Services such as Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix offer limited-time test runs, but if you’re ambitious enough, it doesn’t have to stop there. In fact, theoretically, you can continue using the service for free using a different email address after the trial period expires. Retailers — both online and off — also tend to demand an email address in order to take advantage of their offers, but that often results in an unwanted deluge of spammy corporate emails that you could otherwise do without.
Disposable email addresses can help eradicate those irritating messages you’re still receiving from Ancestry and Match.com after several years. Some of these services will also allow you to create multiple email addresses and access them in the same window, while others will simply forward everything received at that address to your primary address, negating some of their usefulness. Below are some of our favorites sites for creating a disposable email address, so you can remain anonymous and abstain from an inbox burgeoning with advertisements for male enhancers, online degrees, and whatever else you probably don’t need in your life right now.
Non-forwarding disposable email services
When Mailinator boasts it’s “a different kind of email service on its site,” it’s not kidding around: Instead of relying on a signup process or built-in creator like other services on our roundup, Mailinator creates an account for whatever email address you use as soon as an email arrives for that address.
For instance, if you register for a service with the address “email@example.com,” the site will create an account for that particular address if one doesn’t exist already. Afterward, you can navigate to the Mailinator’s homepage and type in your inbox of choice — as can anyone else since the inbox lacks any sort of password protection. Or you can make up an inbox on the fly and use it as needed when you are worried about spam.
Also, although emails are deleted from the system after a few hours, email addresses will remain intact indefinitely. However, keep in mind many mainstream sites like Facebook already block the well-known domain.
While technically disposable, GuerrillaMail email addresses are also timeless. Each address can be tailored using one of nine different domain names and a custom inbox ID, much like a standard email address, making address options virtually limitless whether you rely on domain names like “sharklasers.com” or “spam4.me.”
Although the email address you choose at GuerrillaMail will never actually expire, recently-received emails that appear in your email inbox will automatically be deleted within an hour regardless if they’ve been viewed or not. Additional tools for encrypting your inbox ID and filtering unwanted spam is also built into the platform, as is a simple email composer. The service is capable of sending attachments up to 150 MB with little fanfare. Plus, if you’re on Android, there’s an app available for making faux email addresses on the fly. The only downside here is that Guerrilla Mail is looking a little dated these days, and could use an update, although it remains an excellent business-oriented option.
Ten minutes isn’t a lot of time, but it’s often more than enough to hand out your disposable email address to the masses. Ten Minute Mail isn’t swimming with features — it won’t even let you create your own custom address — but it instead revels in simplicity.
Once you arrive at the site’s homepage, it will provide you with an auto-generated email address that will expire after 10 minutes unless you opt for an additional 10 minutes using the short link below your given email address. Additionally, there are various inbox settings located at the bottom of the page for viewing messages and a link above your given email address for quickly copying the address to your clipboard. Now that the site has cut out ads, it’s a ultra-fast method that launches a temporary inbox the moment you open the site, which may be exactly what you’re looking for.
FMG is a lot like 10 Minute Mail in that it’s an ad-free site that automatically generates an email for you to use for various services and logins. This email account, however, comes with a couple features we really like. FMG lets you pick your own address, for example, or supplies you with one if you’re in a rush.
Moreover, the site “waits” for emails to be sent to the disposable address, and then automatically updates to show you those emails. This means you can navigate to the site, use your fake address to log into an account in another window, and then hop back to FMG to see how many spam emails pop up. And if you need to pull any registration or informational emails, you can then do so.
Maildrop starts with a familiar premise: make up an email address, or choose an auto-created version. The service then generates a simple list highlighting any and all emails received at the address in question, with a basic refresh option that lets you check emails as they arrive.
Maildrop offers a few other features, too. The service provides you with an “alias address,” or an automatic alternative that will also send emails to this page, but with an additional level of privacy. That said, you have to know the original email address to access emails from the alias address. Maildrop also provides cloud-based spam filtering courtesy of Heluna, so you’ll get less junk when you open your inbox.
Hide My Ass is more than just an email service. It essentially functions as a whole suite of services, each of which is designed to help give you more privacy and protection when using the internet. As a result, it’s disposable email solution is a bit more involved and professional than other choices. You create an account and password, provide your real email address, and choose how long you’d like your fake account will last. Hide My Ass will then send you an email update whenever your receive messages.
This solution is ideal when it comes to privacy, though it’s not as useful when it comes to blocking spam, since you’ll still receive updates at your real email address. Also, if you’re interested in in VPNs and other privacy services, you might as well use Hide My Ass and take down two birds with one stone.