Despite the tremendous advancement in the development of instant messaging apps and other social media apps, email services still take top priority as a communication tool in society. To this effect, more than 280 million email messages are sent and received daily.
The majority of the world population enjoy free email services from some of the most popular email providers, like Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail. It is perfectly OK to enjoy free email services without realizing how much of our messages are spied upon by security agencies.
Email security came into question in 2013 when Edward Snowden, NSA system analyst, reveals the extent to which email services are compromised by email services providers and the US government.
Edward Snowden’s revelations created the need for secure email services with security measures to prevent email compromise. Thus, email services offering users more security features and protection from the prying eyes of the government began springing up.
Most Secure email service providers for email communication
ProtonMail is one of the first secure email services to commence operation. This was after Snowden’s revelations ushered in a new era of reality concerning email security.
ProtonMail was founded by a group of scientists in 2013 to protect users’ privacy while online.
Key features of ProtonMail
- Server location: ProtonMail servers are located in Switzerland, a country with a strong privacy protection policy. This ensures that users’ data are not compromised in any way.
- End-to-end encryption: ProtonMail provides end-to-end encryption for all incoming and outgoing mails. Proton’s end-to-end encryption protocols ensure that third-parties do not have access to emails to or from ProtonMail users.
- Anonymity: ProtonMail policy does not require that you provide personal information before signing up for ProtonMail. This makes you an anonymous user. Also, ProtonMail does not keep IP logs, which can be traced back to you.
- Open Source: ProtonMail operates an open source code.
- Simple User Interface: ProtonMail has an easy to use interface compatible with web, Android, iOS, and Mac platforms.
- Free basic email
- The basic email has limited cloud storage of 500MB
- Expensive premium services
Tutanota is one of the most secure email services also concerned with the security and privacy of users. Tutanota uses the 2048-bit RSA in combination with the 128-bit AES encryption to ensure that users enjoy maximal privacy protection.
Besides, Tutanota is a German-based email services provider with servers located in well-protected data centers in Germany, which is a country with one of the strictest privacy protection laws.
Key features of Tutanota
- 2FA verification ensures that only you have access to your email.
- End-to-end encryption ensures that email messages sent and received are not decrypted.
- Open source code ensures that security experts validate the Tutanota’s security codes.
- Available on Android, iOS, and web platforms to ensure easy accessibility.
- Ad-free email
- Anonymity: The account opening policy does not require you to fill in personal details. Also, Tutanota does not log IP addresses, and also ensures that all messages sent and received are stripped of their IP addresses.
- All of Tutanota’s users have access to encrypted integrated calendar services.
- Users can enjoy a free basic account with 1GB cloud storage space and all the protection features. Premium subscribers have access to additional features with access to more than 1GB of cloud storage space.
- Premium services are available at $13.27 yearly, with support for up to five different usernames and an additional user.
- Storage upgrades are expensive
Mailfence is a secured mail service created by ContactOffice, in the aftermath of Snowden’s revelations. Mailfence has its servers in Belgium, which is another European country with strict privacy protection laws.
Top features of Mailfence
- Access to Calendars, Contacts, and secure documents storage.
- Free accounts have access to 500Mb cloud storage space and another 500Mb cloud storage for documents.
- Payment for premium services can be made with Bitcoin
- End-to-end encryption protocol
- 2FA verification to prevent unauthorized access.
- Mailfence does not have a mobile app.
- It does not operate an open-source code.
CounterMail, like other secured mail services, has its servers located in Sweden, a European country with strong privacy protection laws.
CounterMail services is a mail service designed with simplicity in mind. CounterMail offers one of the most robust privacy and security features in combination with a simple graphical user interface.
Top features of CounterMail
- Diskless servers with no capacity to hold information
- Strong MITM protection to protect against Man-in-the-Middle attacks
- Anonymous email headers
- Compatible with Android OS.
- CounterMail USB key for additional mail security
- A yearly subscription of $79
- 100% transparency
- CounterMail services are expensive when compared with other secure mail services
- old user-interface design
Hushmail is a reliable mail service with servers located in Canada, which is a country not considered as an ideal location for hosting mail servers.
Canada’s privacy protection laws are considered outdated because they do not reflect the rapid technological advancements happening across the world.
Hushmail offers secure email services with a simple interface, robust security, and privacy features.
Top features of Husmail
- OpenPGP encryption
- HIPAA compliant web service
- End-to-end encryption
- Easy-to-use interface
- Servers based in Canada
- It is not compatible with Mac OS.
Runbox provides secure email with integrated services like domain and web hosting services. Its servers are located in Norway, a country also known for its strong privacy protection policies. Runbox has robust end-to-end encryption that protects emails from all forms of surveillance. With an additional feature that makes it easy for you to migrate your email from other services.
Top features of Runbox
- You can access Runbox from any clients via POP, SMTP, IMAP, etc.
- Use your domain name.
- You get to enjoy ad-free email services with virus filtering.
- Lowest plans start from $16.49 with 1Gb cloud storage space for email and 100Mb for documents.
- No free email services.
Posteo is another German-based email service with an innovative encryption model.
Top features of Posteo
- You can migrate your services from other email accounts
- Anonymous payment
- Open source code
- 2FA verification
- TLS-encrypted access and end-to-end encryption
- Virus and Spam filter
When choosing a secured mail account, you must consider three major factors. Their encryption methods, server locations, and means of financing their operations.
Also, it is preferable to choose email services with servers outside of the US and the UK. This is because EU countries are known for their strong privacy protection laws that ensure users’ data are protected from government intervention.
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