You may be concerned that everything you do online is being watched by the government, powerful corporations, or malicious hackers.  

How you can defend yourself against unwanted eyes is through encryption.

In the past, we’ve shared with you what encrypted messaging apps you should use for secure communication and also walked you through the most popular free encryption software tools.

We can all agree on the fact that a huge part of our internet activity revolves around email.  

Thus, in this article, I’m going to offer you some alternatives to popular email services such as Gmail or Yahoo, which can also be secured to a certain degree, but, at the same time, mainstream providers are notorious for mishandling their users’ data or scanning inboxes for keywords to display personalized ads.

I’m sure you want that everything you share via email to stay private and only be accessed by the people you choose, and the perfect way to do this is through encrypted emails.

Although there are multiple ways to secure your email using encryption software, they are often difficult to implement by unskilled users. Maybe at a later time, I’m going to also dig into this subject if you are interested, but for now, I’m going to look at some encrypted email services options that are easy to use.  

So, below I’ve put together a list of user-friendly web-based encrypted email services that will help you increase your level of online anonymity.  

You’ll notice that (almost) all of the options come from European countries. Here, the GDPR imposes strict rules on data privacy, and among many other regulations, it’s making privacy by design a legal requirement.  

Disclaimer: While none of those providers will share your data with other companies/advertisers, some may present it to government entities under legal demands.

1. ProtonMail

ProtonMail is an encrypted email service based in Switzerland and created by scientists, engineers, and developers from CERN, with the intention of increasing your online security and privacy. They pride themselves with datacenters “located under 1000 meters of granite rock in a heavily guarded bunker which can survive a nuclear attack”.  

Features:

  • Free option with 500MB storage and 150 emails per day
  • Paid options starting from $ 4.00 / Month for personal use
  • Business plans for $6.25 / Month / User
  • Two-step verification
  • Use your own domain
  • Mobile apps available (iOS and Android)
  • Report phishing option
  • Self-destructing messages – you can set an expiration time on your emails so they get automatically deleted from the recipient’s inbox after a certain time
  • Based on open source code
  • They use AES, RSA, and OpenPGP encryption

2. Tutanota  

Tutanota is an encrypted email provider from Germany. They position themselves as a secure alternative to Gmail. According to their website, they are also planning to include a calendar, notes, and cloud storage in their offering – and of course, all of these features will be encrypted too.  

Features:

  • Free for 1 user with 1GB of storage
  • Other paid options starting from €12 for personal use  
  • Business plans available
  • Free for non-profit organizations
  • Use your own domain
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Based on open-source code
  • Their data centers run on 100% renewable energy

Additional details:

If you want to send an email to someone who’s using a different email service (for instance, Gmail), you will be asked to enter a password that you will have to share with the recipient.  

The recipient will then use it to unlock your message and be able to read it by accessing a link. The URL will remain active until you sent them another confidential email.  

This is what an email sent from a Tutanota account to someone who is using a different email service looks like.  

3. Hushmail

Hushmail is a secure email service based in Canada that encrypts your email communication. Simplicity is at the core of their business in order to keep their customers secure and better understand potential threats. Hushmail uses the “passphrase” naming for the log-in field which is typically referred to as “password”, in this way encouraging people to use more complex passwords – phrases, rather than words.

Features:

  • 14-Day free trial (no credit card required), then $49.98 per year with 10GB of email storage
  • Business plans available
  • iOS app
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Use your own domain
  • An account will be locked if too many attempts are made to access it
  • Ability to set up Hushmail within an email program (Mac Mail, Microsoft Outlook, Android phone, Thunderbird)
  • Inbox antivirus and spam filtering
  • TLS/SSL, OpenPGP encryption

Additional details:

Similar to Tutanota, if your recipient is not using Hushmail, you have to check the Encrypted checkbox, and the email will be read on a secure web page.

4. Countermail

Countermail is a web-based encrypted email provider, with their data centers located in Sweden. Although their website looks quite outdated, their email security is able to handle today’s privacy threats.  

Features:

  • 7-Days free trial. After the trial ends, multiple plans are available starting with $4.83 per month with 4000MB of storage. You also have the possibility to add extra storage for a fee.
  • Compatible with Android phone
  • Message filter / Auto reply
  • Supports IMAP
  • Diskless web servers – This means they don’t have any hard drives and instead start from a CD-ROM for increased online privacy. Their web server does not log any IP-addresses.
  • USB-key option – It’s used as a keyfile in combination with your password for increased security. It provides better protection against keyloggers and brute force attacks.  
  • OpenPGP data encryption, SSL-MITM protection

5. Runbox

Headquartered in Norway, Runbox is a company that provides secure email services worldwide, offering encrypted communication and strong authentication.

Features:

  • Free 30-Day Trial
  • Paid plans for personal use, starting with EUR 14.95 per year, with 1 GB for email and 100 MB for files
  • Business plans starting with EUR 69.95 per year, with 25 GB for email, 2 GB for files, and 25 email domains
  • Accepted payment methods: Credit/debit cards, Bitcoin, PayPal, Money Orders, SWIFT/SEPA payments, and cash.
  • 60-day full money back guarantee
  • Use your own domain
  • Calendar
  • Ad-free Webmail, spam and virus filtering, email consolidation, and filtering
  • Access from any client via POP, IMAP, SMTP, and others
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Their servers run on 100% renewable energy

6. Kolab Now

Kolab Now offers email accounts for secure collaboration, with all the strongly protected data being stored in Switzerland. Just like any other secure encrypted email service, they will never monitor your data, sell it to third parties, or display ads.  

  

Image source: alternativeto.net

Features:  

  • 30-Day Free Trial, then prices start at $4.44 per month for an Individual account
  • Group accounts (1 to 100 users) from $5.42 per month
  • Calendar, address book, files, and more
  • Two-factor authentication (this will disable access to your account on any other channel, such as ActiveSync, *DAV and IMAP)
  • Mobile synchronization (enabled for mobile devices using ActiveSync)
  • Automatic replies

7. Mailfence

Mailfence was founded in Belgium on the principle that privacy is a right and not a feature. They focus on transparency and maintain an updated transparency report, also keeping their code open to audits.  

Image source: alternativeto.net

Features:

  • Free version for 1 group with 500MB of email, 500MB of documents, 1.000 events calendars, support via email
  • Paid versions starting from EUR 2,50 per month and 5GB of email, 12 GB documents, 10.000 events calendar, support available via email and phone
  • Business plans available, tailored to your company’s needs
  • POPs, IMAPs, SMTPs, iOS, Android, Exchange
  • Custom email domain
  • Contacts, Calendar, Documents, and Groups
  • Accepted payment methods: credit card, PayPal, Bitcoin, Litecoin
  • Two-factor authentication
  • End-to-end encryption

8. Posteo

Posteo is an independent email service based in Germany focused on sustainability, security, privacy, and usability. The service is fully ad-free and they protect their users’ privacy through an innovative encryption and security model.

Image source: posteo.de

Features:  

  • Pricing starting with 1 EUR per month with 2GB storage – two aliases included. Storage can be increased up to max. 20 GB, each additional GB costs 0.25 EUR/month;
  • Migration service from other email accounts available (folder structure included)
  • Automatic replies
  • Anonymous signup – you don’t have to provide your name or address during registration
  • Anonymous payment – they don’t link payments with email accounts
  • Calendar  
  • 100% open-source code
  • Spam and virus filter
  • Emails sent don’t contain your IP address
  • Free support
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Accepted payments: PayPal, bank transfer, credit card or cash
  • TLS-encrypted access – TLS with PFS for IMAP, POP3, webmail, CardDAV, and CalDAV)
  • TLS-encrypted transmission: protects emails and metadata, as long as the other email server also supports it (TLS with PFS).
  • TLS-sending guarantee - protects you from sending emails to insecure systems
  • AES encrypted hard disks  
  • Runs on renewable energy 100%

9. StartMail

StartMail is based in The Netherlands and was built by the creators of StartPage, a private search engine. This is a great platform for secure communications, that can be accessed from a webmail interface, as well as through IMAP protocol, which makes it compatible with existing email clients.

Features:

  • Free 7-Day trial (no credit card required)
  • Accounts for personal use with $59.95 per year – 10 GB storage, 10 custom aliases, unlimited disposable aliases, IMAP support
  • Business accounts with $59.95 per mailbox per year – 10 GB storage, 10 GB storage, custom, and disposable aliases, IMAP support
  • Disposable email addresses – create temporary email addresses when you don’t want to share the real ones
  • IMAP/SMTP compatible
  • It’s based on a mix of open-source and closed-source components
  • PGP encryption, security like PFS (TLS 1.1 & 1.2), and extra-secure vaults

10. Mailbox

Mailbox is a secure email provider based in Germany, which was founded with the purpose of becoming an alternative to other webmail services that depend on their customer data to obtain revenue from advertising. All created accounts include other features besides an email inbox, such as a cloud office suite to edit documents, a calendar, etc.

Features:  

  • Free 30-Day Trial, with 10 emails per day, storage space of 100MB for emails, 10MB file storage, 1 email address alias
  • Paid option for personal use starting with 1 EUR per month, with 2GB email storage, 3 email aliases
  • Business email plan starting with 25 EUR per month, with central management console, email and groupware, cloud storage, online word processing, and more
  • Calendar, Contacts, Task Planner
  • Online Office
  • Cloud Storage
  • Offline mode  
  • Advanced users are offered dedicated Tor Exit Node with Hidden Onion Services available at their data center
  • Their servers run on 100% green energy

How you can increase your online security and privacy even more

Hopefully, I’ve helped you choose an encrypted email service alternative to the risky email provider you are currently using. Yet, obviously, email anonymity does not equal online security.  

Even though some of the email services listed above also include spam filtering, virus scanning, or report phishing options, malicious attackers can always find ways to send you malware-infected links via email.  

This is why you should also be using a proactive, threat prevention solution for your PC, which lets you click any link with confidence and allows you to be sure that you won’t get touched by malware.  

And it scans and blocks the URLs you click both in your inbox and anywhere else on the web.   

The easy way to protect yourself against malware
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Use it to: Block malicious websites and servers from infecting your PC Auto-update your software and close security gaps Keep your financial and other confidential details safe

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Here’s some great news for companies  

We’re working hard on a brand new email module specifically designed to prevent business email compromise (BEC) attacks. We will keep you posted on the progress, so stay tuned!

Are you using any secure email service? Do you have any suggestions that we could add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

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It gives useful information..

What do you think about utopia? There is a future?

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