Windows 10 Desktop Gadgets

First introduced on Windows Vista, Desktop Gadgets offered numerous information. Windows 7 has some quality gadgets, but unfortunately these Desktop Gadgets were not available in Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and not even in the latest Windows 10.

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This features was unavailable due to security reasons according to Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft even provided a tool for Windows 7 to uninstall Desktop Gadgets completely.

In the newer versions of Windows, live tiles, that are considered to work better, replaced the desktop gadgets to an extent. But in order to have access to these live tiles, you needed to switch to the Start Screen or Start Menu, which was kind of annoying.

In case you have upgraded your system from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and you want those Desktop Gadgets back, you will be pleased to know that Desktop Gadgets are available and can be installed in Windows 10 with the help of a third-party installer.

There are quite a few programs available to get Desktop Gadgets in Windows 10, but we will resume our presentation to only two.

And these are:

  1. 8GadgetPack

Even though 8GadgetPack was developed for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, this software is also compatible with Windows 10.

8GadgetPack comes with 45 pre-installed gadgets such as an App Laucher, a CPU meter, the Clock, the Calendar, Currency, Drive Info, Agenda, etc. Once installed, right-click on the desktop and you will get Gadgets option in the desktop context menu for easier access.

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  1. Desktop Gadget Installer

All you need to do, is to install it and all the Desktop Gadgets that were available in Windows 7 will be available in your Windows 10.

 

 

This software will install Feed Headlines, Slide Show, Picture Puzzle, CPU Meter, Currency, Weather, Calendar and Clock gadgets.

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You will also get Gadgets option to the desktop context menu (right-click). This feature helps you to gain quick access to all the installed gadgets. You also have the option of hiding the Desktop Gadgets by right-clicking on the desktop and then clicking on View option.

The Desktop Gadget Installer is not limited to the gadgets mentioned above. You can get more that 500 other cool Desktop Gadgets by simply clicking the “Get more gadgets online” link which you can access by a right-click on the desktop and a click on Gadgets.

Another plus for this software is that it is compatible with both Windows 10 x64 and Windows 10 x86

Install one of the presented software and you will be able to download and install more Desktop Gadgets from the web.

Since Microsoft no longer offers gadgets, make sure that  the gadgets you download and install are from a trusted source.

How to use Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4

How to use Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4? For one, it doesn’t need to be installed. Just download the zip file, extract the program to any location you want.

After the extraction make sure that you pin its executable file to your Start Menu to make access easier. The content of the extracted file must remain in the same folder, it is important that the content remains in the same folder.

The first thing you need to do once you open the Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4, is to create a system restore point by clicking the “Create Restore Point” button. The reason to create a restore point is so that if you feel the need, you can always go back to the point before any tweaks were made.

Tweaking software are targeted at users who know what they are doing. So if you are new to tweaking, you should not over-tweak you system in one go, like many users usually do and then they want to disable a certain tweak but can’t remember which one is responsible for a particular change . You should apply tweak for one category at a time to check out how your system performs, before applying more tweaks.

How do you apply the tweaks? Very simple. All you have to do is either check or uncheck the box as the case may be. Once the tweaks are selected, just click the “Apply” button.

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As you will find out, some tweaks will apply instantly, others will require an explorer restart, which will be done automatically, before being applied. And there are some tweaks that will require a system restart. Once you will apply the tweaks and exit the software you will be reminded to restart your computer, so that the tweaks selected by you can be applied.

Here are some of the features of the Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4:

  1. User-friendly interface.
  2. A system restore point and the possibility to restore default values, all accessible by easy to use buttons.
  3. The space occupied by this software is just 495 KB.
  4. Over 200 significant tweaks.
  5. No installation required. Grown tired of it? Just delete it. No uninstall needed.
  6. Tips regarding what each tweak does.
  7. Bugs can be reported by simply clicking a button in the “About” section.
  8. Support
  9. It is a software the does not contain any annoying adwares.
  10. Updates are just a click away in the “About” section.

Because the Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4 changes system settings, some antivirus or security software may report it as being suspect. You will need to add it to the exceptions list and allow it.

Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4 For Windows 10

Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4 for Windows 10 is here. This software will help you personalize your Windows 10 exactly how you want to, and it will also make your system more secure, more stable and faster.

Personalizing your Windows 10 can also be made through the Windows 10 Settings app, the Registry Editor or the Group Policy Editor, but this tweaking software makes it easier for you by offering you all the useful tweaks that you may want with just a few clicks.

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With a very user-friendly interface, this software includes over 200 tweaks while occupying just 495 KB of space.

Over its last version, the Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4 for Windows 10 adds some new tweaks like:

  1. New interface design with command link buttons.
  2. The Context Menu for the Store app also gets new tweaks.
  3. You can now run the DISM command to fix corrupted system image.
  4. You can recalculate the Windows Experience Index from the main page.
  5. The privacy section gets new tweaks.
  6. Drives can be pinned to the Desktop Context Menu.

All the tweaks available in the Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4 are categorized very well as follows:

  1. System Information – When you start the tweaking software, you will get all the basic information about your system( OS version, Build, Computer Name, User Name, Processor, etc.). Also available are the buttons to run DISM, to run the System File Checker, to create a System Restore Point or to open the Recovery Options.
  2. Customization – In this section you can tweak the settings of the Taskbar, File Explorer, Thumbnails and the UI. You can choose themes for the OS or for the apps, disable Start animations, etc.
  3. User Accounts – In this category you can change your account settings, Login information and the sign-in options.
  4. Performance tweaks – Even though most of these settings are best left at their default values, if you want to, you can change them to best suit your needs.
  5. Security and Privacy – This tab will let you change some settings, like either restricting access (for example: Windows Update) or disabling apps ( Bing Search, Cortana, Password reveal button, Application Telemetry, etc.).
  6. Internet Explorer – This section will let you tweak the Internet Explorer‘s behaviour and interface.
  7. Context Menu – In the Context Menu you can add useful functions to the right-click context menu, you can add Windows Store apps. You can also add “Scan With Windows Defender“. You can also convert Desktop Icons into Tiles.
  8. Additional – In this section you get extra System and Network tweaks. You can also change how the Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4 behaves.
  9. About – This last tab contains, apart from the License Agreement, some useful links such as the Submit Bugs link, the Support link or the Check for Update button .

How to stop Windows 10 from upgrading your computer automatically

How to stop Windows 10 from upgrading your computer automatically?

Well, even though Microsoft is saying that they do not force any Windows user to upgrade to Windows 10, there are some reports of Windows 7 being upgraded to Windows 10 by force. Other reports say that Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 only two options: upgrade to Windows 10 “now” or “tonight”.

Although Windows 10 is a good and free upgrade, some users may not want it and would rather keep using either Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

If you find yourself in this position, there are some ways of blocking the upgrade to Windows 10.

Here are a few ways of blocking the upgrade, depending on which stage you are now:

  1. System administrators that want to block the upgrade of their Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, can use the Group Policy or Registry to stop the automatic downloading of Windows 10 to the computer.
  2. Set the network connection to “Metered”. To set the network connection to metered you need to access the Settings app, click on Network and Internet, click on WiFi and select advanced options. Once in the advanced options move the slider to the ON position for Set as metered connection.

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4.Make Windows notify you before any update, so when you’ll be notified about the Windows 10 Upgrade you can simply refuse it.

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6. If Windows 10 has already started upgrading your computer, it will offer you two choices: 1) Schedule it for later or start the upgrade now or 2) Upgrade Windows now or tonight

After the above choices Windows will want you to accept EULA. Just click on Decline and the upgrade will stop.

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Finally, if your computer has already been upgraded to Windows 10, then you have the option to rollback Windows 10 to your previous version of Windows

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How to Mount and Use an exFAT Drive on Linux

How to mount and use an exFAT Drive on Linux? Well, first of all let’s see what exactly is exFAT.

The exFAT file system is like FAT32 file system without the 4 GB file size limit. The exFAT file system is ideal for SD cards, microSD card and flash drives.

To be able to use exFAT drives on Linux with full read-write support you will need to install some packages first.
Without installing the necessary software you will always get messages like: “Unable to mount” or “unknown file type system:’exfat’ ”, when trying to connect an exFAT drive.

The first thing you need to do is to open a Terminal window from your applications menu, then type the following command and press Enter to install the necessary packages:

sudo apt-get install exfat-fuse exfat-utils

You will also need to enter your password.

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This command works on Ubuntu and similar Linux distributions.

On other Linux distributions you will need to open the user interface and search for “exFAT-fuse” and “exFAT-utils” packages. It is possible that these packages could have other names, so we recommend that you search for “exFAT”.

After the software is installed, you can simply connect the exFAT drive to your computer and it will be mounted automatically.

Once the necessary software for mounting exFAT drives is installed, you can connect removable devices and they will automatically work and you will have full read-write support, without ever having to pull up the terminal again.

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The steps presented above should work with modern desktop environment, but if you are using a Linux distribution that doesn’t mount the exFAT file system automatically then you will need to mount the file system yourself the old-fashioned way.

You can do this like you would mount any other partition, by using the “-t exfat” switch to tell the mount command to mount a file system as exFAT.

First you will need to create a directory that will be the “mount point” for the exFAT file system.
The following command creates a directory at /media/exfat:

sudo mkdir /media/exfat

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Next, use the following command to mount the device. Let’s say for example that the device is located at /dev/sdc1. This is the first partition (1) on the third device (c). If you have a single drive in the computer and you just connected a USB drive to it, there’s a good chance the exFAT file system will be /dev/sdb1 instead.

sudo mount -t exfat /dev/sdc1 /media/exfat

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Now, you can access the contents of the mounted drive in the specified mount point (/media/exfat).

When you have finished, and you want to unmount the partition, all you have to do is to run the following command, while specifying the device:

sudo umount /dev/sdc1

The installed “exfat-utils” contains the “mkfs.exfat” command with which you can format any partitions with exFAT file system from Linux. For an easier way, you can just format them with the exFAT file system from Windows, Mac or any other device that supports exFAT.

How to boot from a USB Drive in VirtualBox

How to boot from a USB Drive in VirtualBox on Windows may come in handy if you don’t have a CD or a disk image. VirtualBox can be a lifesaver for anyone willing to experiment with different OS.

 

For starters to boot from a USB Drive in VirtualBox you’ll evidently need a bootable USB drive. The second thing you need is to be able to use command prompt, but no need to worry because it only involves a couple of steps:

  1. Open the Start Menu and search for Disk Management. Once found, launch it. Then find the disk number of you USB Drive (for example if it says “Disk 2” the number you are looking for is 2).
  2. Open the Start Menu again and search for Command Prompt. Choose “Run as administrator” by right clicking the icon.
  3. Navigate to the VirtualBox installation directory by running: cd %programfiles%\Oracle\VirtualBox
  1. Enter this command to create a .vmdk file in your C drive, which will point to the USB drive:

VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename C:\extdisk.vmdk -rawdisk \\.\PhysicalDrive#

You’ll need to replace # with the disk number found in step 1.

  1. Open the Start Menu again and search for VirtualBox. Right-click the icon and select “Run as administrator” so you can run the program with administrative rights.
  2. In the window labelled “Hard Drive”, select “Use an existing hard drive file”, and select the .vmdk file you just created as your new virtual hard drive.
  3. Finally select the new virtual machine that will appear, and VirtualBox will boot the operating system found on the USB Drive.

Make sure that you keep the .vmdk file so you don’t have to repeat all the steps every time.

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The steps presented above are specifically for Windows. For other OS’s the steps might differ.

 

How To Backup Your PC For Free

Free PC backup software may come in handy sometimes. Could be because of hardware failure, viruses or bugs, or human error. That’s why it is always a good idea to back up your PC regularly.

Worst case scenario – your photos, files, documents could be gone forever.

This is why we made a list of the best free PC backup software.

AOMEI Backupper Standard

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a backup tool that’s very easy to use and has many features such as: file sync, partition, dick cloning, disk or system image backups, easy browsing of your backup images and a bootable rescue disk in case of an emergency.

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You can also set the scheduler to run your backups automatically at any interval you choose: daily, weekly or on a certain day of the week, and so on.

EaseUS Todo Backup Free

EaseUS Todo Backup Free is like AOMEI Backupper standard but with extras.

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And by extras we mean: Smart Backup system – it checks the folders you select and backs up anything that has changed.

There is also support for saving anything to Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive.

Other extras include: pre-OS boot  – to recover backups without a disk, backup encryption, a Windows PE and a Linux rescue environment, network throttling to reduce performance impact.

Macrium Reflect Free

Macrium Reflect Free is not for your average PC user. File-based backups are not available. Image-only backups are available and the interface is not what you would call friendly or easy to use.

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On the other hand, experienced users will find may features to like: compression, image>VHD conversion, in-depth control over how long backups are kept, differential imaging.

Select the “Differential Backup Set” and the program sets up a monthly full backup and a differential backup every day – backups can be set to match your requirements.

FBackup

FBackup is a backup software with a focus on keeping everything as simple as possible.

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With a couple of clicks you can backup key data as: Chrome and Firefox profiles, IE favorites, Outlook mail, pictures and documents.

The software simply copies your files from one location to the other. No compression or imaging tools are available.

There is no support for incremental or differential backups.

 

BackUp Maker

BackUp Maker is a simple file-based backup tool for everyone.

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It has many features that can be useful for experienced users also, such as: ecryption, excluding files by size, password protection, send backup reports  by email, run backups when a USB device is plugged, backup to CD/DVD/Blu-Ray/FTP/FTPS and more.

Unfortunately, locked files can be backed up at an extra cost.

Areca Backup

Areca Backup software is targeted at the advanced users, offering expert-level options which include filtering by extension, folder, date, size, and regular expression, AES and AES256 ecryption, Zip and Zip64 support, backup to local or network drives, FT, FTPS or SFTP servers, and many more.

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Areca Backup also has: delta backup technology which can save only the modified parts of files, and can also recover files by a specific date.

As with BackUp Maker, backup for locked files comes at a cost.

So if you’re an experienced user this is the tool for you.

 

Paragon Backup and Recovery

Paragon Backup and Recovery  is image-based only but lacks many features, reason being that it hasn’t been updated of a while now.

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Still, this backup software has a save option to a “capsule”. Which means that your image will be saved in a secure area where it will be less likely to be lost if your partition is damaged.

A bootable rescue disk is also available.

QILING Disk Master Professional

Last but not least, the QILING Disk Master Professional is a backup tool that has more features than just about any other backup program.

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You get file and imaging backups, with full incremental – differential support, password protection, scheduling, compression and full or partial restoration from a Windows PE rescue disk or a pre-boot environment on your drive.

You also have the ability to clone a drive, to migrate your system, to create, format, delete or recover disk partitions and many more.

How to copy a large file to an SD card

How to copy a large file to an SD card or microSD card. Sometimes you really need to copy a large file and when you do, most of the times you will get this message: “the file is too large for…”

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If you’ve seen this message, and you’ve already checked that you have enough storage space for the file you are trying to copy, then you know how frustrating it is to have an SD card or microSD card with enough storage space – let’s say 16GB – and to not be able to copy a file – that takes up only 5GB of that storage space.

 

SD cards come preformatted as FAT32 file system which has a 4GB file size restriction.

So what do you do when you find yourself in this situation? The answer is very simple.

All you have to do is format your SD card from FAT32 to exFAT. The exFAT file system does not have the 4GB file size limit.

How you ask? Well that’s simple too.

 

  1. Connect the SD card or microSD card to a PC. You can connect the SD card directly if your computer has SD card slot. If not then you need an external USB SD card reader that you can plug into any USB port on your computer.

To connect the microSD card to your computer you need is an adapter to allow it to fit into a standard SD card port or externat USB SD card reader.

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  1. Right click on the SD card icon

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  1. Left click on format

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  1. Change the file system from FAT32 to exFAT

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  1. Make sure “Quick Format” is selected

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  1. Click Start

 

Note: Formatting will delete all existing data on your SD card or microSD card. Be sure to save all the files that you need before formatting. Also check your device specifications to make sure that it can read exFAT formatted cards.

Windows 10 Upgrade – Threshold 2

 

Code name ‘Threshold 2‘ is first major Windows 10 upgrade which is available to users around the world. With this upgrade, Windows 10 gets some important modifications.

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The most significant change brought to Windows 10 is the fact that from now on it can be activated with a pass key from Windows 7 or 8.

Microsoft has listened to its users that complained about not having enough control over the updating system. Now, Windows 10 can now make the difference between updating and upgrading. From now on users can decide how long to delay updating and upgrading the system, with a maximum time limit of 8 months.

 

The Skype app comes as standard even if you want it or not, use it or not.

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The Edge browser has also received some improvements like the Tabs already open show you a preview you when you put the cursor on them. More useful is the ability to have two pages simultaneously, side by side.

 

Right click on the Start Menu or on the Taskbar and you will discover a new menu coloured in dark grey.

From now on you can choose from a larger range of colours to personalize the Start Menu, the Taskbar or the control panel.

 

Microsoft added another option which might prove to be more useful for those who use Windows based phones and tables. The time-zone can be set automatically depending on where you are on the planet. This option is enabled by default but can be disabled from the Settings menu, Time and Date, uncheck the automatic time-zone setting.

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Last but not least, Cortana has become a little more smarter. Cortana has received new options that include support for Stylus, automatic recognition and the possibility of reading phone numbers, addresses, e-mail addresses. Reminders for flight tickets or movie tickets are available now. The options listed above for Cortana are available in the United States and a couple of European countries with the rest of the world is having to wait a little longer.

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How to send an anonymous email

There are times an anonymous email is a must.

Either you send a business transaction, either you cheat on your wife or simply you don’t want anyone to read your emails having the possibility to send a anonymous email is a god send.

Anyone can do that with a Web-based email like Gmail by using a browser extension like Secure Mail by Streak. For desktop email clients, GnuPG (Privacy Guard) or EnigMail. But those don’t hide who sent the message.

Here are the services you should use to create that truly nameless, unidentifiable email address.

First Step: Browse Anonymously

Your Web browser is tracking you everywhere. Cookies, and in the last time the “super cookies” know where you’ve been and what you’ve done and they’re willing to share. Do not rely on your browser’s incognito/private mode sites are still going to record your IP address.

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If you want to browse the Web anonymously (and use that private time to set up an email), you need the Tor Browser, a security-laden, Mozilla-based browser from the Tor Project. If you don’t know about Tor, it’s what used to be called The Onion Router, and it’s all about keeping you anonymous by making all the traffic you send on the Internet jump through so many servers, people on the other end can’t begin to know where you really are. Having available 15 languages, applications for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, self-contained and portable,it’ll run off a USB flash drive if you don’t want to install it directly the Tor-secure address will protect the location of users.

Anonymous Email

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Hushmail

Recommended by the EFF and others, Hushmail’s entire claim to fame is that it’s Web-based, easy to use, doesn’t do advertising, and has built-in encryption between members. Of course, to get all that, you have to pay for it, starting at $34.99 per year for 1GB of online storage. There’s a free version with 25MB of storage, but you need to re-up your sign-in at least every three weeks. Businesses can use it for $5.24 per user per month, and they get their own domain name. There’s a free trial so you can check out Hushmail for yourself.

The downside is that if you use it for illegal purposes the company is well-known for giving the authorities your data.

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Hide My Ass! Anonymous Email

Hide My Ass is a well-liked private virtual private network (VPN) service that makes it a breeze for users to access content blocked at their location, not to mention providing a much higher level of privacy.Base price is $11.52 a month, but the price goes down if you pay for more months at a time.

An extra that comes with HMA is its Anonymous Email service—in fact, it’s open to anyone, you don’t need to pay for VPN service. You get an address @hmamail.com that can be set to last 24 hours, one week, one month, six months, or 12 month. There’s a countdown clock to indicate just how long you have left when reading messages. At signup, it does ask for your existing email address, so HMA can send it a note when you get a message on the anonymous account, but it’s not required. HMA also has iOS and Android apps that provide secure mobile connections, plus privatized SMS texts and chat services with other HMA users.

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Guerrilla Mail

Guerilla Mail provides disposable, temporary email. Technically, the address will exist forever, and never be used again. Any messages received at the address, accessible at guerrillamail.com, only last one hour. You get a totally scrambled email address that’s easily copied to the clipboard. There’s an option to use your own domain name as well, but that’s probably not keeping you under the radar. GuerrillaMail is the perfect way to create an email address to sign up for a different, more permanent-yet-anonymous email address. Or to send a quick, anonymous email instantly—no signup required. You can even attach a file if it’s less than 150MB in size, or use it to send someone your excess bitcoins. Coupled with the Tor browser, you’re practically invisible.

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Mailinator

Mailinator’s free, disposable email has a slick interface, but you probably don’t even need it. Whenever you’re asked for an email, just make up a name and stick @mailinator.com at the end. Then visit the site, enter the name, and you’ll see if it’s received any messages. No signup required, though you can sign in with a Google account.

Here’s the problem. If someone else comes up with the same name, then you both get access to the messages received. There’s no passwords. There’s also no sending possible. Its FAQ states if you get an email from Mailinator, it’s a guaranteed forgery. This one is for quick service signups only, and only with the most obfuscated, obscure name you can come up with.

Feel free to comment if you have a better list.