5 Most Secure Email Providers for 2021
With the world going digital and seemingly ‘net-neutral’, privacy and security are becoming more important concerns than usability. From secure browsers to efficient antivirus programs, privacy-conscious tech enthusiasts now want email providers that promise to provide end-to-end email encryption. If you are ready to prioritize safety and privacy and switch from Gmail, here’s the much-needed list of the most secure email providers you should try in 2021.
List of The Most Secure Email Providers
Tutanota tops our list of secure email providers because it offers end-to-end encryption of emails and subject lines. It is based in Germany, a land that has strict data handling laws. It is created on open-source technology, thus security experts can scrutinize the code whenever they wish to. Plus, it claims to provide zero-knowledge emails, notifications and calendar events, which means that only you, the meeting attendee and the recipient can access the information in the email. Nobody else, be it the staff members, quality assurance engineers or auditors can decrypt the data exchanged via email or stored locally on the server. But what distinguishes Tutanota from ProtonMail (our second recommendation in the list)?
- Tutanota offers 2Factor Authentication, ProtonMail does not.
- Tutanota encrypts subject lines, ProtonMail does not.
- ProtonMail offers self-destructing emails, Tuanota does not.
The company delivers security in the email process and promises to ‘add’ usability features regularly. According to the official website, the developers have already started working on Post-Quantum Secure Encryption, and want to implement it ahead of government agencies that are planning to use the same technology to decrypt emails. The company offers apps for all major platforms: Android, iOS, Desktop, and web versions. Tutanota has two different price bands known as private and business. The basic plan in ‘private’ is free offering 1 GB storage. An upgrade is only €1.20/month. Business accounts with Tutanota are not free.
Protonmail seconds in our secure email providers list thanks to its end-to-end email encryption and self-destructing emails. Its server is based in Switzerland. The email provider claims to utilize the most advanced encryption standards with which not even the in-house staff can decrypt. The company does not log IP, which means ProtonMail does not have any part of your digital identity or footprints.
The platform is based on open-source technology, created by scientists and developers who have a mission to protect public liberty. Users can further set expiration dates to outgoing emails. The feature destroys the email and deletes it from the recipient’s mailbox right on the date set by the sender. Users don’t have to provide sensitive information while signing up, but they are required to follow an SMS verification process. While email bodies are fully protected and private, subject lines on ProtonMail are not encrypted.
Protonmail’s basic email account is free, which of course has a limit over storage space (500 MB) and only 150 emails per day with no custom domain. The premium plans of ProtonMail start from as low as €4/month, but there are different tier-bands: plus, professional and visionary.
Mailbox.org, based in Germany, is a private email service provider that does not ask for your personal data during the sign-up process. You will only be asked to provide a phone number or recovery email address in case you have forgotten the password. It offers great security features: you can set filters which will notify you before sending an email to a recipient who does not use a secure email platform. You can also choose to send normal or encrypted emails, which can be considered a blessing or an email nightmare, depending upon the content of your email. The email provider keeps updating the platform for security and the developers are planning to deliver more benefits.
When you sign-up, you also get access to cloud storage space and a text editor, while the quality and quantity of these services do depend upon your package. Mailbox.org, more suitable for professionals and business users, does not have a free plan, and the basic starts from €1/month offering 100 MB cloud storage and 2GB email storage.
Zoho has data centers all around the world and the website does show a map with top locations being Ireland, Netherlands, USA, China and Australia. It also offers end-to-end encryption for all the data in emails whether they are resting in the cloud storage space or are in transit to other recipients. Zoho has a method to notify about the security and encryption levels of incoming emails; in case the email is coming from a not-so-secure platform, Zoho will mark it as Plain. It also promises to protect user privacy and has strict codes of data handling, whereby only the sender and the intended receiver can decrypt and read the email: nobody else on the server or in the loop can do so. Their privacy and security vision can be trusted considering the compliance certificates available on their official website.
The starting plan, called Mail Lite is worth $1/month offering 5GB storage space. Users can enjoy multiple domains with a single account, use other email clients of their choice with the emails still secure with IMAP/POP protocols. All plans have calendars and bookmark options. Zoho Mail too has apps for Android and iOS devices.
Privatemail offers end-to-end 256-bit email encryption and secure cloud storage space with all of its plans. It is a mid-level secure email provider more suitable for professionals who are ready to trade off some level of safety against an efficient email calendar and highly secure file sharing. Privatemail also offers a self-destructing email option and strong synchronization between the email platform and device. The email provider has developed a dedicated desktop version along with apps for Android and iOS devices. It’s basic, also bestseller plan is worth $8.95/month offering 100GB each for cloud and email storage.
Its main server is located in the USA, which means you can expect the top-notch quality of services and high-speed email deliveries. Being located in the USA does make its privacy promise somehow questionable, if not entirely objectionable. ISPs and certain tech companies are legally bound to log user activity. Privatemail, however, has never been part of any such scandals and is never caught for processing or selling users’ data. Therefore, keeping in view its high encryption standards, performance history, and usability features, it is still a good choice (in fact better than other privately funded email services) for those who prefer security over privacy and pricing.
How to choose secure email providers?
Consider these security and privacy factors before choosing an email client:
- End-to-end encryption: not all email service providers offer 256-bit encryption. Make a decision based on their security certificates, level of security, and parts of your emails they are willing to encrypt.
- Location of the datacenter: Check where the email provider’s server is located. Give a plus point to clients that are based in jurisdictions out of Five Eyes. Such countries have strict regulations about data handling.
- Advertisements: an email service provider that allows advertisements on the platform can’t offer 100% security. It is definitely processing your private information and selling to third-parties who then send personalized marketing campaigns your way!
- Secure file sharing: users share attachments in emails. If an email service claims to provide safe file-sharing, you can surely give it a try.
- Open-source technology: the email platform should be created with open-source code, allowing security auditors and privacy advocates to examine the level of security.
- Self-destructing emails: It is a rare feature which removes an email after its predetermined expiry date. Only 2-3 email providers tend to offer this feature, so it is not advisable to NOT base your buying completely on this feature.
Is email-security enough?
Security should be prioritized when choosing an email service provider. However, we recommend our audience to consider these factors too in order to make an informed decision:
- Compatibility with major platforms: desktop, Android, iOS, web browsers
- Email and cloud storage space
- Minimum and maximum attachment sizes
- Calendars, encrypted ones are better.
- Email organization: spam and search filters
Our recommendations and reviews are based on all the aforementioned factors, security features being fundamental.
Based on critical analysis, detailed examination, and continual testing, we nominate Tutanota as the best and most secure email provider for 2021. Our recommendation is based on all the security factors mentioned previous sections of the article including the pricing plans, adherence to the privacy mission and their future plans to strengthen user privacy and security. Tutanota is the best alternative to Gmail as it does not contain ads and promises to not collect, log, and use private data. It guarantees to never participate in ad programs to channel third-party marketing.
Is a secure email provider enough for a safe internet experience?
While email service providers and browsers are paramount to digital security, users need tools for added privacy and online freedom. Your emails can be anonymous, but what about your overall online presence and your digital fingerprint? To ensure an overall safe internet experience in 2021, digital experts recommend users to create a customized suite for themselves comprising a secure email service, a trusted VPN, a proactive antivirus program, an efficient device finder and a secure browser.
How can iProVPN and Secure Email Provider Tutanota help you achieve maximum online security?
While Tutanota can encrypt your email communication and protect your confidential data with 2Factor Authentication, iProVPN can mask your IP address to ensure network-level security. Similar to Tutanota, it is based in a safe jurisdiction, the British Virgin Islands, companies don’t need to log activities.
Are you ready to take the plunge and regain your online freedom and anonymity? Remember that these are your basic digital rights. The Internet is super functional because of you: only you should have the right to access your sensitive information. Take your first step to internet security and play your part in making the internet safer for everyone.
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