Get a quick and easy disposable e-mail address

If you need a temporary e-mail account, look no further than Mailinator

Here's a common hassle: You sign up for some freebie, promotion, or service that requires your e-mail address--and suddenly your inbox is deluged with ads, notifications, and other spam.

Of course, without supplying an e-mail address, you wouldn't have been able to sign up. Indeed, in some cases you actually need to get e-mail from the company, if only to retrieve a registration code, coupon, or the like.

What you need is a disposable e-mail address, one that doesn't impact your inbox. Enter Mailinator, a free and easy service that gives you a temporary, Web-accessible e-mail address. (Fans of "Phineas and Ferb" should channel Dr. Doofenshmirtz: "It's my latest invention: the Mail-in-ator!!")

What I love about Mailinator is that it requires no registration or setup of any kind. You just think up an e-mail address on the fly (like when you're staring at a Web form), tack on, and then type it in. For example:

To check your e-mail, just head to the Mailinator site, enter your invented address under "Check your inbox," and then click Go. Presto: there's your mail. There's no password required (meaning this is a highly non-secure system, so use it only for things that don't require absolute privacy).

The only thing I couldn't figure out from Mailinator's FAQ page (which I highly recommend reading) is how long the mail (and accounts) are stored. A week? Indefinitely? I'm guessing it's the latter, meaning you should probably delete your messages when you're done with them. You also have the option of forwarding them to your primary e-mail account, which is handy.

This is a great little service, one that can really help cut down your inbox spam.

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Rick Broida

PC World (US online)
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