Email forms an extremely important part of modern communication; while many readers may favour services like WhatsApp, iMessage or Facebook Messenger, it is important to note that email makes up a majority of Internet traffic.
Finding spam in your email address, annoying as it is, should come as no great surprise. However, there are solutions to the spam problem that we’ll show you in this article.
Disposable Email Addresses
As their naming suggests, these addresses are intended to be used and discarded. Their name is rarely personal, being generated so that no user has a reason to be attached to a specific alias. We covered several different services providing disposable email addresses a few years ago, but their proliferation affords them different categorisation.
Temporary Email Addresses
Perhaps the most well-known example of a disposable address, temporary addresses function for a period of time before becoming inactive. The time can vary from a specified length of time up until when you restart your browser or computer.
Of the services that could be fitted into this category, 10MinuteMail is probably the most well-known, and the FAQ page provides useful insight into how the site works while simultaneously assisting in explaining temporary email addresses.
Guerrilla Mail: While the site’s UI is not as appealing as some of the others on this list, Guerrilla Mail does an admirable job of maintaining features. It’s a tough service to categorise, given that it does not seem to have a limit on address lifespan, but each address appears unique.
You get a degree of control, too; you can select one of several email domains or even use your own for an annual fee, as well as compose emails and change other settings.
Throwaway Mail: An impressively straightforward name cuts right to the chase. Throwaway Mail takes the same simplicity into its design. Addresses remain functional until the tab is closed or refreshed, meaning an address could last for minutes, hours, or even longer.
My Temp Email: This site takes an interesting approach to temporary email addresses, allowing you to have several functional addresses at once, all accessible from one window.
The design works well for this, and the site even includes custom domain support as well as audible notifications for new emails.
Semi-Persistent Email Addresses
Semi-persistent email addresses can also be treated as publicly accessible: while some services have automatically-generated aliases, there are those which allow you to choose. Should you wish to use a semi-persistent email address, you should be aware that they are not password-protected – anything you sign up to could be viewed by someone else. As a result, you probably will not want to pick a common name.
Semi-persistent addresses have fundamental differences to time-based disposables. The address is active forever, though inboxes are often purged after some time, and addresses rarely have passwords. While users keen on emphasising security may balk at the very idea, it’s possible to come up with an alias that is extremely difficult to guess at random. Services which can be considered as semi-persistent include:
Maildrop As can be seen from the textboxes on Maildrop’s homepage, you can view any mailbox you like. The site’s automatically suggested addresses are a neat touch, reducing the likelihood of someone else sharing the same address as you.
The site also provides a number of usage scenarios where it could prove useful. One potential snag with Maildrop is that it has one email domain. If a site filtered email domains, you have no alternative to use.
Mailinator The description on the homepage for Mailinator perfectly conveys its function as ‘free public email.’ Like Maildrop, the site can automatically suggest an address for you to use. Don’t be surprised if you find spam in your new email address when you open it as is the nature of these particular services.
Provided you come up with something never before generated, this may not be a problem.
YOPmail: Another example of the “semi-persistent” email address comes from YOPmail with an impressive list of forwarding domains, a chat service, and even browser extensions to facilitate the site’s usage.
Like the other sites in this category, there is no protection afforded to email addresses, although the developers encourage users to use the address generator for security. While the site’s appearance might be dated, it covers its bases well.
Permanent Email Addresses
Less of a service specialising in disposable emails and more of a service that you can use in an unorthodox manner, a permanent email addresss is one you create yourself and maintain. The aliases for these addresses are your own doing, although you could copy a randomly-generated one from another service.
Should you decide to use a permanent email address, this means you can always maintain the contents of the inbox. It can be liberating, in a way, to have an address like this: it’s yours, and you have control over it, but you do not have to start managing and micro-managing its finer settings.
Key benefits to this approach include having a more permanent record of the emails sent and received as well as being able to set up filters, lists, and other services you cannot access with other services.
Owing to the sheer number of services providing users with permanent email addresses, it is not possible to do them all justice. Many provide large amounts of storage space, rich-text writing environments, and search functionality to hunt down email, but it is up to you whether you need all of this for a disposable address.
There is no best disposable address, only a variety of services capable of providing this functionality. Your usage scenarios may vary greatly from another reader’s, and you may find any of these suggestions agreeable. Each has its own ups and downs, such as certain domains being blacklisted for having a history of relation to disposable email addresses.
If there are options you feel we have not considered, let us know in the comments section below.