You’ve found what you think is an email address for a friend, or colleague – but is it really valid? If you don’t want to send an email to find out (or you’re checking so many addresses that simply isn’t practical), then another option is to use a tool such as Email Checker Basic to verify the address directly with the server.
The program is small, portable and adware-free, so is very simple to try: just download the 198KB archive, unzip it and you’re ready to go.
In operation it’s not exactly any more difficult. Enter the email address you’d like to validate, click “Check Now”, and the verdict will be returned in a moment.
And if you’d like to understand how Email Checker Basic came to that conclusion, then reading the Interaction box will detail its conversation with the server.
In our tests this usually all worked just fine, with the program correctly identifying real addresses and picking out any which didn’t exist. But there are occasional exceptions. In particular, with some servers it would always confirm an address as valid. Even if we’d just made it up.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the program is entirely useless, of course – you just have to keep the problem in mind, and try to confirm that it can pick out fictional addresses for any given server.
If you’re trying to verify firstname.lastname@example.org, for instance, try a couple of nonsense addresses for that domain, first: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or whatever. As soon as you can get the program to tell you that a given address isn’t valid, you’ll know that verification works for that particular server. And you can then try as many addresses as you like for that domain, and have reasonable trust in whatever verdict Email Checker Basic might return.