With so many tempting apps and services asking you to sign up to try them, you can end up giving your email address out to hundreds of different companies. What happens when one of them decides to start spamming you, or sells your details on to some dastardly marketing firm? That’s the problem Irish startup 33Mail aims to solve.
33Mail offers disposable email addresses. You get unlimited free email addresses to use wherever you like, all of which get forwarded on to your real address. So, if your 33Mail username is ‘Example’, all email addresses ending with ‘@example.33mail.com’ are yours. So, you could use ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ for Twitter and ‘email@example.com’ for that sport news letter you signed up to.
If you start getting spam through to any of your addresses, one click of the link 33mail adds to the top of each email it sends will kill that email address for good, meaning that any future emails they send will bounce, never to bother you.
33Mail is available as a free service supporting roughly 500 emails per month, while a $12 per year version offers five times the bandwidth and supports custom domains.
Founded by Dublin-based brothers Andrew and Ian Clarke, the service was launched in its current form in March this year and a new Chrome extension has just been launched that will even auto-populate email fields in signup forms around the web with a suitable 33mail address.
“Our plans with 33Mail are to continue to grow it organically, implementing features in response to our user’s needs and requests,” explains Andrew Clarke. “We’ve acquired users consistently since launch, and people seem to like the service, and recommend it to their friends. We’re pleased to say that quite a few of our users like the service enough to upgrade to a premium account.”
Sure, 33Mail isn’t for everyone. Gmail, for example, does a good job at beating spam already, and if you have your own domain you may already be in the habit of giving different addresses to different mailing lists. The admin interface certainly puts practicality way ahead of beauty, too.
You may be aware of Gmail’s ability for you to modify your email address to combat spam. However, in a recent Reddit thread, 33Mail’s creators pointed out that: “Spammers routinely remove anything after the ‘+’ in a username of an email address, so its really no defense against them, they still have your real email address. To block one of these email addresses requires creating a new gmail filter, which is a lot more than the one click required by 33mail. Many websites have defective email validation code which won’t allow a ‘+’ to be used, even though the smtp spec allows it. This happened to me just last week in a different context.”
Beyond this, not everyone uses Gmail anyway, and for sheer convenience 33Mail is well worth a look if you’d like to keep your real email address to yourself.
Here’s 33Mail’s full pitch video.