Most Secure Email Services that Provide Encryption

Most Secure Email Services that Provide Encryption

Email providers aren't always guaranteed to secure your privacy and there are lots of prying eyes out to get your information, from advertising companies to surveillance programs. Here are the best email services who will respect your privacy!

If a huge part of your internet activity represents sending and receiving emails, that you should make sure the communication is secured.

You might think that emails are safe by default because it's the communication between you and specific people, right?

Well, in fact, using email services that don't provide proper privacy can influence your online security. Hackers can get hold of your emails and use the personal information they gather to deploy phishing attacks against you. Some email services have access to the content of your emails (Gmail for example) and can use this content to gather data so they serve you with personalized ads. Cybercriminals can intercept your emails to steal work-related secrets. Also, emails contribute to creating your digital footprint.

We'll give you some alternatives to popular email services. The secure services in this list provide end-to-end encryption, don't track your activities, and will strengthen the security and privacy of your communication.


ProtonMail

ProtonMail is one of the most secure email services out there. All the messages are automatically end-to-end encrypted which take out the risk of your emails to be intercepted. Not even ProtonMail has the ability to decrypt your emails, making it impossible for them to share your data with third-parties. The encrypted emails are stored on Swiss servers, the provider being under Switzerland jurisdiction, meaning your user data is protected by rigid data privacy laws. It also gives you the ability to create an anonymous email as they don't require any identifiable information.

Features

  • Emails are encrypted and stored on Swiss servers
  • Under Switzerland jurisdiction
  • Doesn't require identifiable information to create an account
  • Provides apps for mobile devices
  • The ability to import emails and contacts through bridge feature
  • It is compatible with other email providers
  • Self-destructing messages
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Based on open-source code

Cons

  • Doesn't encrypt subject lines

Pricing: Free basic account for up to 500MB storage / Paid account starting at $4 / month


Tutanota

Tutanota is a secure email service located in Germany. Emails sent between Tutanostra accounts are automatically encrypted, while also having the ability to send encrypted messages to non Tutanota users using symmetrical encryption. For encryption, they use their own encryption standard combining AES 128-bit and RSA 2048-bit. Tutanota is also open source so any security expert can check its code for flaws. As a bonus, their offer also provides an encrypted calendar that's free to use.

Features

  • Everything gets encrypted, including subject lines
  • Strips down IP addresses
  • Free of advertisements
  • Doesn't require identifiable information to create an account
  • Provides apps for mobile devices
  • Free encrypted calendar
  • Supports two-factor authentication
  • It's open-source

Cons

  • You can't import emails (they plan on adding this feature)

Pricing: Free for up to 1 GB storage / Premium subscription starting at $14 / Month


Mailfence

Mailfence's principle is "Privacy is a right, not a feature". Because they value users' privacy, they don't track your in-app activity and don't use any third-party advertising or marketing tracking. Your emails are end-to-end encrypted so no one else can read them, not even Mailfence. They are based in Belgium, where user privacy is highly protected by law.

Features

  • Emails are encrypted by default
  • Under Belgium jurisdiction
  • No in-app activity tracking
  • No third-party advertising or marketing trackers
  • They don't share your information with third-parties
  • Includes a calendar
  • The ability to import your contacts and creating groups
  • The ability to create digital signatures
  • Supports custom domains
  • Supports two-factor authentication

Cons

  • There aren't apps for mobile phones
  • It's not open source
  • They require you to provide an external email address when registering
  • They log IP addresses, message-ids, sender and recipient addresses, subjects, browser versions, countries, and timestamps

Pricing: Free account with up to 500 MB storage / Paid subscription starting at $3 / Month


Countermail

Contermail is a Sweden based email service provider designed to offer maximum security and privacy to its users. It uses the OpenPGP encryption protocol with a 4096-bit encryption key and has strong protection against Man-In-The-Middle attacks. Their pricing plans are higher than other providers, but they explain it's because of the extra use of resources to provide higher security.

Features

  • End-to-end encryption
  • Anonymous email headers
  • No IP logging
  • Email data (body and attachments) are stored in encrypted form
  • No tracking cookies and no sharing data to third-parties
  • Ability to use own domain name
  • Built-in password manager

Cons

  • More expensive than other email service alternatives

Pricing: Starting at $4.83 / Month with a 7-days free trial


Runbox

Runbox is a secure email service located in Norway that prioritizes users' data privacy and security. Operating under Norwegian jurisdiction means personal data must be kept confidential unless it's required by law. Any email you send and receive is encrypted whilst it is transferred. When exchanging emails with other email services, your email will be encrypted if the recipient uses an email service that accepts secure connections. They also provide easy migration tools to import data from your other email services.

Features

  • Compatible with other email clients
  • Intuitive webmail design interface
  • Easy to import emails and contact lists
  • Anti-spam and anti-virus filters
  • Allows custom domains
  • They'll be launching Runbox 7 which will introduce new features

Cons

  • No dedicated mobile apps
  • To make sure your emails are encrypted, you must use PGP or S/MIME

Pricing: Starting at $1.66 /Month with a 30 days free trial


Posteo

Posteo is an email service based in Berlin that's concerned with security, privacy, and usability. They use modern encryption technologies so you can communicate more securely. You can encrypt all the email data in your account, including email headers, subject lines, senders and recipients, and timestamps with the click of a button. You also have the ability to encrypt the calendar and address book data. They don't log any user data and you can either pay anonymously for your subscription.

Features

  • Encrypts emails along with headers, subjects, metadata, and attachments
  • The IP addresses are stripped down
  • Doesn't require personal information during signup
  • You can pay anonymously
  • The calendar and address book is encrypted
  • Integrates external email accounts
  • They don't use tracking tools
  • No advertising
  • It's open-source

Cons

  • They don't allow custom domains

Pricing: Starting at $1 / Month


Kolab Now

Kolab Now is another email service based in Switzerland. It's best suited for businesses because it offers a variety of features besides emails such as calendar, contacts, scheduling and collaboration tools, and cloud storage. While Kolab Now does great in terms of privacy and security because it strongly protects your private data, it doesn't provide built-in end-to-end encryption and the emails are not stored in encryption form.

Features

  • Based in Switzerland
  • Ad-free
  • Provides a variety of features (calendar, contacts, tasks, notes)
  • Collaboration and teamwork made easy (scheduling, sharing and resource management tools)
  • Secure cloud storage
  • Native client for desktop
  • It's open-source

Cons

  • Doesn't provide built-in end-to-end encryption
  • Emails are not stored encrypted (even though, they are stored on highly secure Swiss servers)

Pricing: Starting at $4.45 / Month


Mailbox

Mailbox is another German based secure email service run by experts with decades of background in online security and privacy. Private information about users, IP addresses or software clients is anonymized. They don't analyze the content of your emails for no reason and the data is not shared with any third-party. Mailbox supports TLS check, which means it reveals if an email will be sent over encrypted connections before it is actually sent.

Features

  • Based in Germany
  • Ad-free
  • Allows creating anonymous accounts
  • Allows anonymous payments
  • Can use Mailbox with other email clients
  • Uses state-of-the-art encryption technologies
  • Extra features such as cloud storage, calendar, task planner, etc.
  • Strong filters for spam and viruses
  • It's open-source

Cons

  • Doesn't have dedicated mobile apps

Pricing: Starting at $1 / Month with a free 30 days trial


StartMail

StartMail is a secure email service which makes it easy to protect yourself from intrusion and mass surveillance. They are based in the Netherlands where privacy laws and regulations are among the strictest in the world. They do process information such as IP address, browser used, country, date, time, visited pages on their website, but this data is deleted or anonymized after each session. You can access it from the webmail interface but it's also compatible with other email clients.

Features

  • They only use non-tracking cookies
  • It's ad-free
  • Based in the Netherlands
  • The ability to create disposable emails
  • Allows custom domains
  • State-of-the-art security measures to protect your data
  • Fully transparent about which data they process and why

Cons

  • It's not open source
  • They don't have custom mobile apps

Pricing: $59.95 / year for personal use with a free 30 days trial

You can also check out our guide going through the most secure messaging apps to protect you communication even further.

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