ailinator is a new kind of mail service. The biggest difference is that you don't need to sign up. Any email name you can think of already exists at mailinator.com. Want email@example.com? You got it. Want to be SuperGuy? BoohaBunny? FredInPants? No problem. They all already exist just waiting for you to check your mail.
How is Mailinator different than some other webemail? Say, Yahoo or Hotmail?
The differences are easy to list. Generally speaking however, anything you can do with Mailinator, you can do with some other email service. In fact, you can do more with other services since they allow you to actually send email (Mailinator only receives).
The differences are:
Why is this good?
In our internet world, you often need an email address NOW. Signing up for an email service takes time - that's probably ok for most emailing, but every now and then you need a quick email address for just a single email. After that you don't care what happens to it. Given that such disposable email is ready at your disposal, you can avoid giving out your real email address when you are afraid of getting spammed. Instead, make up any address @mailinator.com on the spot and go check it later.
So Mailinator solves the Spam problem?
Heck no. If it solved the spam problem it would probably be called IBMinator or MICROSOFTinator or something even catchier cuz we would have sold it and we'd be zillionaires off pursuing our real dream of helping nice people like Dr. Bahutu of Nigeria who keeps emailing us asking for our help transferring some funds.
Anyway, Mailinator gives you an opportunity to skirt one avenue that spammers use to spam you. By no means does Mailinator "solve" the spam problem, its just one extra tool in your spam-fighting toolbox.
Doesn't this open a situation where mailinator might get LOTS of email that no one cares about?
Yup. Its important you know that any email that gets sent to mailinator will only last a few hours. After that time, it will be auto-deleted.
Cool. If I don't "sign up", then how do I create an account?
A mailinator email account is created as soon as email arrives for it. Just send email to it and blammo — it will be there waiting for you.
Um... how do I get the email then?
Type in the email name on any of the web pages and the directory for that email address will be shown.
Um... what's the password to get the email
No password. Your email name itself is the only key you need to get in.
Um... if there is no password, can't someone else get my email?
Yup. For this reason, you might want to pick an offhand name. Don't pick "firstname.lastname@example.org", maybe you'd be better off with "boohabunny". In any case, its perfectly possible for anyone to see your email here.
This sounds pretty insecure.
What if I send important emails with sensitive super-secret information in them to mailinator?
Then you are a stupid-head. That isn't what this is for.
What if I want my emails to stay in my box longer than a few hours?
First off.. it isn't "your" box. Its anyone's box. Just because you pick a name doesn't mean diddly — you and anyone else can use it at the same time. Secondly, if you want your email to stick around longer than a few hours then you need a normal web-email service, not mailinator. Check yahoo or gmail or something.
Are there any limitations on the emails that get sent here?
Yes. Attachments aren't allowed and any given mailbox will only hold 10 messages at once. Any email that the mailinator isn't happy with (for these or other reasons) will never make it into the system. Other rejection criteria may include email size (max 100k), too many recipients, etc.
Are there any limitations on email address names? Are bad words filtered?
Well, all names must be legal email names or they will never even get as far as mailinator (i.e. you can't have bob@bob@email@example.com). Also, many special characters are filtered. Other than that, no specific word filtering is implemented at this time. If you are at an age where you still think having the email "firstname.lastname@example.org" is cool then I envy you.
What are alternate domains?
Every now and then you bump into a website that does not permit email addresses at mailinator.com (scoundrels!). Don't fret. There is more than one domain pointing to the mailinator system. If you send email to one of the listed alternate domains - it will come to mailinator.com just as if you sent it directly. For example, email@example.com is EXACTLY the same as firstname.lastname@example.org. Other alternate domains include sogetthis.com, mailinater.com, and mailin8r.com
The official policy is something like: At Mailinator, THERE IS NONE. Expect that any email you send or have sent here can be viewed by anyone. In fact, wiley spam guys might start scraping the mailboxes of email@example.com or something. Its perfectly possible. Mailinator/Outscheme does NOT ask, require or even want any of your personal information. This service is not much different than the existing Usenet — what you put out there is world-viewable. Keep that in mind.
So if the government issued a subpeona to Mailinator to divulge emails or logs, you'd rat me out?
Holy crap, yes. I'm not going to jail for you, I have a boyish face and very, very supple skin.
Privacy is a serious issue, and we want to be clear. We think Mailinator provides pretty decent privacy, and we want to keep providing that and even improve it, but we can't promise it. A promise would require lawyers, money, and probably guns - and we don't have any of those.
Does Mailinator collect, sell, or otherwise use email addresses it gets?
Mailinator is about anti-spam. Mailinator/Outscheme does not use, sell, or even organize those addresses in any way whatsoever. They are data. When the email gets auto-deleted so does the address.
There is some OTHER free email service and its MUCH better!
Ok. As far as we know, nothing exactly like Mailinator existed before Mailinator. We certainly aren't "competing" with other free anti-spam services (we're all on the same side remember?). We feel that Mailinator solves one specific part of the spam problem — other services do that too, its just a slightly different angle and a slightly different solution. In the end, use what works best for you. Mailinator works for us — we use it all the time.
Mailinator™ is property of Outscheme, Inc. Copyright 2003-7, Outscheme, Inc.