Given the amount of spam I receive every day, I am extremely reluctant giving
away my email address to untrusted parties, especially when I’m pretty sure
these people should only ever use that email address once (to send me an
activation code, for example). Therefore, I was absolutely delighted when
the first disposable email address service appeared (SpamGourmet) and especially
when it was followed by two more (Mailinator and DodgeIt). Here is a quick
review of these three services.
- SpamGourmet allows you to define an
email address @spamgourmet.com with
the syntax aWord.aNumber.yourUserName.
The word will typically be used to identify the service that will be trying
to email you, the number is the number of times emails sent to that address
will be delivered until they start bouncing, and your user name is… well,
your own identifier.
This solution works well but is a bit heavy. First of all, I don’t
really care how many times this email address works, most of the time, once
is enough and the rest is up to the server. Second, I need to log in
with a user name and a password, and again, I don’t really see the need.
- Enter Mailinator. Mailinator
takes the concept one step further by offering you passwordless email
addresses. You type in the user name, and you are automatically taken
to the mailbox. Obviously, you should never use this inbox for
anything confidential, and if you can live with that, it’s certainly a
better solution than SpamGourmet. It suffers from two shortcomings,
though: 1) you can’t easily bookmark the inbox, you need to go through
the front page and then submit your name and 2) there is no easy way to be
notified when the expected email has arrived.
- DodgeIt to the rescue! With its
googleish minimalistic interface, dodgeit appealed to me right away, and the
fact that it doesn’t use any form allows you to bookmark any inbox (example).
But DodgeIt goes further by giving you an
RSS feed to the
mailbox. This is the ultimate luxury in disposable addresses, since
you obviously don’t want to be notified by email. Pick a carefully
selected login name (you don’t want to your reader to bother you if others
happen to use the same inbox), point your RSS reader to it and voila!, you
will never have to reload a browser waiting for an activation code.
Can anybody top DodgeIt?
Update from the comments:There is also ipoo as a good alternative to dodgeit.