Last Updated: October 12, 2015 11

Using Mailinator, a Free Email Service

Found In: Email

Mailinator is a free email service provider which is different from other providers in one crucial aspect – you do not have to sign up. With Mailinator you simply invent an email address @mailinator.com and start checking your emails. Here are the main aspects of Mailinator, according to www.mailintaor.com:

  • Use any inbox you like
  • No Sign-up
  • Inboxes are created when email arrives for them
  • Make up email addresses on the fly
  • Make-up an address and give it to others, then come here and check your inbox!
  • RSS/Atom feeds for every Inbox
  • Give out a Mailinator address any time you need an email address but don’t want to get spammed!

Mailinator Facts

There are some very important things that you need to know about Mailinator:

  • One of the key facts about Mailinator is that YOU CANNOT USE IT TO SEND EMAILS! This is impossible using this service which is why it is different from other free service providers.
  • Anyone can read your Mailinator inbox if they have your Mailinator email address (which they obviously will if they have ever sent an email to it). This means that there is not a lot of security using this system. If you want an email address for receiving sensitive content, then this is not what you’re looking for. However if you just want a place for unimportant emails to go, then this is perfect.
  • Unlike other email providers the messages sent to your Mailinator inbox will be deleted after a day and in some cases they will be deleted after even less time than this. It is not a place where you can store messages, that is for sure.
  • Plain text emails will get though to you, but HTML is filtered and any attachments or other inclusions like pictures will not be visible in your Mailinator inbox. Also emails that are too big and that have too many recipients will not be visible. If a mail comes through hat Mailinator objects to, it will not be sent to your inbox. Lastly your inbox cannot hold more than ten emails at a time.
  • However there is no sign up process for a Mailinator account. As soon as an email is sent to the email account you specify, it will automatically come into existence. Even though there are fewer services and functions offered you will find that creating a Mailinator account takes far less time than creating any other account and requires no genuine information.
  • There is a security function in place, however. For example, if you create the email account discworldcreature@mailinator.com and then give it to someone to send you a mail, that person will automatically be able to check your email address and see what’s in your inbox. There is now a system in place to avoid this. When you open your email account you will see near the top an alternate email address. The alternate email address for discworldcreature@mailinator.com is M8R-bu7twr @mailinator.com. If you give M8R-bu7twr @mailinator.com out to people it will still appear in discworldcreature@mailinator.com, but the difference is that they will not be able to use this email address to access your inbox. Neat, huh?
  • The main reason why someone would want to use a service like this is in situations where they need a temporary email just for an isolated email or purpose. After that they don’t care what happens to the email address. With a system where there is no sign up involved you will be able to do this quickly and easily, and once it is done you will never have to think about that email address again. If you are worried about getting spammed when giving out your personal email address, or if you prefer not to give out real email addresses for privacy or security reasons, then create a Mailinator account.
  • You are able to forward emails from your Mailinator account and view them in your personal email account if necessary.
  • This may help you in terms of spam. If you give out your Mailinator email address to people you will be in less danger of being spammed at any of your ‘genuine’ email addresses. This is a great way to temporarily make contact with someone who you are not sure about.
  • So the question is how do you create this magical account? Well, in the strictest sense of the word you don’t. All you have to do is go to www.mailinator.com. If you are unable to click on the link to access the website, simply copy and paste it into your URL and press Enter. Then all you have to do is type [the email address of your choice]@mailinator.com and you will be taken to an inbox where you can see your alternate email address. As soon as you or someone else sends a mail to that address it comes into being and you will be able to check t later – but remember that emails are deleted after only a day.
  • Because there is no password for this it is suggested that you pick an unusual name that no one else will be likely to guess or choose themselves when they are trying to create an account.
  • It is interesting to note that under the “Check your inbox” field there is a message saying, for example, “The last inbox you viewed: discworldcreature@mailinator.com. So if anyone signs into Mailinator on your PC they are likely to be able to login to your inbox without any trouble at all.
  • Mailinator will also provide a random email address every time you show up at the site. If you need a new address and if you are out of imagination for the day just use the random one that they have generated for you.

So, although Mailinator is very limited, it is easy to see how it may be useful for short term situations where you want to avoid being spammed or having unwanted emails sent to your ‘real’ account.