Regulatory authorities all over the world are spying on your online habits by eavesdropping on your communications. One of the things that most of us would want to keep private is secret information and document files that could compromise our financial or personal status. The easiest way to keep your emails private and anonymous is by using a secure email service.
An average user will find most of the regular free email accounts enough for their daily operations. However, there are many benefits derived from having an encrypted email account because they guarantee more security and protect your anonymity. The fact that some email service providers are most popular doesn’t mean that they are secure.
Why Do You Need Encrypted Email Accounts?
There are email service providers who store emails in a manner that they cannot be accessed easily, while some provide self-destructing messages that once deleted they cannot be retrieved. The most secure way to hide your email contents is choosing a service provider that uses PGP. If you use an unencrypted messaging service, it is most likely to eradicate any privacy protections you may have.
It is quite challenging to determine the most secure email provider with the wide range of choices available. We took the liberty to research for you on the secure email services that can be used to protect user privacy and anonymity. Here are 15 most secure email service providers in 2018.
The Most Secure Email Service Providers in 2018
Proton Mail is the secure email service provider. ProtonMail was originally developed in 2013 by researchers in CERN. It uses an end-to-end encryption that ensures messages sent through email are encrypted on your end. This implies that anyone including the company itself cannot unencrypt the text sent.
It supports CSV contact imports, 2-factor authentication, encrypted messages, 25 MB max attachment size, 5 to 20 GB mailbox storage, self-destructing messages and 100% open-source.
- It doesn’t require your personal information when signing up for the service
- It disables the IP logging by default to protect your location and prevent unauthorized access
- You can verify the platform’s security by yourself because it is 100% open source
- It gives 500 MB free of Mailbox storage.
- It doesn’t allow alteration of the email signature when operating on a free account.
Free plan: – €0, Plus plan: -€5.00 per month, Professional Plan: – €8.00 per month, Visionary Plan: – €30 per month.
Mailfence is an encrypted and free webmail client that focuses primarily on protecting the privacy of its users. It offers additional features such as calendars, document storage, and contacts. Its headquarters are in Belgium and was launched during the early beginnings of Snowden revelations. It has gained a good reputation over the years with its two-factor authentication that restricts the messages to the sender and recipient.
500 MB free storage, 10 MB attachment limit, 2-factor authentication, built-in calendars, digital signatures, and spam detection.
- Its email settings are highly customizable
- You can easily import any information from Gmail, Outlook, vCard, or CSV file.
- It supports messages in the EML format
- It automatically detects and blocks spam messages.
- Emails are signed digitally which proves authorship
- The private keys are kept on the Mailfence servers
- You need an existing email address when signing up to receive your activation key
Free plan, €2.50 per month – Entry Plan, € 7.50 per month – Pro Plan
CounterMail is most secure email service that has a good reputation in terms of privacy protections with over 4000 types of PGP encryption keys. It bases its headquarters in Sweden and uses an end-to-end encryption that guarantees your message privacy. CounterMail is set apart from other email service providers because it offers a unique and secure USB key option. It is one of the best choices for people who want to send secure messages while on the go.
OpenPGP encryption protocol, 4096 different encryption keys, IMAP, anonymous email headers, and Safebox.
- It allows you to modify several settings in your account
- It uses email headers that are anonymous
- It supports IMAP and email filters
- It works well in any browser or an iOS app.
- The free trial is only for one week
- CounterMail cannot send emails that are encrypted to nonusers
- You need to pay more if you want more space for your emails
One-week free trial: – $6.33 per month: – $19 for 3 months and: – $59 for 1 year.
Tutanota was launched in 2011 with a vision of becoming the best email service provider. Its headquarters are based in Germany and has gained the trust of users worldwide as they are subject to the Federal Data Protection Act. It offers a compelling secure service since the end-to-end encryption prevents access by unauthorized parties. Tutanota is currently working on introducing an API that allows users to communicate with any person who uses the PGP encryption.
1 GB standard storage, open source, customizable folders, hashed passwords, spam filters, and file attachment support.
- It comes with an upgradable 1 GB data storage.
- The spam filters identify unwanted messages and mark them as spam
- It supports apps for both Android and IOS devices
- It is possible to organize your emails by creating custom folders
- It has an easy-to-use web interface that allows you to secure your emails with one click.
- It is impossible to import all your contacts at once
- It only supports sending of plain text emails.
Free plan: – $0, Premium plan: – €12 per year
HushMail is one of the most secure email service providers that have been in existence since 1999. It allows you to send encrypted messages to anyone even to nonusers. The HushMail web version has a modern interface that is easy to use when sending or receiving encrypted texts. You have the option to choose from different addresses when creating a new HushMail account e.g. @hush.com, @hushmail.me and much more.
2-step verification, IMAP&POP support, 10GB emails storage, spam filter, blacklisting, anonymity option and 2048-bit encrypted messages.
- It has a bunch of security features to protect your privacy
- It comes with an elegant interface that is easy to use
- It is possible to get notifications to your different email accounts by signing up for that option
- You can enable auto-response that responds to messages automatically.
- It has a short 14-day trial to test whether it is right for you
- You require an alternative email address when signing up in HushMail for the first time.
Free plan: – 14 days free trial, Premium Plan: – $49.98 per year
Zoho Mail was developed in 2010 bearing in mind the needs of a modern business. It offers features that allow businesses to communicate effectively and caters for the mailbox management and customization needs of IT administrators. Zoho Mail is available as an email as well as a calendar app for both IOS and Android version. There are many tweaks you can perform with Zoho Mail such as customizing push notification according to the folder. You can also save important emails and access them offline.
Integration, multiple domains, powerful search, instant chat, online office, calendar, and tasks, supports IOS, Android Apps.
- It has an intuitive web interface
- It comes with powerful email functionalities that give the best of both worlds
- It has configurable vacation responses at the account level
- The advanced search makes it easier to find hidden messages
- You can change the ‘From’ email Ids when sending a message from your account
- The free plan has limited storage
Free plan: – $0, Standard Plan: – $3 per month, Pro plan: – $6 per month, Enterprise plan: – $10 per month.
TorGuard offers multipurpose services to match up the privacy you have always been looking for. Their email system is based in Ukraine which implies that it uses server-side encryption (PGP) and not end-to-end encryption. It is important to understand that any attempt to delete an email from your inbox erases the message forever and you can never recover it. This prevents anyone from accessing private information. It lacks contact with any third parties or government agencies as it promises not to track the email usage of its users.
End-to-end encryption, 10mb email storage, ad-free, supports Android and Apple
- It has unbreakable security that blends well with any email user compatible with OpenPGP.
- It offers MITM attack protection
- Its email servers are readily available for use across the globe
- It provides the best-in-class support that is dedicated 24/7.
- It has a free trial that only lasts for 7 days.
Free monthly plan: – $0, Quarterly plan: – $6.95, semi-annually plan: – $15.95, annually plan: – $49.95
Runbox values anonymity above anything else as it is equipped with stringent measures that prevent third parties from accessing your private information. Any email generated is sent across a secure connection that is encrypted. For those who want extra anonymity, you can use Bitcoin to purchase the annual price plan. Runbox doesn’t have external tracking cookies and uses two different types of 2-factor authentication. It is currently integrating a PGP encryption option that requires the generation of an encryption key by both sender and the recipient when opening emails.
Spam & Virus protection, email privacy protection, spam filtering, integrated services, 10 GB mailbox storage, 100 MB maximum attachment and customized sorting.
- It has a strong email privacy protection
- It is reliable and powerful in the processing and storage of large amounts of data.
- It allows for professional management of emails such as forwarding and spam filtering
- It comes with a 60-day money back guarantee
- It has an elegantly designed user interface
- It offers high subscription costs for businesses
Starting plan: – $19.95 per year, Advanced plan: – $49.95 per year
Posteo is an email service provider based in Berlin. It is highly competitive in terms of maintaining the privacy of its users just like other email service providers. It comes with a 2-factor authentication that prevents unauthorized access to a user account in a situation where your password is compromised. The signing process is a breeze and it won’t request any personal information. Posteo allows making anonymous payments using PayPal, cash or bank transfers. It supports some of the most important features such as IMAP and POP3.
Ad-free, anonymous payment, 2-factor authentication, address book and calendar, 2 GB storage, and 50 MB file attachment.
- The website and your email account is free from ads
- You can increase the storage for more emails and document files
- It is easy to pay anonymously by PayPal, bank transfer, or cash.
- It comes with synchronizable calendar and address book
- It lacks an end to end encryption
Starting Plan: – €1 per month, Additional storage: – 0.25€ per GB (Monthly)
Kolab Now is most secure email service provider which targets small and medium-sized enterprises as well as businesses that want to send privileged data through email. It is an open-source email service provider that hosts and manages its servers in Switzerland. It comes with some of the most amazing features such as shared folders and integrated note-taking app. With Kolab Now, you are sure to pass confidential information without experiencing any problems regarding your privacy. We cannot say that the services offered by Kolab Now are cheap, but they provide all-around email privacy.
Shared folders, email-tagged support, contacts, and calendars, integrated app
- It is a complete business suite
- It guarantees anonymity and privacy to individual users and business professionals
- It offers high security for your email accounts to prevent unauthorized third parties from accessing private information
- It comes with an integrated app that allows taking notes
- It doesn’t provide end to end encryption
Basic Plan: – $4.99 per month (Individual Account)
LuxSci guarantees email-based productivity suite to individuals and business professionals who value privacy and anonymity. You don’t require any setup to install LuxSci and it supports an end-to-end encryption. It ensures that your emails are kept secure with the help of SMTP protocols, SLL and TLS technologies. You can easily access it from your mobile device browser or desktop. SecureLine is LuxSci’s encrypted email system that prevents unauthorized persons from accessing your personal and private information.
Secure logins, PGP & S/MIME, 2-factor authentication, Secure TLS, 200 MB maximum file attachment, 1GB to 50GB storage size.
- It supports an end-to-end encryption between the sender and the receiver
- It is best for business professionals as it prioritizes security and anonymity
- It supports SMTP protocols and SSL technologies.
- It has reasonable pricing for business professionals
- The monthly plans seem expensive for personal users
- It has a tedious procedure to set up
Basic plan: – $10 per month
SCRYPTmail is a free email service provider that started in 2014 in the United States. The encoded front-end of SCRYPTmail makes it unique from other service providers because the message is never sent across the network. It boosts your privacy by adding another security layer that encrypts the metadata of an email to a situation where the database is compromised. The producers are currently working on an expansion program of the system to other countries worldwide. There are many features that SCRYPTmail provides ordinary users making it one of the best email service providers.
It has Signed certificate, 2-factor authentication, client-side encryption, PGP standard, password resetting, and ANSI characters.
- The signed certificates are useful for HTTPS connections
- It comes with affordable monthly plans
- You can access your data from any email system
- The PGP standard is used for key exchange
- It lacks mobile apps
- It is currently based in the United States only
- It only has a 7-day free trial
Starting plan: – $2 per month
Mailpile is a fast web-mail client that incorporates privacy features and user-friendly encryption. Its primary focus is to provide pleasant user experience with a clean and elegant user interface. It makes it convenient and easy to send and receive PGP encrypted mail. Mailpile functions both as a remote web-mail or a local desktop application on VPS or a personal server. It was designed to handle large volumes of e-mail on consumer hardware. The emails can be organized using tags and you can configure the application to tag incoming mail automatically based on Bayesian classifiers or static rules.
POP3, free Open-source, supports Windows, Linux, Self Hosted
- It focuses on providing speed and privacy
- It has a highly intuitive and easy-to-use interface
- It is licensed under AGPL
- It offers support for S/MIME encryption and OpenPGP
- It has a variety of themes that alter the visual aesthetic of the client and allows for different UX designs.
You need to access the device you installed Mailpile to access your messages.
Free plan: $0 per month
Disroot is an encrypted email service provider that has established itself on the basis of user privacy and protection. Not only is it ad-free but also non-tracking which means that it won’t snoop around for your personal information. Rainloop, their browser-based client is easy to use and is bolstered by unbroken GPG and an open-source encryption. Disroot has partnered with some of the best companies that offer secure cloud storage services i.e. Next cloud and Etherpad (cloud word processor).
XMPP support, Matrix & Riot, 100% free, open-source software, RSS subscriptions and notes syncing
- It has partnered up with other providers to give access to private and secure cloud services.
- It comes with a limited cloud office suite.
- It doesn’t track user activity or information between the sender and the receiver.
- It has a mobile-friendly user interface that allows for email management
- It doesn’t support IMAP and POP3
Free plan: – $0 per month
Enigmail is a security extension to SeaMonkey and Thunderbird. It uses the OpenPGP standard to send and received encrypted messages. It guides you through the basic setup when getting started for the first time. Enigmail has a powerful GUI that allows for easier configuration and automatically signs or encrypts attachments for inline PGP messages. It also supports multiple identities feature of Mozilla. Enigmail is available for Mac OSX, Windows, and Linux versions. The detailed user preferences are meant for advanced configurations.
It has Powerful GUI, integrated OpenPGP, Per-identity based encryption, automatic encryption, detailed user preferences, and Mozilla Multiple Identities.
- It supports key retrieval of OpenPGP through proxy servers.
- The per-recipient rules allow for automated key selection or enabling encryption
- The Mozilla SeaMonkey and Mozilla Thunderbird mail clients provided a tightly integrated support for OpenPGP.
- It has an easy-to-use web interface
- Public keys must be exchanged to send each other encrypted emails
Free plan: – $0 per month
All of the above email service providers have a good reputation for providing user privacy and security. Choose a secure email service that meets your demands in terms of budget and level of privacy. Although some services are priced higher than others, it doesn’t mean that they are the best but they offer unique features that cannot be found in other email service providers. ProtonMail is one of the most secure email services with the toughest encryption systems.
Most of them have stood a test of time and received great reputation from users because of their dedicated systems in terms of security and privacy. It is also important to understand that each email option has its own benefits and downsides. You can always boost your privacy by having an active VPN or a free anonymous web proxy server. Use strong passwords and avoid having guest accounts as they compromise your privacy. Lastly, never write down a password that lets you decrypt secure emails to help keep your emails private and secure.