maildrop.cc provides a clean aesthetic and a simple service. Simply enter any address ending in
(or pick a suggested username) to access a throwaway inbox.
To protect from dangerous messages, Maildrop discards all email attachments. In addition, messages must be under 500KB in size. Each inbox holds a maximum of 10 messages, and any address that isn’t active for 24 hours gets reset.
Finally, Maildrop also employs powerful spam protection, so even if you enter a Maildrop address on a shady site, most of the junk won’t find its way to your temporary inbox. And for more security, you can use an alias address for your Maildrop inbox so others can’t easily open it up in Maildrop themselves.
Overall, Maildrop provides a clean, simple interface when you need a fake email to sign up for something. It can’t send mail and it’s not meant for permanent use, but it’s a solid tool for getting a quick confirmation message or similar.
Mailinator is one of the longest-running disposable email services. While its homepage now promotes its paid business plans, you can still use it to access a public temporary inbox for free.
Simply enter a username
at the top to check an inbox. You can make up a name on the spot when browsing a website and messages will make their way to that Mailinator address without you having to create it ahead of time.
You can’t send email through Mailinator, and the service deletes all messages after a few hours. It also blocks all attachments in incoming messages. While Mailinator doesn’t offer much for free and is blocked on many sites due to its well-known status, it’s still worth a try today.
Mailsac provides some basic features for free, but offers extra features at additional charge if you need a “permanent” throwaway address.
Like the above, all inboxes are public and available without signing in. You can also use an alias address to disguise the true email address. Emails received in public inboxes stick around for four days. With a free account, you can hold 50 messages in an inbox.
Signing up for a free account gives you some additional perks, including the ability to star messages to keep them from being deleted, unify several inboxes in one place, and more.
If you want to compose a large number of outgoing emails, store more messages, or set up a private inbox nobody else can use, you’ll need to pay for those perks.
While creating an account might go against the idea of getting a disposable email address, having a collection of addresses where you can save emails is great. Try it for testing projects, keeping track of which sites are spamming you, or just playing an email prank.
4. 10 Minute Mail
If you need an email to sign up for something and never use again, 10 Minute Mail is for you. This service doesn’t offer anything fancy; when you open it, the site simply generates a nonsense email address for you (we got
[email protected]). You’ll see how many messages have arrived in the
section at the top-right.
A timer counts down 10 minutes, at which point your inbox is destroyed. In case you need more time, click the
Get 10 more minutes
link, which you can use as often as necessary.
If you close the browser window or let time run out, you can’t go back to that temporary inbox again. Because of this, 10 Minute Mail has a bit more security built-in, since nobody else can see the inbox you have open. This also means that you shouldn’t use the service for an ongoing secondary address.
GuerrillaMail isn’t much to look at, but is a powerhouse for disposable email address users. To help get around blocking, it provides several domain names (like
@spam4.me)—plus you can change your randomly assigned email address at any time.
Addresses are permanent, but the service deletes all email after an hour. Unlike other services, GuerillaMail doesn’t filter any incoming messages, so you’re free to open attachments and view spam messages.
With GuerillaMail, you can send as many messages as you like, including attachments. The maximum size of emails/attachments is a whopping 150MB, and they expire after 24 hours. Because you can’t sign in, anyone can potentially access the inbox you’ve chosen.
Blur is a little more involved than the above temporary email services, but it’s worth a look if you often disguise your email address across the web. Blur is a suite of privacy tools that includes a password manager, form auto-fill, and email masking.
Essentially, Blur gives you the option to mask the information you give to websites. If you’re signing up for a website and don’t feel comfortable giving your email address, clicking
Mask my email
supplies a made-up email address. Whenever that site sends you an email, Blur forwards it onto you, preventing the site from knowing your real email address.
Blur makes it easy to obfuscate your address on many sites instead of using a temporary service all the time. And if a site abuses your address, you can just tell Blur to stop forwarding that mail.
If you like what Blur does for free, the Blur Premium plan lets you mask your credit cards and phone numbers, as well.
Disposable addresses are an easy way to quickly create a new email address for yourself. No matter your reason for using a disposable email, one of these services should suit you perfectly.
In case you’re not sure which one is best for you:
- Maildrop and Mailinator are great for quick usage, such as one-off confirmation emails.
- Mailsac is the best if you don’t mind creating an account and want a more “permanent” throwaway address.
- 10 Minute Mail provides (relatively) the most privacy, as nobody else can access your current inbox.
- GuerillaMail provides unfiltered access to email, including attachments, and lets you send email without signing in.
- Blur is great if you want a total security solution and rarely give out your real email address.
Email aliases definitely come in handy, so don’t forget to use them when you don’t trust a site.
Image Credit: Lolostock/Shutterstock
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