Today, it is almost impossible to log into a site or an app without them demanding your email address. This often results in a flood of spam. Besides, the more places that know your email address, the greater a threat to your privacy. Your email address may already be shared with or sold off to third parties.
In the past, it was easy to enter a fake address whenever we wanted. But that doesn’t work any more, as most sites now send a verification email that you need to respond to.
Today, there are disposable email services that can help us deal with this problem. These providers give you a burner email alias you can use instead of your real email address. However, there are many services on the market, so it can be hard to determine which one is worth your time.
That’s why we did a deep dive and found 5 best temp email address services. This article will do an overview of each and answer all of the frequently asked questions. Lets start.
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Burner Mail – Fast and Capable Temporary Email Address Service
At its most basic, Burner Mail consists of Chrome and Firefox browser extensions that let you generate and use a disposable email addresses. Messages sent to these addresses get forwarded to the temporary email address you specify, while preventing the sender from learning what your real address is.
Once you install its browser extension, Burner Mail will display its burning envelope icon in any email address field that appears on the screen. Simply click the icon to insert one of your disposable mail addresses in the field and you’re done.
If you need more than this basic capability, you’ll want to visit the Burner Mail Dashboard (click the Dashboard button in the browser extension to get there fast).
The free version of Burner Mail gives you up to 5 burner addresses, while the paid version gives you an unlimited number of them and 1 custom domain. As you can see in the image above, the paid version now also gives you the ability to send messages using the burner addresses you create.
A Burner Mail paid subscription costs $3.39 per month, billed at $34.99 annually.
- Free and paid versions
- Browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox
- Forwards messages to your real email address
- Creates and manage multiple burner addresses
- Online mailbox
- Ability to send as well as receive using burner addresses
- Low prices
- Gathers some usage data
10minutemail – When a Quickie is all you Need
Sometimes all you want is a temporary email address that lasts long enough for you to receive a verification message. If you know that your relationship with a certain website is going to be more of a one-night stand than a long-term relationship, the anonymous 10MinuteMail site is where you need to go. Better yet, it is completely free.
As you open 10MinuteMail, you’ll see something like the image above: an odd-looking temporary email address, and a timer ticking down from 10 minutes.
All you have to do is click the copy button and paste your new email address into whatever form you encounter. You should be quick about it though, as the clock is ticking!
Now, all you have to do is wait. Once that verification email arrives, it will appear in the window below the timer. Open it and jump through whatever hoops you have to.
Keep in mind that 10MinuteMail will release your temporary email address and purge all messages sent once you close the window or the timer expires.
Don’t worry if you need more than 10 minutes to seal the deal. You can just keep clicking the Get 10 more minutes button until you’ve completed the process.
- Free (but donations accepted)
- Super simple to use
- No other user has access to your disposable email account
- Can’t send email
- Gathers some usage data
EmailOnDeck – A Private Disposable Email Service
While 10minutemail has the simplest process possible for getting a temporary email address, EmailOnDeck is not too far off. To get it, all you need to do is pass these two steps:
- Complete the CAPTCHA.
- Click the Get Email button.
EmailOnDeck is perfect for when you don’t want to use your real address. Incoming messages will appear in your web browser similarly to 10MinuteMail. While you can receive unlimited emails, you can only send messages to other EmailOnDeck users, unless you get a Pro plan.
With it, it’s easy to instantly create a new disposable email address. While the system automatically purges your messages every few hours, you’ll retain control of your throwaway email address for a while.
According to the website, there isn’t a specific amount of time that your address will last, but it should be more than an hour and likely less than a day. You can eliminate the address immediately by clicking the red button to the right of the email address in the image below:
The free version of EmailOnDeck supports one disposable email account at a time. If you want more simultaneous accounts, or want to use your address for long term, you can upgrade to EmailOnDeck Pro. Pro gives you up to 100 email accounts, and lets you send messages to anyone. There is also a recovery option, although it is not guaranteed to always work.
However, if you want to go Pro, you’ll need to be a little crypto savvy. That’s because EmailOnDeck only accepts Bitcoin payment. At the time of this review, the cost of a month of EmailOnDeck Pro was 0.001947 Bitcoin. This price is frequently adjusted due to Bitcoin’s volatile nature.
- Free and paid versions
- Fast and easy to get your new email address
- Access is secured with HTTPS and TLS
- Mailbox emptied every few hours
- Paid Pro version allows you to create and keep multiple simultaneous addresses
- You can only send email to other EmailOnDeck users
- Bitcoin pricing can lead to excessive costs when cryptocurrencies are rising
Guerrilla Mail – Receive and Send Disposable Email Messages
Guerrilla Mail provides a quality disposable email service while fixing some limitations that we have discussed with other providers. These fixes include the ability to:
- choose from multiple email domains
- change your Inbox ID to whatever you want
- send disposable emails and receive regular emails
Getting started with Guerrilla Mail can be confusing. Guerrilla Mail gives you options to customize your disposable email address, along with a scrambled version of your address. Guerrilla Mail doesn’t use any passwords or signup process, so anyone who knows your Inbox ID can use your account. The server deletes all messages after one hour, but Guerrilla Mail is not for any personal / private / important messages.
We recommend you hit the WTF! button before you start using Guerrilla Mail, as the site does a great job explaining all this.
One thing we really like about this service is the ability to send email as well as receive it. You can even include attachments to the messages you send. Messages you compose are deleted after 24 hours.
This feature is still in beta, but it works. Recipients of your messages see the scrambled version of your disposable email address rather than the plain one. It looks odd, but keeps your Inbox ID secret.
To enhance your security, Guerrilla Mail forces an HTTPS connection between your device and their site, meaning no one can spy on the messages going back and forth between them.
The email addresses you create in Guerrilla Mail last forever, although the messages in them are automatically deleted after an hour. This makes it convenient, as you don’t have to keep creating new disposable email accounts.
- Multiple email domains available; Inbox ID customizable
- Connection is secured with HTTPS
- Mail deleted after an hour, whether read or not
- Email addresses never expire (although the messages do)
- A little confusing for first-time users
- Must use scrambled email for inbox privacy
Maildrop – Temporary Email with Spam Filter
Maildrop is another free no-nonsense disposable email service. As they say on the site:
Maildrop is a free throwaway email address. It’s temporary. It’s transient. It’s disposable. It’s meant for those times when you don’t want to give out your real address. Just give someone any email address in the maildrop.cc domain, come back here, put in the email address, and you can see that inbox.
Maildrop has no signups.
Maildrop has no passwords.
Maildrop is designed for no security.
Maildrop is designed for little to no privacy.
To use Maildrop, just go to the site, and fill in the template on the top right. All Maildrop disposable emails end in “@maildrop.cc” so all you have to do is fill in the inbox name and you are ready to roll.
Say you enter the inbox name: catlitter. You can give the email address firstname.lastname@example.org to whomever that doesn’t need to know your real email address. Come back to Maildrop later and enter catlitter in the same field, then hit the View Inbox button to see what turned up.
Remember that Maildrop gives you little to no privacy. Anyone who enters the word catlitter and hits the View Inbox button will be able to see your messages too. But that’s okay since you won’t be using this email address for anything important or personal, right?
Note on privacy: Of course, we are all using these services for the purpose of keeping our main inboxes private, not necessarily the disposable inboxes. And from that perspective, Maildrop has its place for the privacy-focused user.
Remember that Maildrop has strong limits on what messages it accepts, and how many it accepts. It also filters incoming messages for spam. The most important things to note are:
- No attachments are accepted
- The inbox only holds 10 messages
- Maildrop can clear out old messages as necessary
Maildrop gives you an alias address that you can share with anyone. Messages sent to the alias address will make it into the correct inbox, but no one will be able to figure out your original Maildrop email address from the alias address.
Worried that you won’t be able to come up with a good throwaway address when you need one? Maildrop provides a tool that generates email addresses for you, right on the front page of the site. You can also find some good tips for generating good email addresses at the bottom of this page.
- Easy to use
- Permanent email addresses
- Built-in spam filtering
- No privacy with inbox
- Old messages may persist on the server for more than a day
Conclusion: Use a temporary email service in 2024
Today, virtually every website and app demand your email address, which is an abuse of your email privacy. Unfortunately, this trend is only getting worse as more websites restrict access to content unless you register or signup to some email marketing “newsletter” list.
Since not dealing with anyone who requires your email address isn’t a viable solution, handing out disposable or temporary email addresses is a great defensive move. Every services we describe here has its own way of doing things and isn’t tied with your real email in any way.
Providers like Burner Mail, 10MinuteMail, EmailOnDeck, Guerrilla Mail, and Maildrop will keep you safer, and they are also completely free! We advise you to take advantage of them if you wish to regain a bit of your online privacy.
Temporary Disposable Email Services FAQ
What is a temporary disposable email service?
A temporary email service provides disposable email addresses and mailboxes for those times when you want to use an email that cannot be traced back to you.
Do you need a disposable email address?
These days many websites and apps require that you give them your email address. This way, they can sell your user information and generate profit. This is why we highly recommend you to use a disposable temporary email address for unimportant sites.
Is it legal to give a fake email address?
Absolutely! Just because some website or app says they want your “best email address” it doesn’t mean you have to give it to them. Even the California Attorney General’s office recommends using a disposable email address to protect your privacy during sensitive medical procedures.
Is it safe to use a disposable email service?
In general yes, but there are some rules you should follow. First, your temporary email is often not protected, so anyone who knows your disposable email address may access your Inbox before it is deleted. You’ll also need to trust the service not to read your mail themselves.
You can use any of our recommended temporary email services safely as long as you assume that your messages are not private and only use it for unimportant, non-personal activities.
Will disposable emails be blocked?
Some websites and apps can tell that you are using a disposable emails service, and they try to block it. There are services like Block-Disposable-Email.com that maintain databases of the domains that send disposable emails.
However, there are hundreds of disposable email services on the market, so you can always switch to another.
This guide on temporary disposable email was last updated January 19, 2024.