List of Secure Email Providers that take Privacy Serious
- ProtonMail (*) – Truly anonymous & end-to-end encrypted email
- Tutanota (*) – Truly secure email with end-to-end encryption throughout the entire mailbox
- Hushmail.com (* )- Canadian provider who has been respecting email privacy since 1999. Oldest secure email provider.
- RiseUp.net (*) – Secure offshore email provider run by non-profit organization who fights for digital freedom.
- TorGuard.net (*)
- Blur/MaskMe – Solid email masking service, not a provider.
- SendINC.com – Sends encrypted emails, not actually a provider.
- OneShar.es – Self destructing emails.
- Lavabit – Shut down as of August 2013 after Edward Snowden was found using the service and the FBI tried to spy on users.
- SilentCircle.com – Email service shut down as of August 2013. All of their other services still work.
- TorMail.org – Tor-based email service now dead after FBI server seizure.
The list of secure email providers above is a comprehensive list of privacy focused providers that has been vetted by our team of security experts. These are not big name providers or privacy-violators that can be found scattered across the front page of search engines and ads. If you don’t wish to switch email providers, we recommend you begin implementing some form of encryption, such as PGP.
Top 5 Secure Email Providers
1. Hushmail – Basic Secure Email with Privacy in Mind
One of the first-ever and longest lasting secure email providers on the market is Hushmail, whose been providing secure email since 1999. That’s right, 17 years as of the time of writing this article.
What sets Hushmail apart from other providers is that they own and operate all of their own servers, meaning your data is never sent or stored on a third-party server, it’s all in house. What is disappointing is that Hushmail still has access to users inbox, however they own their own servers, don’t scan emails, don’t datamine users, don’t snoop in others mailboxes and have easy one-click encryption!
Hushmail is packed with tons of features including automatic encryption, temporary email address, strict HTTPS and two-step verification. Through their last 17 years of service the provider has been forced by the Canadian government to turn over three users accounts, on one occasion in 2007. However Hushmail is built with the security, privacy and simplicity in mind, and it’s all free!
A huge reason we recommend Hushmail is for their tract record, 17 year veterans in email security. Often times today we will see these alleged “secure email providers” crumble after one legal request and nuke your mailbox, giving you no way to recover your email. This is something Hushmail won’t do, they are established and have designed a mailbox keeping your privacy in mind!
2. Tutanota – For All Your Encryption Needs
Another secure email provider dominating the list is Tutanota, because it’s different in the fact that the entire mailbox is encrypted, email and contacts, all end-to-end encrypted only giving you access to your data. Even when Tutanota was forced by a German court order to turn over data, they could only hand over encrypted data, and had absolutely no way of reading or decrypting such information.
Tutanota is even unique in the fact that you can send end-to-end encrypted emails to any email provider via a shared password, making the email just as private even when contacting friends, family and business partners using mainstream providers like Gmail. By default, Tutanota automatically encrypts subject, body and attachments, something PGP does not do. With Tutanota’s relentless work they are working on an encrypted calendar this year, making this a a serious provider, not someone to close shop after one law enforcement request. And best of all, they don’t log any IP addresses and even strip IP addresses from the headers of sent and received emails.
We asked one of the Tutanota co-founders what makes their secure email different, Matthias Pfau told us:
- Tutanota encrypts all data on the users device (end-to-end encryption)
- Tutanota never stores unencrypted data on their servers, everything from mail to contacts is always encrypted
- Tutanota makes encryption easy-to-use as key generation and key exchange is easily done in the background
- Tutanota never uses the private keys of their users server-side
3. Shazzlemail – Locally Hosted Email in Your Pocket, No Third-Parties
One of the most secure emails on the market today is ShazzleMail, but this is because they are doing things differently. They are putting you back in the hands of your data, and we mean that quite literally. Instead of ShazzleMail hosting your content they’ve developed a way for your to be the server, meaning you store all your data locally and nothing ever passes through ShazzleMail.
It’s quite simple, you download the ShazzleMail app on your smartphone, setup and account and your all done. However one downside to ShazzleMail is since you are the server, uptime matters. This means if you are running it on a smartphone and it happens to loose battery, technically your server is offline, and now you have no way of receiving or reading your messages. However, the upside is that all data is locally hosted and technically never has to leave your servers, or if you’re messaging a provider like Tutanota, you don’t need to worry cause its going to another secure email.
If you’re tired of not knowing where your data is being stored, give ShazzleMail a try!
4. RiseUp – For All Your High-Security Activists Needs
Another secure email service for activists and privacy-supporters if RiseUp, a Seattle-based digital collective that offers free security and anonymity tools. Born out of the need for email privacy, RiseUp provides a secure email solution with absolutely zero trackers and no censorship.
RiseUp was born and operated by a small collective of pro-privacy activists who have kept the service government free since 1999. Even after previous run-ins with law enforcement no data has ever been seized or read by any third-party or government entity.
While RiseUp offers great security they have one major downside in that it takes a support ticket and a few days to get an account. To start, you must first send in a support ticket requesting an email and telling them why you want one. You can be an activists, journalists, hacktivist or just plain privacy-lover and can easily be granted an account. After that its smooth and secure sailing!
5. Torguard – Encrypted Webmail with Privacy
Last on the list is Torguard, another secure email but this time developed by a leading VPN provider. Torguard’s anonymous email service is their latest additional to their privacy product arsenal, offering up a secure inbox. Torguard offers easy PGP email encryption, end to end security, zero advertisements and perfect forward secrecy.
While Torguard isn’t jam packed with features it serves as a pretty basic webmail with a couple of great apps and security in mind.
Optional) Blur/MaskMe – Abine, the company behind this wonderful browser plugin offers a free service known as Blur, formally known as MaskMe. The service allows you to easily mask your email address when entering it into websites. This means instead of giving a website your personal email you can mask it and Abine will give you a second email that will forward everything to your real email. This means if a website is shady, spammy or gets hacked, your real email is never in their hands, simply a masked version. And the best part is you can block these masked emails, so if the email starts getting spammed, simply block it and you won’t ever receive emails from it again. A great additional privacy tool!
After revelations uncovered that third-parties and governments have been spying on our email communications for years, the need for a secure email has never been more urgent. Privacy-conscious email providers has never been in higher demand. When you use a mainstream email provider that spies on its users, it doesn’t only hurt you, it affects everyone’s privacy. Your email address stores your interests, personal hobbies, daily activities, friends, family and thousands of other personal details, why let these big name providers take your privacy away?