Many email providers require phone numbers upon registration. Offering a phone number has many benefits for both you and the email provider, including verifying that you’re not a bot creating spam emails, allowing two-factor authentication (thus making it harder for others to access your account), and more.
However, if you don’t want your phone number attached to your email account, or you don’t currently have a phone number, there are ways to get around this clause.
Disposable Email Addresses
Disposable email address providers do just as their name implies: they temporarily provide you with an email address that self-destructs after a limited number of uses or time. While the email address is active, you can either send or receive mail from anywhere.
Here are some great disposable email address providers and sites you can use:
Guerilla Mail is one the oldest disposable email providers, having been founded in 2006. They reliably give you an email address that does not expire unless you delete it. The inbox keeps incoming mail for an hour. They also have a feature where you can send emails using your disposable address.
Temp Mail is a completely free service that allows you to create an email address for 10 minutes. You can only receive emails with this service, but it works great for signing up for any websites that might send you spam mail.
Once you’re done with the temporary email, you can either wait for the email to expire or click the “delete” button. All of this is accessible on the website itself through your browser, so no downloads are required.
Disposable Mail is a little more intricate than most services. Apart from providing an email address, it also gives users a temporary password, a profile picture to download, and email expiry options, so you choose how long the email is viable. You can pick from as little as 60 minutes to as long as two weeks.
EmailOnDeck is another great temporary email provider. The time each random email is active varies, but the site says they usually last for more than a day and definitely more than an hour. However, if you close out of your browser or clear your cookies, the email may expire faster.
With the free version, you can only receive mail, but there is a pro version where you can send mail and create hundreds of anonymous emails at a time.
Email Service Providers That Don’t Require Phone Numbers
If you need something a little more permanent than disposable emails, there are a few email providers that allow you full access without your phone number. The best of these include:
Gmail is one of the most widely used free email providers in the world. It’s used by companies, universities, and various other institutions worldwide, so if you’re looking for convenience, reputation, security, and ample features, then go with Gmail.
During registration, Gmail will ask you for your phone number, but you can skip this entirely. You do, however, have to input your birthday information.
Tutanota is a great provider that focuses on security. It’s ideal for users who need to send and store sensitive information and don’t want it associated with any of their phone numbers. To send and receive messages and emails, a mutual password must be input by both sender and recipient, but this feature can be removed in the settings. Instead of a recovery email, Tutanota gives you a recovery code you can store separately.
Mailfence has been around for decades. The Belgium email provider has end-to-end encryption and allows for free control over the platform security through OpenPGP keys.
ProtonMail is another email service with a focus on privacy and security. However, the features and support for this service are more limited than others on this list. ProtonMail has three paid subscription tiers that offer more features, so only use the free service for simple email correspondence.