When it comes to emails, complete privacy is a big concern for a lot of people, and all the popular email providers such as Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo simply do not offer a completely secure environment to send and receive emails.
However, there are quite a few secure email services that offer email privacy and encryption. We have reviewed and selected five of the best email services that should keep your data safe from hackers and the authorities.
ProtonMail is one of the most highly-regarded apps on this list. Forbes even called it “the only email system NSA can’t access” and with good reason, too. Their servers are located in Switzerland, which means the US government cannot forcibly shut them down or order them to produce information. In any case, the emails are encrypted end-to-end, which means it is impossible to intercept and decipher them. Also, Proton mail does not log IP addresses, so you are truly anonymous by using this service.
Right now they have hit their capacity limit due to high demand, and only people with an invite can sign up for the service. Head over to Protonmail to request an invite (free of charge). Paid accounts are also available with premium features.
Tutanota is a completely open-source and free email service which offers end-to-end encryption of emails, including the ability for non-Tutanota users to securely respond to encrypted emails. Once the intended recipient receives your encrypted email, they will not be able to view the subject, attachment or message unless they can produce a password (which the both of you must have agreed upon previously) that will unlock the contents of your message. You can also choose not to encrypt your emails, but that defeats the purpose of using Tutanota.
For free accounts, you get 1 GB of storage and no aliases, but you can upgrade to premium for just €1/month to add up to 5 aliases and map your own domain to Tutanota. Mobile apps are also available for Android and iOS.
Posteo.de is a Berlin-based service which is also held in high regard when it comes to protecting the privacy of its users. Unlike the above two, Posteo.de is not free and comes with plans starting at €1/month for 2 GB storage capacity with POP3 and IMAP support. Importantly, two-factor authentication is available, which prevents access to your account even if your password is compromised. Posteo.de does not request any personal information while signing up and even allows you to pay anonymously using bank transfer, cash or Paypal.
4. Kolab Now
Kolab Now is another open-source email service with its servers completely hosted and managed in Switzerland, just like ProtonMail, so your private data is never crawled. The service targets small and medium-sized enterprises, especially those who want to pass privileged information through email. Just like Posteo.de, Kolab Now makes money by charging its users directly and has two plans starting from around $4.99 for an individual account. Other features include an integrated note-taking app, email tagging support, contacts and calender, shared folders and more.
Countermail is another top email service provider that offers several unique features. It uses OpenPGP’s encryption protocol with 4096 keys to protect your data and also offers end-to-end encryption. It also offers a secure USB key option that makes it impossible to access your account without your USB key inserted into a USB port. Countermail supports Linux, Mac OS X and Windows and also has IMAP support in case you want to use your own email client. You can try Countermail free of charge for a week, after which prices start at $6.33/month.
If you need a very high level of privacy in your email, all the above services have good reputations when it comes to protecting your data. Tutanota, Countermail and Protonmail offer free options, so that may be a good place to start if you want to compare each service before picking the one that works best for you.
Let us know what you think in the comments section below.