The problem with protecting your email is that it must be encrypted end-to-end to prevent it from being intercepted while traveling on intermediary networks, and the recipient also needs to have the same encryption system. Although some of these systems are free, they are difficult to configure in general and try to convince the other user of the importance of carrying out the process, it can be useless. The way in which email protocols work also facilitates data leaks, because the mail remains in a service, waiting to be collected. However, if you still need to use email to send confidential data, or just want to keep your emails private, there are a few secure email services that you can rely on. Each email provider offers the high level of security and great features that can benefit you over other standard email services.
Here are our top 10 secure email providers that you can use for messaging and communicating:
ProtonMail is the top-most rated secure email service right now. It not only provides secure email messaging service but also give users the ability for quick setup and ensures that the user stays safe from email scammers. Although, signing up to ProtonMail as simple as other popular email platforms like Outlook or Gmail, ProtonMail actually offers built-in security for user protection against scammers and snooping eyes.
- End-to-end encryption for all messages
- Users can send encrypted email messages to their contacts that don’t use ProtonMail
- Useful self-destruct emails
- The improved online web interface with features such as drag and drop messages, contact manager, and authentication logs.
- Dedicated mobile applications for both iOS and Android.
- Totally open source email service
- Max attachment size: 25 MB
- Mailbox storage: 500 MB (free), 5 to 20 GB.
- ProtonMail servers are located in Switzerland
- Free (No Ad), multi-tiered pricing starting from $4 per month to $75 per year.
- Complete end-to-end encryption
- Free tier available
- Mobile apps available
- expensive top-end plans
- Limited cloud storage
Countermail is all about user security. Although its interface looks pretty outdated, its system is regularly updated while its email security is second to none. Just like ProtonMail, it also offers end-to-end encryption between the sender and receiver and uses OpenPGP to keep your email messages safe and your email account secure. Since it uses diskless data servers, nobody will be able to read or write anything you send through these servers. CounterMail is very open and honest about how their system works and are always ready to display how secure their system is for everyone.
- Supports IMAP
- Allows modification of different settings for your account
- Doesn’t keep IP address logs
- Includes a built-in password manager for password protection
- Uses anonymous email headers
- Supports email filters
- Available for desktop and IOS
- Cloud storage starts from 250mb up to user requirements.
- CounterMail is a Sweden-based email service
- 3 months subscription will cost around $19
- The yearlong subscription will cost around $59.
- Physical USB Key available
- Diskless data servers
- Dated website
- Free tier limited to a week
Hushmail is a top-rated secure email service that keeps your email safe and locked behind advanced encryption techniques so no one can read your messages, even Hushmail. With Hushmail, you can send encrypted messages to anyone including Gmail users, Outlook users, or any other email service provider. The web version of Hushmail is very user-friendly with a unique interface for receiving and sending encrypted messages from any user. Making a Hushmail account is pretty simply, you can choose from a range of addresses like @hush.com, @hushmail.me, @hush.ai, etc.
- Two-step verification option
- Supports IMAP and POP
- Desktop and mobile versions for iOS and Android available.
- Contacts can be imported via a CSV file
- Supports setting an email signature
- Comes with 10GB of email storage
- Includes a spam filter
- Various email settings can be changed
- Auto-response can be enabled
- Max attachment limit: 20 MB per file, total 50 MB per mail
- Mailbox storage: 10 GB (Premium)
- Its servers are located in Canada
- Free 14-day trial, $49.98 year (Premium)
- Simple and easy to use, no additional software required.
- Doesn’t require any crypto key management, making it ideal for traveling users.
- Password strength not enforced.
- Not compatible with Mac OS.
- Can only be used on newer browsers.
Mailfence is an encrypted email service based on the OpenPGP standard that offers end-to-end encryption and digital signing. It was launched in November 2013 by ContactOffice Group, which has been managing an online collaborative suite for professionals, universities and other organizations since 1999. Unlike other private and secure messaging services that can be found on the web, Mailfence does not lock users into their own “digital island“. It leaves its users absolutely free to communicate securely with anyone, whether with other Mailfence users, or any other email service (compliant with the OpenPGP protocol). But using Mailfence has many other benefits, as you can see in the table below.
- Supports two-factor authentication
- Emails addresses are digitally signed to prove authorship
- Doesn’t use ads
- Email settings can be customized and tweaked as per user preferences
- Blocks spam messages
- Allow users to buy credits to send text messages and faxes
- Contacts can be imported from Outlook, Gmail, CSV file, vCard, etc.
- Includes a file storage and calendar for documents
- Allows users to send mail through the address they used to sign up, like their Gmail address
- Max attachment limit: 10 MB (Free), 50 (Entry/Pro).
- Mailbox storage: 200 MB (free), 5 GB (Entry) and 20 GB (Pro).
- Mailfence is a Belgium-based secure email service.
- Free (No Ad)
- 2,50€/month (Entry)
- 7,50€/month (Pro)
- Belgian servers
- AES-256 bit security
- Free tier’s cloud storage limited
- No dedicated mobile apps
Tutanota is yet another web-based secure email service that focuses on providing the best security and experience to its users by providing a variety of features and solutions within the platform. Even though it is an open-source system, it also provides private users with a dedicated platform for their email. The security provided by tutanota is immaculate and doesn’t cost much. It has a paid version that costs only 1 euro per month and a free one. In the free version you have 1 GB of space and few options. In the payment option you can expand the space, use 5 or more aliases, use your own domains or make customizations. The developers of Tutanota declare that they do not use PGP in the encryption because for them the encryption of the matter is also important. Therefore they have developed a proprietary solution based on AES and RSA that encrypts attachments, text and subject. They do not record IPs or email addresses, which are deleted.
- Tutanota supports all browsers,
- app to be free for most personal users
- unlimited number of sent messages per day
- Plus account starts at about $1.50 per month, making it extraordinarily cheap compared to most other secure email providers on the market
- Premium account users can use their own domains with Tutanota
- expand your cloud storage and user count
- apps for both iOS and Android
- Max attachment limit: 25 MB.
- Mailbox storage: 1 GB
- Tutanota is based in Germany
- Free (No Ad)
- €12 year (Premium)
- Affordable pricing structure
- Offers full end-to-end encryption
- Compatible with all browsers
- Mobile app design is out-dated
- Only AES-128 encryption
Not the most popular secure email service than the ones mentioned above, but RunBox is slowing catching the top email providers in terms of email encryption. Runbox uses various security tools to keep your data away from the cybercriminal who want to steal it. When you send an email using Runbox, they are sent through a secure encrypted connection, and everything sent between Runbox servers and your email address is also encrypted. The data stored on the Runbox server is locked in a vault (in Norway) where it is protected by the constitution. Runbox also provides annual plans using bitcoin for extra anonymity. Runbox uses two-factor authentication and with no external tracking cookies, it is almost impossible for scammers to hack into any Runbox email account.
- Create email aliases to use different email addresses with just one account
- Powerful and reliable in processing and storing a large amount of data.
- Professional management of emails such as spam filtering, customized sorting, forwarding, etc.
- Integrated services
- Strong email privacy protection
- Spam and virus protection
- Plenty of storage space
- Universal access via Web, IMAP, WAP, etc.
- Max attachment limit: 100 MB.
- Mailbox storage: 10 GB
- Runbox is Norway-based secure email providers
- $19.95 per year or $49.95 per year with email & web hosting.
- Uniquely designed interface
- 30-day free trial and 60 days money-back guarantee
- Easy Migration from other services
- Less storage capacity
- High subscription costs for businesses.
- No mobile App
Posteo is an independent secure email service providing great security, privacy, and sustainability on the internet. They offer sustainable and encrypted email accounts, including calendars and address books. Posteo is totally self-funded and ad-free. Posteo is said to be one of the most all-round and friendly encrypted email services. It is a great, cost-effective solution for those who want to encrypt their entire mail suite.
- Two-factor authentication (TOTP) available
- Fetched by IMAP/POP3,
- Address book and calendar (synchronizable)
- Simply saved data encryption
- Ad-free email account, ad-free website,
- Easy signups
- Pay anonymously by cash, bank transfer, or PayPal
- 2 GB storage (can be increased)
- up to 50 MB of file attachment
- Its servers are based in Germany
- 1 EUR per month
- Additional storage: 0.25 EUR per GB per month
- AES-secured protection
- Green-based email system
- No end-to-end encryption
- Not as secure as other encrypted services
8. Kolab Now
Kolab now is yet another Switzerland-based open-source encrypted email service that is focused on providing small and medium-sized enterprises with secure email services and a complete online office suite. Kolab Now allows you to pass confidential information through emails easily without any problems. It charges its users directly and offers various monthly and annual plans for an individual account. Kolab now stores all your emails and file on their server in Switzerland, keeping your data safe from your own government agencies, scammers, as well as advertisers. Although Kolab Now doesn’t provide end-to-end encryption, the features Kolab offers are one of the best in the email today. Kolab maybe not cheap, they do provide great all-round email privacy.
- Integrated app for taking notes
- Email-tagged support
- Contacts and calendars
- Shared folders
- Kolab now’s servers are based in Switzerland
- Starting from $5 per month
- Hosted in Switzerland (meaning high security for email accounts)
- Full business suite
- It’s more of a productivity app rather than a secure email service
- Rates are getting higher quickly
LuxSci is the only secure email provider based in the USA. They are offering users, and business professional a full email-based productivity suite while keeping security and anonymity their top priority. It supports end-to-end encryption and doesn’t require any setup to install. LuxSci uses TLS and SSL technologies, and SMTP protocols to keep your emails secure. It can be accessed from any desktop or mobile device browser. LuxSci has named their encrypted email system “SecureLine” which helps keep your personal and private information safe from the cybercriminal. Since it is aimed for business users, its monthly plans are much more expensive as compared to other secure email services. However, they do offer different features that will allow you to secure your emails effectively. Though it isn’t a great option for personal users, business users will like LuxSci more than the above-mentioned secure email services.
- PGP and S/MIME
- End-to-end email encryption
- Secure TLS-Only Email Forwarding
- Protected, Secure Logins
- Uses SMTP TLS and other secure systems
- Up to 200 MB of file attachment
- Storage size starting from 1 GB to 50 GB
- It is a USA-based company
- Starting from $10 per month
- High-level security systems
- Solid business pricing
- Only US-based servers
- Can only be set up online by calling 1800 number
Another free email service is SCRYPTmail that is still in Beta phase. It focuses on offering privacy to its users. According to its creators, it differs from other services in that its front-end is truly encoded so that information is never sent through the network. It also adds an additional security layer that encrypts the metadata of the email in case the database is compromised at any time. In this way, the attacker could not know who speaks to whom. Since SCRYPTmail was started in 2014, it is still in development. At present the accounts are free but in the future premium functions will be added and from that, the project will get self-financing. Although based in the United States, SCRYPTmail producers are planning to expand the system to other countries. SCRYPTmail also offers TOR access.
- Two-factor Authentication
- PGP standard for key exchange
- Client-side Encryption
- ANSI characters for password
- Allows Password resetting
- Signed Certificate for HTTPS connections
- SCRYPTmail’s servers are based in the US
- 7-day free trial
- $2 per month
- Affordable plans
- Accessible from any email system
- Still in beta
- No mobile apps
Using any secure email service from the above list is up to you, but you can make your email even securer by using a VPN service. VPN creates a secure connection between your computer and the network (the email service provider). When you enable the VPN service, the internet traffic (emails, messaging, etc.,) travels through the VPN connection first. This means VPN secures your email, web browsing, chat, etc., from scammers and hackers.
So, if you have a VPN, enable it and keep yourself secure.
When it comes to privacy, there are not may email services that guarantee anonymity and security. To keep your emails as private as possible you should use any of the email services listed above. Apart from the list above, there are some other secure email providers that we have not mentioned like Fastmail, SAFe-mail, etc., but they are also very useful when it comes to email encryption.
All these secure email services listed here are much better at protecting your privacy than Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, and others. If used properly, end-to-end encryption will keep your emails safe when you send them to other users.