Disposable emails: how to create them without limits

When registering for a new online service, especially if operated by potentially unreliable parties, it makes sense to avoid share your email address principal. The disposable email they are useful precisely in these situations, when there is a need to protect your privacy, reducing the risk of receiving spam or being tracked through the email address you use. If you were to start receiving Junk Mail on the disposable email address, just delete it without any impact on the main account.

Developers and testers also often use disposable emails for testing purposes, such as during software development or creation test account. In another article we saw how to create and use a temporary email, presenting the best services available today. On that occasion we also briefly mentioned Addy.io, a tool characterized by an interesting prerogative: it allows you to forward received emails on disposable email accounts to real addresses. The latter remain hidden and are never exposed, for any reason, to third parties.

How to create disposable emails with Addy.io

By clicking on the button Get started now on the home page of Addy.ioyou can record the first one right away alias. And alias it is an additional email address that is in turn associated with a main email. L’alias address allows you to forward emails to the main email without creating a separate account.

On the screen Register of Addy.io, you can choose a name that will act as third level for all the aliases gradually created, for example [email protected].

Disposable Email with Addy.io

In the following fields, that is Your Real Email Address e Confirm Email Addressa must be indicated real email address to which the forwarding of emails received on the aliases is requested. To protect access, a must also be set password personal.

To start using the service, you need to click on confirmation link received via email to the email address specified in the field Your Real Email Address. In case you do not receive the message in the inbox incoming mailcheck its presence in the folder Spam.

Start using aliases as disposable emails

At this point, everything is ready. For example, you can try to send or send to yourself send an email from another email account to an address like this [email protected]. As you can see, the username (in the example primotest) is totally invented. Yet, after a few seconds of waiting, Addy.io delivers the email to the email account indicated as the main one.

Here is the example email sent to an Addy.io alias:

Sending email to Addy.io alias

And here is the email delivered by Addy.io to the main email account (never exposed to the sender of the original message):

Email forwarding from disposable alias to main account

The email also contains a link to click if you want disable the alias and thus avoid receiving further emails. There alias management in any case it can be done from the page Aliases by Addy.io. From here, by clicking on the button Create alias at the top right, you can also generate disposable emails that have a series of random characters or a UUID, a long alphanumeric identifier, as their name.

Create disposable email aliases with Addy.io

Create your own server for managing disposable emails

Some online platforms may prevent registration with an address like this anonaddy.com. The good news is that Addy.io has become a platform open source which can be installed by anyone on their own server connected to the Internet, therefore also on the cloud.

Our advice is to use a server Linux based on Debian or derivative distributions (e.g. Ubuntu) then use the Addy.io Docker image.

Docker Addy.io

Image source: Addy.io Docker repository.

Instructions for installing Docker on Ubuntu are available in the paragraph “Install using the apt repository” but indications for other operating systems can also be found in the documentation. You then need to make sure open TCP ports following on your Linux machine: 25, 8000 and 11334. If you are using the ufw firewall, just use the command ufw allow 25/TCPfor example, in the case of TCP port 25 (repeat the operation for the other two ports).

At this point it is possible to draw inspiration from the configuration examples reported in the project’s GitHub repository. To do a first test, you can create the three files .env, addy.env e compose.yml with the same name and content. The file addy.env must be appropriately modified by specifying the domain name under your control that you want to use.

Furthermore, in correspondence with the directive APP_KEYyou must type the key that can be generated for example with the command echo "base64:$(openssl rand -base64 32)".

The final command sudo docker compose up -d allows you to start the services defined in Docker composition file: in this case it is compose.yml.

It is important to verify, however, before carrying out any other action, that the DNS records A, AAAA, TXT e MX, are correctly set for the domain name you intend to use on the machine where the Addy.io Docker image is running. Otherwise, it will not be possible to send and receive emails or connect with the dashboard of Addy.io, by entering your domain name in the browser address bar.

Opening image credit: iStock.com/EKIN KIZILKAYA

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