While many internet users go with the Gmail option, it should come as no surprise that it is not secure. They have been caught granting 3rd parties full access to user accounts. At the same time, other providers like Yahoo and AOL allow advertisers to scan accounts to “identify and segment potential customers by picking up on contextual buying signals, and past purchases”. If you have heard or the PRISM program, it gives US surveillance agencies unilateral access to perform extensive and in-depth surveillance. If you are using a “free” email provider, remember that you are probably the product. Of course, the way around this issue is to switch to a different one.
Which is the Best?
The answer to this question is subjective. Not all services will be best for everyone. However, there are a few things you need to consider when switching.
- Location – Where is the company located, the data stored, and how does that affect your privacy?
- Importability – Do you have the ability to import your existing emails/contacts?
- Encryption – Does the company have end-to-end encryption including attachments?
- Privacy – What data is being collected, for how long, and why from the email service.
- Security – What are the provider’s security standards.
- Email Apps – Many secured services cannot be used with 3rd party email clients, but some have dedicated apps.
- Features – Check to see if the service offers contacts, calendars, file storage, inbox search, collaboration tools, and support for DAV services.
- Threat Model – How well does the service match up with your privacy and security needs?
After you are done considering those factors, you can begin to look at some of the best secure email services to help you make a decision.
- Protonmail – This Swiss-based company offers you several different types of accounts. With the basic account, you get support for a custom domain, email filters, and 5 GB of space. Additionally, you get an auto-responder and an encrypted calendar.
- Tutanota – This German-based company offers 1gb for free, but then offers up to 20 GB of storage for 1 Euro a month. It is run by a small team of privacy enthusiasts in Germany, has one of the highest levels of email security, and still manages to remain user-friendly with good features. Unfortunately, there is no option to import emails, though it is in development.
- Mailfence – Based in Belgium, they allow up to 20 GB of storage for 2.50 Euros a month and the first 500 MB is free. This one has some great features, but it logs “IP addresses, message-ID’s, sender and recipient addresses, subjects, browser versions, countries and timestamps”
- Posteo – Another German-based company that allows you to have up to 20 GB for 1 Euro a month. It is completely open-source but lacks the ability to have custom domains or a spam folder.
- Startmail – This company is based in the Netherlands, and like everyone else offers you up to 20 GB of space. Unfortunately, it is more than the other services at $5 a month, USD. There are no customizable apps, it is not open source, and the interface is dated.
- Runbox – This offering is a Norwegian based company. You can get up to 25 GB of space for $1.66 a month. They place a high emphasis on privacy and security, and all emails are stored in a high-security data center in Norway. Unfortunately, end-to-end encryption is not built-in.
Even though there are other options than the ones we listed above, these are effectively the top 5 best secure email services. Share this post with your friends so they can find out the best secure email service to meet their needs. Follow us @VPNFan for the latest deals and guides.