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OtherInbox LogoOtherInbox claims to be “the cure for email overload.” I’ve been part of the beta test for a few weeks now and I simply love it. Instead of giving you a single email address, OtherInbox gives you the ability to create multiple addresses in your own subdomain (myusername.otherinbox.com). These addresses can be used to sign up anywhere. The service officially supports Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and (for those of you stuck at work) Internet Explorer.

Example time:

Let’s say that I want to sign up for PossiblyShadySite.com but don’t want to give out my real email address, potentially passing it to spammers. Instead, I register with the address

possiblyshadysite@myusername.otherinbox.com

For those who prefer to use their own domain, that option is also available. All messages to my custom address will fall into its own folder in your OtherInbox, where you can read, archive, search, and reply to them in a nice Outlook-style layout.

A peek inside the busy inbox of an OtherInbox user.

Note to self…see if “PossiblyShadySite.com” is taken. Now where was I?

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You can do this with a seemingly-infinite number of sites.

– save your Amazon receipts in amazon@myusernname.otherinbox.com
– filter your eBay auto-searches into eBay@myusernname.otherinbox.com
– use separate email just for signups, say em>signups@myusernname.otherinbox.com
– etc.

Best part about this is that there are no filters to set up; you do not have to go to the OtherInbox site ahead of time to create the address. For instance, right after signing up (got username makeuseof) I sent myself 3 emails to following addresses:

– test1@makeuseof.otherinbox.com
– test2@makeuseof.otherinbox.com
– test3@makeuseof.otherinbox.com

When I logged in to OtherInbox I saw each of those emails in its own Inbox. Sweet.

Other Inboc - Multiple Inboxes

In the event that you begin to receive unsolicited mail in a particular inbox, you have the option of hitting the big “Block All” button, which disables that address. You’ll never see mail from them again. The option to turn a disabled inbox back on is there if needed.

Block All option

Checking multiple sites for your mail is a chore, and OtherInbox seems to understand that. Additional options allow you to auto-forward all incoming mail to another address, or (my favorite) read your messages via RSS.

OtherInbox - Get Emails via RSS

The same options are available for individual inboxes, along with the vice-versa option, importing an RSS feed to an inbox.

OtherInbox can also import messages from any IMAP account, auto-saving and organizing receipts, coupons, etc. I’m told that there is currently no limit to the amount of messages that can be saved in your OtherInbox account.

Being a beta, it can be prone to the occasional hiccups, but I have no real complaints about the service. I believe that once you have been using OtherInbox for just a few days, you will wonder what you did without it.

I’m also happy to announce that the nice folks at OtherInbox have opened up their beta to the first 100 Make Use Of readers to sign up through this link. You may also follow their Twitter account for the chance to score an invite, or simply to send them feedback.

So why not set up an account and then come back here and let us know what you think? Do you see this as the new weapon against email spam?

Make Use Of has written a lot on email spam but here are a couple of posts you might want to check out

Get a Grip on eMail Spam Before It Gets A Grip On You Get a Grip on eMail Spam Before It Gets a Grip on You Get a Grip on eMail Spam Before It Gets a Grip on You Read More
Quickly Create Temporary Email Addresses with Yopmail Quickly Create Temporary Email Addresses With YopMail Quickly Create Temporary Email Addresses With YopMail Read More .

Enjoy!

  1. Ricky
    October 14, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    I go one step further with my own domain name. When I sign up for something, I do it the same way (ashadysite.com@mydomain.com), but if I start getting spam, I do a whois on the domain I signed up through, then just forward all emails to the owner of the site. If the guy is gonna sell my email address to a spammer, he's gonna get all my spam!

  2. Xeevis
    October 10, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Well im using Email for 10 years maybe more and never got a single spam on any of my personal accounts. I'm using this technique for past years, since i pay hosting i can create unlimited amount of mails. For IT profs like me, its easy to distinguish "bad" from "good" sites. So if Im forced to register even if i need just download or access to forum I use "spam" mail. Which i dont use for anything else, there is already about 2670 mails and i login just for confirmations :-). So nothing new, if user wants to get rid of Spam, he asks profs. We need something to poke with dont we :-P

  3. Mark
    October 10, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Also note that GMail has a simple feature where you can append a "+" and an arbitrary string to your GMail address (e.g. bob_jones+signups@gmail.com or bob_jones+ebay@gmail.com), which can then be used with the Filters mechanism to route messages to those addresses into specific folders, or just delete them, etc.

    • Nathan Mylott
      October 10, 2008 at 10:35 pm

      I was gonna say the very same thing. Why use a mile long email address to do what you can already do with Gmail? And Gmail gives you the settings for free so you can set up the account in your mail program on your computer, phone, whatever. Plus it has a lot of other features, hacks and Firefox add ons.

      • Joshua Baer
        October 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm

        Thanks for your questions! Using Gmail "plus addressing" is a good solution if you don't have anything better. In fact, that's a very old concept that has been around since the early days of Unix email systems (I used to do that technique back in 1994 at Carnegie Mellon University).

        But that approach has a number of limitations, such as spammers dropping the part after the +, websites that won't accept addresses with + in them (such as Google Alerts), and how much of a pain in the butt it is to reply and have it come From the correct address. OtherInbox addresses these and provides other benefits as well. You can find out more at http://tinyurl.com/whynotgmail

  4. Douglas Holt
    October 10, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Has everyone forgotten about SpamGourmet.com? They don’t have the sexy inbox interface but they’ve been chowing down on Spam for over 8 years. But I’m glad OtherInbox is improving on the concept. Long Live Disposable Email Addresses !!!

  5. Jay
    October 10, 2008 at 5:45 am

    Yes most of the people use yahoo accounts as spam accounts. Me too :)

    • Nathan Mylott
      October 10, 2008 at 10:32 pm

      That's because Yahoo gives you all the spam you could ever want in a lifetime all in one week. So what's a few hundred more spams.

  6. alex
    October 10, 2008 at 2:25 am

    So what would prevent spam to be sent to spam1@makeuseof.otherinbox.com today, spam2@makeuseof.otherinbox.com tomorrow, spam3@makeuseof.otherinbox.com another day... you got the idea?

    • Aibek
      October 10, 2008 at 9:24 am

      Nothing, but what I can do is simply block/delete certain mailboxes whenever they get spammy. This is very useful if you you frequently giveaway your email when signing up online.

      • alex
        October 10, 2008 at 9:53 am

        That's the point. One of (probably old) spammers' tactics is to send spam to common inbox names or whatever you wanna call it.

        So, if I was a spammer, once I know "yourusername" from possiblyshadysite@yourusername.otherinbox.com I don't really care about "possiblyshadysite" - I'll send to any other inbox name that I can generate from a dictionary.

        Moreover, once you know "yourusername", can you imaging how easy it is to actually overload your real otherinbox inbox with lots, lots and lots of junk emails by simply sending to @yourusername.otherinbox.com

        Otherinbox and such are just a long tail, completely useless services.

    • Joshua Baer
      October 18, 2008 at 3:39 pm

      Thanks for your comments! You're definitely correct that we need to fight against spammers using dictionary attacks and other nefarious methods to spam us. But so does everyone else who runs a mail server. We utilize cutting-edge spam filtering technology on top of the multiple-address system to help protect our users from spam. And if you do get spam, its really easy to block it with a single click.

      It's worth pointing out that all a spammer needs to know right now is your email address and they don't even have to be so smart as to try and make something up at your domain name :-) Guessing your email address is about the same as guessing your domain name at OtherInbox. So I'm not sure how you could be worse off with OtherInbox than any other solution. In both cases you need spam filters.

      We wrote up a long blog post about this topic that you can find at budurl.com/vtv8

  7. Sam
    October 9, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    It's a great site, but it's add the the other 5 emails everyone has. I don't think I'll use this often because I already have a lot of email accounts. Right now, my spam email is with yahoo.

  8. Insomniac_Vampire
    October 9, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    This is very nice one.
    I have been using spamgourmet.com for long time. This offer similar concept with very nice interface.

    I like it

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