10 Best Temporary Email Services in 2024

10 Best Temporary Email Services in 2024
24 August, 2023 • ... • 28319 views
Sara Kurczyńska
by Sara Kurczyńska

When was the last time you bounced off a website just because it required you to share your email address? It’s common practice for businesses to build their email marketing lists by offering compelling content in return for your precious inbox.

Of course, sharing private email addresses doesn’t mean that your internet privacy is inevitably breached. However, it’s undeniable that this practice opens up a path for loads of unsolicited emails tumbling into your main inbox. Here, temporary email services come to the rescue, providing a quick, and often anonymous solution to this issue.

Sometimes using a throwaway email address could be more than just about privacy. Perhaps you need a burner address to test out a new tool, or maybe you’re looking to generate a temporary email for a one-time sign-up process.

Now, a question remains: what is the best temporary email service provider available on the internet? Let’s find out!

What is a temporary email address?

A temporary email address, also known as a disposable or throwaway email address, is a uniquely generated email alias designed for short-term usage. It gets automatically deleted once it has served its purpose or after a set time.

Think about it as your alternative Gmail account that you use every time you don’t want to share your main, private address. But as the name suggests, most temporary mail services only allow you to generate temporary addresses, often without the ability to get back to the emails you receive after a certain time.

When can it be useful?

Going back to the example in the introduction, the most common use of disposable email services is to get past registration on a website without compromising your personal address.

Want to grab a freebie, but don’t want to deal with unsubscribe forms later on? 

Forgot your password and can’t sign up for some service because your email is already used? 

Or maybe you want to test a competitor’s product without signing up with your company’s or personal email address and compromising your privacy? 

Your anonymous throwaway email address has you covered.

It’s important to mention that this isn’t the only intended purpose of a temporary email address. As we’ll explain later, some advanced services offer much more flexibility, which makes disposable emails a useful tool to secure and protect your privacy on the internet or organize your inbox.

Types of disposable emails

There are different types of disposable email addresses that you should be aware of. Each has its strengths and drawbacks, making it more suitable in some scenarios than in others.

Throwaway email

A throwaway email is what most people think of when they hear about a temporary email address. This service provides an instant and anonymous email address. You can use it to receive every annoying sign-up verification email that may come your way – provided you won’t need it in the future.

Free temporary email services typically only offer receiving messages. If you want to send emails, you will have to pay a premium. That being said, if you want to forget what a spam email is, throwaway emails are the solution for you!

Forwarding address

A forwarding address is one of the alternatives to using temporary emails. It aims to protect your personal information by adding an extra gate to the email route. Do you want to avoid the need to create an entirely new, separate email account with a new address and inbox and manage it the same way you do with your “main” inbox? Instead of switching between multiple email accounts, you can funnel incoming mail from  another address to your primary email.

In other words, every email received at your forwarding address will land in your primary inbox without exposing it to the world, thus ensuring your privacy. On top of that, you can add extra spam filters that will only forward messages from trusted sources, making it a rather secure choice.

Alias address

An alias address is somewhat similar to the forwarding address, with the main difference lying in the way you set it up. Typically, getting a forwarding address means getting a separate email account. In comparison, alias addresses come as built-in features with many email service providers.

Simply put, you use your current email server to generate an alternate email address within your server. This comes with the benefit of having control over the mail you’re receiving. For instance, if you create a separate alias for newsletters, you can have your email server flag those emails automatically.

Summary table displayed by Gmail's 'Show Original' feature. Includes sender and recipient details, timestamps, message ID, subject, SPF, DKIM. and DMARC authentication results.
Messages sent to “[email protected]” will automatically be labeled (or tagged) as “newsletters” in Jane’s inbox

How to choose the best disposable email

Finding the right disposable email service boils down to two things. First, identify your needs. Then, weigh them against the functionality of available options.

While you may want to dive into details on providers’ websites, it often comes down to ease of use. Many users choose services with basic functionality, especially when they need to generate a temporary email quickly, without going through multiple settings and options.

Depending on whether you need an alias address, a temporary inbox, or an email forwarding address, there are different factors you should consider, including:

  • Security: Even with a burner email, your privacy and the security of any information you receive through it are essential. Check out the service’s data protection policies, legal standing, encryption algorithms and other security-specific features on service websites.
  • Functionality: Review how many messages the service allows you to receive, whether you can reply to them, if the service is read-only, or if it has an option of forwarding mail to your private mailbox. This is especially important if you need more than just to receive an email or two. For instance, when testing your email campaign, you usually want to check a few things: delivery times, links and tracking, or user segmentation, if there is any. The testing will take much less time when done in bulk.
  • Lifespan: While every temporary email provider will dispose of your emails after some time, the lifespan varies a lot. Some addresses last only 10 minutes, while others remain active until you delete them manually. If you do not want your email addresses deleted immediately, their lifespan should be one of your top concerns.

10 best temporary email services

With multiple temporary email services on the market, it could be overwhelming to pick the one that suits you best. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of popular services for you to check out in one place.

10 Minute Mail

100% free

The team accepts donations

Chances are that 10 Minute Mail is the first out of many alternatives that comes to your mind when talking about temporary email addresses.True to its name, 10 Minute Mail is a service that allows you to generate email addresses that exist for exactly ten minutes. Its straightforward approach makes it quite the popular choice for people looking to steer clear of spam emails.

Just like Temp Mail, 10 Minute Mail focuses on simplicity. You enter the website, get a unique address that is available only for you, and then have ten minutes to use it. You can extend those ten minutes if you want to.

Due to its popularity, 10 Minute Mail has one major drawback: many websites are aware of it and won’t not allow registering with a 10 Minute Mail address.

Temp Mail

Free basic functionality

Premium $10/month, $60/year

Temp Mail always comes in handy whenever there’s a need to generate a randomized temporary email address quickly. It’s a service characterized by its simple interface and good performance. Delivery delays or improper email rendering are quite rare with it.

The service is free to use, but you can opt for the premium version. With the premium version, you get additional domains, up to 10 addresses at the same time (while the free tier only allows for one), extended storage, and full ownership over your temporary addresses.

ProtonMail

Free basic functionality

Premium starts from $4.99/month

Offers customizable plan and additional products as a package deal

ProtonMail is an encrypted email service that focuses on providing users with secure and private email communication. In a sense, it is more of an alternative to mainstream email providers like Gmail or Outlook rather than a burner email service. They offer stand-alone Android, iOS, and Web apps and integration with other email clients. 

ProtonMail allows users to create a free account and enjoy the majority of their extensive privacy protection features, including a message expiration feature that deletes messages from both sender and recipient after a specified time. For free users, the message expiration is limited to encrypted messages and password-protected emails. Paid accounts can also destroy any messages they receive from any email account.

Additionally, users who pay for the Unlimited Plan can generate as many hide-my-email aliases as they want.

Maildrop

100% free

Another noteworthy service is Maildrop, which takes the lead in user-friendly options. Just like with Temp Mail and 10 Minute Mail, there’s no registration, and you will not need to provide any personal information.

Unlike the other two, Maildrop allows for your own alias. This may be a privacy concern, especially since already-existing aliases are open to the public. However, it can be handy if you want to generate an easy-to-remember address and share the contents of its inbox with other people without having to forward emails or copy them individually.

Maildrop claims that its temporary email addresses are accepted everywhere. It may be helpful if a site blocks the other options on our list.

Note that Maildrop doesn’t allow attachments, and your mail must come in simple HTML.

Mail Poof

Free basic functionality and open API

API Key starts from $19.99/month

At first glance, Mail Poof looks like a 10 Minute Mail clone. It only allows you to pick an alias, and once the email address is generated, you will see a standard email client interface.

What sets Mail Poof apart is the API. Starting from $19.99 a month, it gives developers the opportunity to generate temporary email addresses on a mass scale to “poof” bulk email. This is beneficial for everyone who needs multiple email accounts, for example, for testing purposes.

EmailOnDeck

Free basic functionality.

Premium paid in BTC or ETH

EmailOnDeck is a unique temporary email provider on this list. It’s similar to Mail Poof in how it operates. The basic service is free, and you can pay for the API.

So, what’s so unique about it? You can pay for the premium version of EmailOnDeck only with Bitcoin or Ethereum. The cost varies depending on the value of these cryptocurrencies, which is also why you need to prolong your access to your private inboxes every 30 days.

Apart from that, EmailOnDeck goes beyond what Mail Poof offers by giving you the tools not only to receive emails but also to send them, all with your privacy in mind.

We’ve managed to skim through more or less standard temporary inboxes, so let’s take a look at a few services that take a different approach.

addy.io

Free basic functionality

Premium starts from $1/month

addy.io is a free and open source address forwarding service that allows you to create aliases that bypass temporary address filters.

The primary purpose of addy.io is to combat data breaches and identity theft online. As a user, you’re provided with a unique username, and any alias attached to that username will forward to your inbox.

addy.io has a premium version starting from $12 a year. It has additional features, such as custom domains, unlimited aliases, and no advertisements. It’s a very efficient way of managing several burner addresses from one place.

Gmailnator

Free basic functionality

Premium $2.99/month, $21.99/year

The team accepts donations

Gmailnator takes a unique and somewhat risky approach to disposable email addresses. It uses Gmail’s infrastructure to generate “@gmail.com” addresses. As expected, this means you can use the addresses as widely as other Gmail accounts. 

However, we won’t recommend sending personal data using this system, since Gmailnator doesn’t guarantee complete privacy – your temporary address may be assigned to someone else later on.

Mailinator

Free basic functionality for everyone

Free access to extended functionality for verified QA professionals

Premium starts from $79/month

To many, Mailinator will probably look like an advanced email management tool – and it is, to a certain degree. Mailinator was designed for testing and QA purposes and should be viewed as such.

The app has a free tier which comes with a myriad of features not seen anywhere else. For example, you can use Mailinator to generate a temporary email address with access to usage statistics.

The premium version adds a whole bunch of cloud-based solutions to the mix. But with the prices starting at $79 a month, it’s clearly not targeted at your average user who just wants to protect their email privacy with a secure and anonymous inbox.

Guerrilla Mail

100% free

It’s only appropriate to conclude this list with the first-ever temporary email service. We owe a big chunk of the current disposable email industry to Guerrilla Mail.

The service has a straightforward approach. Within seconds, the website generates a unique and anonymous temporary email, enabling you to send and receive messages securely. The design might seem outdated, but the service is so well-functioning that we can’t really complain. 

It’s worth noting that Guerrilla Mail both sends and receives messages, a unique functionality among other free disposable email alternatives. Despite its age, Guerrilla Mail remains a reliable and robust disposable email service.

As you might have guessed, there are no premium features. Guerrilla Mail is 100% free, maintains anonymity, and is arguably one of the easiest services to use.

Pros and cons of using free disposable email address services

When it comes to temporary email services, one thing is certain: using them can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it provides a swift solution to an age-old problem of maintaining your privacy and reducing spam.

On the other hand, many websites blacklist the most popular temporary email addresses. You might need to go through a list of different temporary mail websites to find the one you can use to create an account on a specific website.

Unsuccessful attempt to subscribe to the Morning Briefing newsletter by New York Times with a temporary email address. The error message reads: “Please enter a valid email address”

Speaking of double-edged-swords, the fact that those emails are temporary also has its downsides. Quickly self-destructing email addresses might protect your personal information. However, it’s up to you to save important emails within the assigned time frame. If you lose access to a one-off code, for example, there’s not much that can be done.

Also, while these services offer a possibility to secure your privacy, you still have to rely on a third party. Sending messages through other service providers means you entrust them with your data.

Still, the pros often outweigh the cons. In addition, it’s unlikely you will use those temporary addresses for critical business communications.

To sum up, using a burner email service allows you to generate temporary addresses to dodge the deluge of spam. You also get to explore new services and filter out valuable information from the noise in your primary inbox. Isn’t that a great way to simplify your online life and protect your privacy?

Final thoughts

So there you have it, our comprehensive review of temporary email services. From the simple burner email providers perfect for quick sign-ups to premium email management tools with advanced functionality hidden behind a website. 

Just remember that each service comes with its own set of features and limitations. As a user, it’s up to you to weigh their pros and cons. Then, pick what suits you best, and step into a spam-free world with a selection of the best temporary email services out there!

24 August, 2023
Article by
Sara Kurczyńska
Sara Kurczyńska is an experienced content writer from Poznań, Poland. She enjoys writing about digital marketing, as well as playing video games and petting her fancy rats. In her spare time, you can find her birdwatching and taking long walks around the local parks and forests.
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