Maildrop: Create Disposable Email Addresses

by Patrick Hyde •

In A Nutshell

Maildrop is a free email service that allows you to instantly generate an address when you don’t want to give out your real one.

MailDrop Feature Breakdown

  • Alternate inbox aliases
  • Automatic spam rejection feature
  • SPF checking
  • No sign-up or password required
  • Automatically removes file attachments
  • Up to 10 messages in your inbox
  • Greylisting

Privacy

Sending out your personal e-mail address is a risky gambit. It can be sold to marketers or used to do some digging on your background. Email lists are liable to get hacked and your email stolen, opening you up to a range of security threats. And then there’s spam, endless and eternal, thrown at you in the exhausting form of newsletters and special offers.

MailDrop is lets you skip the anxiety when signing up for a new service or contacting someone you don’t quite trust on the internet. Since it requires no personal information from you- not even a basic sign-up — there is no risk of privacy breach. This is the service you use when you want something (say, a coupon code) but don’t want to expose yourself to spam or other insidious consequences.

The flip side of Maildrop’s “no password no sign-up” policy is that anyone can read mail sent to a MailDrop inbox. All you need to access an inbox is a shorthand URL. For example, anyone who typed in maildrop.cc/inbox/greycoder1 would see messages sent to the greycoder1@maildrop.cc e-mail address.

Therefore, you cannot send sensitive information to an inbox under any circumstances. This isn’t the secret e-mail address used to carry out an extramarital affair. It’s for signing up for promotions or other non-sensitive tasks.

MailDrop does not track visitors or aggregate any personal connection. The only tracking is a cookie that to connect you to the most recent MailDrop inbox you’ve visited.

Performance

MailDrop is powered by Heluna, a subscription cloud-based anti-spam service that you can attach to your current company e-mail infrastructure. Heluna offered up the MailDrop service a free and temporary solution to spam for short-term and everyday solutions.

The user interface of the site is clean and simple. There are only a handful of stable pages: a short “how it works,” a privacy policy, a contact page, and the inbox for your temporary email account.

The service works as intended, although it will require a little patience. While your temporary e-mail alias is generated instantaneously, incoming messages take a little while to arrive. That is because every e-mail that is sent to a maildrop is greylisted, or rejected at first while the server decides whether or not it is spam.

Test e-mails from my Gmail and outlook accounts took about 10 minutes to arrive in the inbox, while a newsletter arrived about 25 minutes after I entered my e-mail address. Each time I had to manually refresh the inbox before the new message appeared.

You may also consider Trashmail, which doesn’t have a time lag but essentially performs the same service.

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