Secure emailthe providers offer end-to-end encryption to prevent third parties from seeing the transmitted content.
- Fully encrypted email providers aren’t as common as end-to-end encrypted text messaging services, which offer robust security.
- Here are seven of the best secure email providers you can subscribe to today.
Today, we expect much of our communications to be secure, often with end-to-end encryption. Messaging apps like WhatsApp and Signal are known for their strong security, for example, but many people still use email services that don’t prioritize security in the same way. It’s ironic because a lot of our routine communication is still done by email. If you want to switch to a secure email provider that can ensure only the intended recipient sees what you’ve written, here are seven of the best alternatives.
Proton Mail is one of the best secure email provider options due to its wealth of security and user-friendliness features. It’s built on open source software with true end-to-end encryption, using zero-knowledge proof, which means that even Protonmail staff can’t read the content of the email they handle. The provider is Swiss-owned and the data centers are underground in Switzerland, both nuclear-hardened and protected by Swiss privacy law.
You can use iOS and Android mobile apps as well as webmail. You can start with a free account which includes 500MB of storage. Paid subscriptions start around $6 per month.
Silence is a secure email provider that has built plans for a number of specific verticals, including healthcare, legal, small business, nonprofits, and personal use. Healthcare providers, for example, should understand that Hushmail is HIPAA compliant and comes with built-in email archiving. The service uses OpenPGP to encrypt emails and is located in Canada, protected by Canadian privacy laws. A nice addition: Hushmail offers signable and encrypted web forms with its email services.
Unfortunately, Hushmail no longer offers a free level of service. Professional plans start at $5.99 per month and the personal version at $49.98 per year. You can use Hushmail on the web like iOS application. A Android app is to come.
Tutanota combines end-to-end encryption with two-factor authentication and not only encrypts the entire message including the subject line and message header, but encrypts your contacts and also offers a secure calendar. Tutanota is open-source and a zero-knowledge platform, so vendor staff do not have access to your posts.
You can start using Tutanota for free, with 1 GB of storage, but the account is limited – for example, you can only search emails stored for a month. For further research, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan (which starts at around $1 per month for personal plans or $5 per month for business accounts).
zoho is a popular secure email provider because, in addition to offering end-to-end encryption, it is extremely affordable. Zoho uses both encryption-in-transit and encryption-at-rest strategies, so data is unreadable both if intercepted and while stored on its servers. Moreover, Zoho fully supports secure email access like two-factor authentication and single sign-on, and automatically generates unusual activity reports if it detects any suspicious account activity.
There are several subscription tiers, but Zoho’s Mail Lite service only costs $1 per month, and with 5GB of storage per user, that might be enough for your needs. It’s also part of a much more comprehensive suite of office productivity tools.
Mailfence is based in Belgium and is protected by the strict privacy laws of this country. It relies on full end-to-end encryption, although unlike a solution like Tutanota the software is not open-source and the email in your inbox is unencrypted (it does not encrypt data at rest). But Mailfence offers encryption on your calendar, documents, and contacts. There’s a free service tier that gets you 500MB of email storage – probably enough to try out the service, but not enough for long-term use. Paid plans start at around $3 per month for 5 GB and 10 email aliases.
StartMail does not offer true end-to-end encryption, but its Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) security is nonetheless strong and protected by Dutch privacy laws. The service also offers two-factor authentication. Created by the same team behind privacy-conscious search engine Startpage, a StartMail account also gives you access to unlimited disposable and anonymous email aliases. There’s no free service tier, but you can get a seven-day free trial and the service starts at $2.50 per month for 10GB of email storage.
Because there’s no end-to-end encryption, unlike most email providers, StartMail doesn’t offer a mobile app (although you can add browser shortcuts to your email). You must use webmail or add your StartMail account to an existing email client.
Posteo is a Germany-based secure email provider that offers end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication, and protection via strong German privacy law. It’s one of the few email providers that doesn’t require you to enter any personal information as part of the signup process, and all emails are stripped of their IP addresses, making it extremely difficult to log in. to the account or to your messages. In addition to webmail and mobile apps, Posteo also supports IMAP for connecting to any email client.
There is no free account, but you can create an account for as little as around $1 per month. And if green technology is important to you, Posteo operates its data centers with 100% green energy from Green Planet Energy.