Today most of us spend hours online and our email accounts become our prime digital identity with lots of services like Amazon, PayPal, Twitter and more linked to our email address. This makes our email the most important target for hackers. To keep your personal details safe, it’s time to switch to an email provider that truly keeps your emails confidential and protects your private data!
With numerous private email services available, it can be challenging to choose the best one. In this article, we explore ten of the best private email services. The top private email services – whether free or paid – must offer robust encryption, privacy-focused features, and reliable platforms for your email needs. Let's find out which is best to create a private email address with!
Your emails are not as private as you believe, particularly if you are using one of these email platforms: Gmail, Outlook (formerly Hotmail), Yahoo Mail, or GMX. These free email providers are known for scanning your entire mailbox to create a profile on you and post targeted ads. Gmail goes so far as to track everything you ever bought via email receipts received in your Googlemail inbox.
Fortunately, you can take back your data with encrypted email providers. These services are also free, some operate on a subscription based model, but the best of all: by using encrypted email no third party can read your emails; they stay absolutely private and confidential!
Check out this list of 10 best private email providers to keep your emails confidential and secure:
No. 1 Tuta Mail: easy-to-use and fast email service that encrypts the most data, uses zero Google integrations & has unlimited custom domain email addresses. Tuta is also the only private email service that lets you register with a four-letter com domain: tuta - com.
No. 2 Proton Mail: popular private email service with more focus on convenience than maximum privacy with limited free plan and expansive paid plans.
No. 3 Mailfence: Good private email service with encryption, located in Brussels.
No. 4 Mailbox.org: Paid secure email made in Germany with office tools built on third-party tech.
No. 5 Zoho Mail: Less privacy-focused email and office suit, developed in India.
No. 6 Posteo: Paid private email made in Germany that does not offer custom domains and focuses on protecting users’ anonymity.
No. 7 Hushmail: Private email for healthcare and law professionals, not popular among private users.
No. 8 Thexyz: Email and custom domain hosting from a privacy-focused service, based in Canada.
No. 9 Private-Mail: This is a web-based business email hosting solution with a focus on privacy.
No. 10: Librem Mail: Private email built by the team of Purism.
Many of these private email providers are paid service. If you are looking for the best free email account check out this comparison.
You already know that Gmail is not private, but what's the best free alternative?
If you’ve been using Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo Mail, your emails are not as private as they should be. More steps are needed to keep your email truly confidential: end-to-end encryption, no-log policies of IP addresses, sign-up without a phone number, no loading of external content are just some features that private email providers offer. In this guide we present the ten best private email services and how they differ. After reading it, you’ll be able to create the best secure email address and keep your data secure and confidential!
More and more people and businesses consider data privacy and security a basic necessity, no longer just a nice-to-have. Microsoft, Google and Apple offer email services that are so widely used and have been on the market for so long, that many people consider them the “default” email services. But security experts have been warning about the risks of using these legacy services that were never meant to prioritize your security or privacy.
As people become aware of the risks associated with using big tech email programs, the demand for secure and private alternatives is on the rise. Out of all the companies currently offering private email alternatives to Big Tech, Proton Mail and Tuta Mail stand out from the crowd.
Tuta is private email by default with a clear focus on encryption and zero user tracking.
Tutanota was launched in 2014 with a dedicated mission to promote privacy worldwide. The team’s commitment to put privacy first has influenced strategic decisions that involve extensive efforts, such as building a Google-independent push notification system for Android instead – while other private email providers rely on Google Push.
In the long term, this strategy yields significant benefits. Tuta has gained widespread recognition as the leading secure email service that prioritizes privacy, eliminates tracking, and encrypts the most data. For instance, Tuta goes beyond encrypting just email content and attachments, but also email subject lines and calendar event reminders. This unparalleled level of security sets the confidential email service apart from competitors, underlining its reputation as pioneers in innovative encryption and post-quantum security.
Tuta truly prioritizes the protection of your privacy and security, and never takes shortcuts or prioritizes profits if it meant compromising privacy or security aspects. Furthermore, as an independent team, the development of Tuta is not influenced by external investors or shareholders.
At Tuta, the objective is to ensure that security and privacy are accessible to everyone. This is why the encryption process is seamlessly integrated into the email clients and takes place in the background, enabling you to utilize Tuta with the same ease as any other email service.
The Tuta email app asks for very few permissions to keep your level of privacy to a maximum. Every component of the email clients have been 100% open source since first launch. With Tuta, you can create your email address without a phone number or any other personal information; there's no logging and you can check your sessions for shady login attempts.
Tuta owns its servers and infrastructure and powers it with 100% renewable electricity.
Fully encrypted Tuta accounts can be easily decrypted with a simple login – secured with a password and optionally with two-factor authentication via TOTP or U2F hardware keys. Tuta is available from any browser, or via its open source mobile apps for Android and iOS or open source desktop clients for Linux, Windows and macOS.
The free account offers 1 GB of storage while the cheapest paid plan has 20 GB for 3 euros per month. Tuta offers excellent value for both free email accounts and paid subscriptions, providing a wide range of features at no cost and the most affordable pricing for premium plans. With a free account, you can enjoy numerous features, while the paid subscriptions offer even more benefits, including custom domain support, unlimited email addresses with your own domain, unlimited inbox rules, unlimited fully encrypted calendars and an option for a whitelabel version to brand Tuta in your company’s design.
All of these facts make Tuta one of the best private email and calendar services.
Proton is another secure email service that focuses on privacy, although more expensive and more limited in the free version. ProtonMail's Swiss-based servers, just like Tuta's servers in Germany, are protected by strict privacy laws. Proton though has secondary offices in the US, one of the Five Eyes countries.
Like Tuta, Proton Mail uses end-to-end encryption for all emails, and enables users to send password-encrypted emails to recipients that don’t have an address registered with an encrypted email provider. One major differentiation is that in Tuta external recipients can access the entire email thread via the shared password while recipients of encrypted messages from Proton are limited to just seeing one message per login.
ProtonMail uses PGP encryption, which lacks important requirements that Tuta is able to fix. Tuta encrypts not just bodies and attachments of emails, but also the subject line, which can contain very sensitive information. Additionally, the encryption protocols used in Tuta makes it possible upgrade to new algorithms for post-quantum security and add support for Prefect Forward Secrecy.
Tuta and ProtonMail both prioritize user security and privacy over profits, unlike older generation email services like Gmail and Outlook. However Proton Mail leaks confidential information to Google, for instance by using Google’s Push Notification Service. People choose to create email addresses with Tuta and Proton to enhance their privacy and get rid of Big Tech.
ProtonMail also offers open source mobile clients which means that anyone can inspect the code and ensure there are no backdoors, but Proton does not have its own desktop email clients for Linux, macOS and Windows. Instead, Proton has built a so called "bridge" only available to paying users. However, this bridge is not the most secure solution, because when in use all data is stored unencrypted in a third party email client like Outlook or Thunderbird.
Additionally, IMAP and SMTP are not the most efficient protocols especially when it comes to push notifications or to attachments of emails (which are encoded into the email body).
Proton Free comes with 500 MB of storage (can be increased to 1 GB) and the cheapest paid plan has 15 GB of storage and costs 3.99€/month. ProtonMail business plans also include a subscription to ProtonVPN and the company also has a cloud storage solution, ProtonDrive, in addition to its private email offering.
Mailfence is a privacy-oriented email service with contacts, calendar, documents, and secure online collaboration. It is based in Belgium, and like Germany where Tuta is based all requests for user data requires must go through a court. The encrypted email service aims at privacy-conscious individuals and businesses, but is less popular than Proton and Tuta.
Mailfence relies on OpenPGP for its email encryption, similar to Proton, which is the most widely used email encryption standard, but lacks important security features like encrypting the subject line and Perfect Forward Secrecy – issues that Tuta is tackling with its encryption implementation. When using end-to-end encryption, people can be sure the nobody can read their private correspondence. Mailfence offers web-based email, but it also has mobile apps, though the Android app is only installed by 500+ users.
The free plan comes with 500 MB of email storage and 500 MB of file storage while the cheapest paid plan costs 3.50€ per month and includes 10 GB of email and 30 GB of file storage. Mailfence supports two-factor authentication (2FA) (though hardware keys like U2F – the most secure way for 2FA are not supported), custom email domains as well as POP, SMTP, and IMAP access.
Mailbox.org is a secure email service from Germany that aims at keeping your conversations confidential. Mailbox says on its website it is "secure e-mail for private and business customers”, offering secure email as well as online office, cloud storage, video conferencing and other productivity tools like spreadsheets and presentations.
Mailbox wants to offer top-notch security in a convenient manner and for that has implemented PGP encryption that is easier to use than when you set up PGP yourself in the Thunderbird or Outlook desktop client. When emails are encrypted with PGP, only you hold the privacy key so that no one – not even the email provider – can view your emails. This prevents man-in-the-middle attacks. Like other private email services, Mailbox removes IP addresses from emails sent and logs as little information as possible.
Mailbox does not have its own apps, but support Pop and IMAP so that you can use it in third-party clients and apps.
Like many other secure email providers, Mailbox uses use third-party tech like Dovecot, Roundcube and others to build their own products. Every time a so called secure service uses third-party applications, it becomes more difficult to secure said service. The reason is simple: Every service included in the code executes code. Any services' security can't get better than that of its dependencies. Every dependency to third party code must be maintained and security updates need to be applied immediately. In addition, every third-party service can potentially track the users, send data to its own servers etc. Tuta, on the other hand, only uses open sourced services and checks the code for security vulnerabilities.
Mailbox does not have a free plan, but offers three paid plans: Light for 1 euro/month with 2 GB storage; this plan does not offer custom domains for individuals. Standard for 3 euros/month with 10 GB of mail and 5 GB of cloud storage and Premium for 9 euros/month with 25 GB of mail and 50 GB of cloud storage.
Zoho Mail is a reliable email service with a focus on business users and more advanced security and privacy features than Gmail our Outlook, but lagging behind Tuta and Proton in this respect.
ZohoMail's integration with other Zoho products, such as Zoho Docs and Zoho CRM, and a wide range of enterprise tools, make it a comprehensive solution for businesses.
Zoho’s applications are closed-source and rely on integrations with closed-source third-party tools that don’t prioritize your privacy and security. Being closed source means that no one can check whether the code is actually doing what Zoho promises; thus, a backdoor could be included in the code without anyone noticing.
Zoho’s data centers are distributed across the US, Europe, China, India and Australia, which makes it available to some of the worst surveillance programs in the world. For instance, the EU and the USA just agreed on a new data sharing agreement Data Privacy Framework, which is heavily criticized as it allows tech companies like Zoho to store data of EU citizens in the US where it is at risk of NSA mass surveillance orders.
In terms of encryption protocols, Zoho encrypts your emails at rest but does not encrypt all your data end-to-end. Zoho Mail uses TLS for all communications from POP/IMAP/SMTP clients to their servers. For an optional end-to-end encryption of messages Zoho uses S/MIME. In May 2018, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced critical vulnerabilities in S/MIME, together with an obsolete form of OpenPGP that is still used in many email clients. Dubbed EFAIL, the vulnerability required significant coordinated effort by many email client vendors to fix this vulnerability. However, to date, it is not clear whether all email services actually did fix the issue.
ZohoMail offers the option to use standard mail clients via IMAP/Pop (except with their free accounts), but emails stored in these mail clients would be stored in plain text (unless you encrypt your local hard drive yourself).
Zoho starts with Mail Lite at 0,90 euros/month with 5 GB of storage, then is offers Mail Premium for 3,60 euros/month with 50 GB of storage as well as business plans for professional email use.
ZohoMail doesn't have security measures like a no-log policy or no third-party captcha and, thus, can not be considered as truly private.
Posteo says it is green, private email. The service from Germany does no offer custom domains as it wants its users to remain anonymous. That’s also why Posteo allows people to pay with cash as it does not have free accounts.
Posteo enables users to encrypt their mailbox easily, but it does not automatically encrypt emails.
Posteo is a basic email service aimed at individuals who can get a posteo email address with 2 GB of storage for 1 euro per month. It is a solid choice for personal use.
Hushmail is a Canada-based secure email service that used to be quite popular among healthcare and law professionals for keeping digital conversations confidential. However, the service is no longer innovating in the security sphere and hence has lost market share in recent years.
Hushmail is a good choice for professional use if HIPAA-compliance is required.
Thexyz is another Canada-based email provider. In addition to private email, it also lets you register your own domain. This way you do not need to purchase a custom domain form a different domain provider than your email hosting service. Like other encrypted email service, Thexyz uses open-source encryption standards like AES and OpenPGP and offers two-factor authentication as well as advanced spam filtering. However advanced spam filtering costs an extra of 24.95 USD per domain for six months. The service allows you to create +-addresses as well as email alias addresses.
The starter price for is 2.92 USD per month for 25 GB of mailbox storage.
Private-Mail is an email service powered by Open Exchange, the self-called “leader in open email platforms”. The goal of Private-Mail is to offer a simple and secure web-based email hosting wrapped in a fast, lightweight interface. The service also includes contacts and calendars in all plans, and has a 60 day trial period for free.
Private-Mail encrypts your emails with PGP to protect them from prying eyes.
Librem Mail is a private email service that focuses on open source. When using PureOS by the Purism team you can set up your Librem Mail account in an email client like Thunderbird. The email address will end in @librem.one.
Like other private email solutions Librem Mail uses OpenPGP for seamless email encryption. All of Librem’s apps are open source, but the Librem Mail Android app has not seen an update since 2020 in the Google Play Store. The Purism team also offers Librem Chat for encrypted chat and calls, Librem Social and Librem Tunnel, a VPN service to enable private browsing.
The suit consisting of mail, chat, social and VPN costs USD 7.99 per month for personal use or USD 14.99 per month for a family.
When it comes to confidential email providers, TutaMail leads the field with maximum encryption, zero tracking and zero Google integrations. You can create a private email account within seconds and without giving away your phone number; Tuta is easy-to-use and beginner friendly. ProtonMail is a close follow-up, but does use Google integrations, which is a clear sign that privacy is not ultimate priority to the Proton team and its strategical decisions.
Both Tuta and Proton allow you to send encrypted messages to anyone with Tuta's system being better thought out as the external recipient can access the entire message thread with one login while Proton’s recipients will always only see one message per login. Both offer *mobile apps which makes the encrypted mailbox accessible wherever you are.
The other services are also okay when it comes to protecting your privacy, but lack either in encryption (only parts of the data is encrypted), or are based in one of the Five Eyes nations.
Tuta's end-to-end encryption and user-friendly apps make it an excellent choice for individuals and businesses alike who are looking for a new, private email address.
If you're looking for more in-depth information, check out our email comparison section to help you choose the service that aligns best with your needs and priorities for private email.
Remember it's critical to protect your online privacy and data security by opting for a private email service. By creating an email address with the best private email service, you can enjoy a secure and confidential communication experience.
Create a free, private email address now and make sure that your communication stays secure!
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