Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

Firefox Relay is one of many email alias services.

Firefox Relay is one of many email alias services.
Screenshot: Firefox relay

The deluge of emails hitting our inboxes shows no sign of stopping or slowing down perhaps ever, so if your preferred email service can be used in any way, it’s crucial that you take steps to protect your primary addresses. There are now several options for doing this and you should be able to find at least one that fits into your workflow.

We’ve listed some options below that you can use in addition to the obvious strategy of simply creating a secondary email address that you use for less important communications – a proven and reliable approach that still works today. The idea of ‚Äč‚Äčaliases, which we will outline below, is that they are more convenient and easier to create (and delete) than entire email addresses.


Gmail’s aliasing capabilities are not very sophisticated, but they are simple, free, and useful in certain scenarios. As we have explained before, you can add full stops anywhere in your Gmail email address, and messages sent to them will still arrive in your inbox. If your email address is, you will e.g. receive emails to and

Another option – although a form seems less willing to accept – is to add a plus symbol and then the text after your primary email handle, but before the @ sign. So you can use aliases such as or There is no need to ‘create’ or ‘delete’ these aliases: they are only available to you when you need them.

You will need these aliases with Gmail filters to get the most out of them (use Create filter link in the search box at the top of Gmail on the web). So you can apply a specific label to emails that come in a specific alias, or you can mark those emails as read and automatically archive them, or you can send them to the Trash.


If you have signed up for a free email address with Yahoo, you will receive a generous 500 one-time email addresses to use, though they should all start with the same randomly assigned nickname that Yahoo gives you (some meaningless mixture of letters and numbers). You can e.g. add ‘newsletters’ to one one-time address, and ‘shop’ to another, and so on and so forth.

Unlike Gmail aliases, these need to be created specifically. From your Yahoo email inbox on the web, click on the gear icon (top right) and then select More options. choose Mailboxes and you will see the alias options below One-time email address heading. click Add, and you can configure the address and assign it a display name and description if you want.

When you’re finished with a temporary email address, you can get rid of it: Select one of the addresses in your list, then click Delete address, and it’s gone forever. Apart from the nickname, you will be assignedwhich you can not change –This is actually one of the best aliases out there, with hundreds of free one-time email addresses to choose from.


The alias system that comes with the Outlook address associated with your Microsoft account is similar to the one Yahoo offers, but Microsoft only gives you 10 one-time email addresses, instead of 500. In this case, you can choose what you want should appear before the’ ‘section of the email address.

The easiest way to create aliases is to go to your Microsoft account page on the Internet. click Your information, then Edit account information, and you can add and remove email addresses associated with your account. All you have to do is enter the email address you want to use and Microsoft will take care of the rest. An alias must also be set as your primary alias, which you can do from the same screen.

These are quite advanced aliases, also. You can log in to Windows with them and send emails from them as well as receive messages. When you remove an email address, it is gone forever and can not be reused, so make sure you definitely want to get rid of it before deleting it (this also means it can be difficult to find email addresses , which has not already been claimed).

Choose your Outlook email address ... as long as no one else has taken it.

Choose your Outlook email address … as long as no one else has taken it.
Screenshot: Outlook

Apple Hide my email

iCloud supports basic aliases in the same way as Yahoo and Outlook. If you are loading iCloud on the web, go into the Mail component, you can click on the gear icon (top left) and then Accounts to configure up to a maximum of three email aliases: These can be any @ addresses you like, and you can give each one a label to help you distinguish between them.

Hide My Email is something else, and creates email addresses that are far more accessible: You can create and delete them more easily, and you get a random collection of numbers and characters given to you so you can not enter that address , you get. You can not send messages from these one-time addresses as you can from a complete alias – they are basically just there to add as an extra layer on top of your primary inbox.

If you pay Apple for iCloud storage, you get Hide My Email as part of iCloud +, and you can create new email addresses from iCloud on the web or any of your Apple devices iiCloud settings. If you do not pay for iCloud, you can still use Hide My Email, but only on websites and apps that support Sign in with Apple.

Firefox relay

Firefox is like that much more than just a web browser these days, and one of the services that has been spun out of the main software application is Firefox Relay. The idea is more or less the same as Hide My Email so you can create davailable email addresses that forward to your home address, which you can create and delete as needed.

From Firefox relay site, you can generate up to five aliases for free. You’ll get a random combination of letters and numbers followed by @, and Firefox Relay will tell you how many emails have gone through the address since you created it. You must also provide an actual, genuine email address to which these messages will be forwarded. If you use Firefox as your browser, you will be able to enter one of your aliases with a few clicks each time you fill out a web form.

If you really like the service that Firefox provides here, you can sign up for Firefox Relay Premium $ 1 per month. It gives you access to an unlimited number of email aliases, the ability to respond from your aliases and (almost) full control over what exactly those email addresses are.

DuckDuckGo Email Protection

DuckDuckGo is all about privacy, so of course has its own email service, called DuckDuckGo Email Protection. It is still in private beta but you can request an invitation. Install the DuckDuckGo app on Android or iOS, and then select Email protection from the app settings page to get started with the service.

You get a free, personal @ email address that acts as a forwarding email address for an account (like Gmail or Yahoo) that you already have. You can add multiple one-time email addresses on top of these for added protection – you can not choose what these random addresses are, but they are easy to create and delete.

Your email aliases can be managed through the various DuckDuckGo apps and browser extensions, and since this is DuckDuckGo, all tracking technologies are removed from incoming emails before they are delivered to you. It is possible that the service will eventually involve a monthly subscription, but so far it is free.

Protonmail allows you to create multiple aliases if you are a paying customer.

Protonmail allows you to create multiple aliases if you are a paying customer.
Screenshot: Protonmail


We have that written before about the benefits of Protonmail, and the privacy-focused email service you can provide also a number of aliases. To get these extra addresses, however, you must be a paying customer. Prices start at around $ 6 per month, giving you five additional email addresses.

From the Protonmail web interface, click Settings, Go to settings, and Identity and addresses to manage your aliases. You can specify everything in front of the @ address, provided your choice has not already been made, and you can send messages from your aliases as well as use them as a way to receive messages.

Your aliases can be disabled and deleted from the same screen, after which all messages sent to them will be returned to the sender – which is how the other services on this list also work. It’s probably not a powerful enough feature to get you to switch to Protonmail, but it’s handy if you’re an existing user.

Masked email

Masked email is a somewhat niche option because you need to use both Fastmail and 1 Password already – but if it’s you, it’s worth a look. The service costs nothing extra, although of course Fastmail and 1Password do, so check out the wealth of features and functionality you get in return to determine if it’s worth it.

If you decide to use Masked Email, you can generate an unlimited number of random, one-time email addresses that simply forward messages to your primary email inbox. You have no control over what these addresses are and you can not send emails from them or use them as you would your primary email address.

One of the main benefits of this option is convenience. With the 1Password extension installed on all your devices, you can very easily create a new email address when signing up for something online or inside an app. What’s more, if a particular email address becomes an issue, it can be quickly deactivated from within Fastmail.

A few more options

There are even more options out there if none of the ones we mentioned fit well. It may be a sign of how cluttered and crowded our inboxes have become that there are so many services out there that help you protect your primary email address from spam and irrelevant messages.

SimpleLogin is an independent and open-source service that is worth checking out and you can get 15 aliases for free (pay $ 4 a month for an unlimited number). It integrates well with web browsers and smartphones, and you can send messages from your aliases, also. On the negative side, they are completely random – yYou can not select the addresses you get with SimpleLogin.

Another popular and well-known choice is AnonAddy, which matches SimpleLogin in many areas: It is also built on open source software and allows you to send messages from your aliases. You get the choice of completely random addresses, or you can choose your own, and you can create an unlimited number of random aliases for free – even if there are monthly bandwidth limits.


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