Get a Quick and Easy Disposable E-Mail Address

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 @mailinator.com, and then type it in. For example: hasslefreepc@mailinator.com.

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.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon