The Architecture of Mailinator

Posted: 2007-03-31 16:27:32

Mailinator is a free web-based service that allows anyone to use a throw-away email address.

There are no steps, or setup, involved in the process. Email addresses are not created, nor password protected. Simply make one up and use it.

Mailinator will accept all incoming emails [excluding what the filters will not allow], and upon request, cross-reference that to the entered email address.

In a way, with Mailinator, you can say that the “password” is the email address.

Server-side, emails never hit the DISK and are simply stored in RAM. After the allocated email buffer is filled, as new mail comes in, the old is pushed out — and hence deleted forever. The effect is that emails live for several hours, and a single box with 1GB RAM can handle 4.5 million emails per day while having an idle disk.

A really simple and great idea… Very easy to use, and serves an actual purpose that everyone needs. How many other web-based Services can you say the same about? I can’t think of any at the moment.

I use it all the time, though internet sites _are_ starting to catch up with Mailinator by banning the domain. Other similar services exist, even those that change domains every so often such as 2Prong.

I have to ask myself: what if Mailinator parsed each email body for keywords, and generated relevant ads to be displayed to the user… That free service could potentially generate $10k+ per month.

The Architecture of Mailinator