Mailinator started 17 years ago as a weekend project to define the idea of “Free, Disposable, Email”. Back then, it ran on a single server with only a single developer. Over time, it’s popularity has exploded in terms of both incoming email and active users. As you might guess when you go from thousands of emails-per-day to thousands of emails-per-second, the behind-the-scenes technical stack needs to evolve - and Mailinator’s stack has had a quite a technical journey.
Today Mailinator still provides free, disposable, email - but also serves thousands of daily corporate users in testing their Email and SMS Workflows with an API, Webhooks, and Private Domains. Website owners quickly realized that having an infinite number of inboxes “on tap” was incredibly useful for testing things their like their Signup system, Marketing email systems, and more. Quality Assurance teams found it to be an invaluable tool.
In February 2020, Mailinator’s creator Paul Tyma gave a talk on the “Technical Evolution of Mailinator.com”. Below you can find a link to the slides and watch the video. The talk explores the site’s journey from a “Free, Disposable, Email” to a becoming SaaS service helping thousands of companies test their Email and SMS Workflows (and of course, scaling a system to tens of millions of emails per day).