Two Free Encrypted Email Services You Might Want to Use

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Encrypted emailMost popular email services don't offer a high level of security. These two free email providers offer secure email with built-in encryption.

An encrypted, secure email service isn't for everyone - they don't mesh with services like Google or Zoho that let you do multiple tasks across platforms. They do one thing well, and that's send and receive secure, encrypted email. There are many good reasons you might want to use an encrypted email service:

  • You enjoy your privacy
  • No personal information is required to use these services
  • No ISP has access to your email
  • It's difficult for email accounts to be compromised
  • There's (presumably) no governmental access to your email

While there are several good, low cost encrypted email services available, these are two have all the basic services you need for free, with additional paid or premium features. I've used both services for some months now and haven't had any issues with either of them. They are both good, and I've outlined the basics of each service below.

ProtonMail
Location: Switzerland
Free plan: 150 messages per day, 500 MB storage
Availability: Webmail access, iOS, Android. Currently, mobile apps are paid apps.
Log in: User name plus two passwords - one for signing in and a different one that decrypts the mailbox
Languages: Multiple, see site
What's encrypted: Contacts and all mails including subject, content and attachments
What's visible to ProtonMail: Zero access - your data is encrypted in a way that makes it inaccessible to the company
Sending email to other providers: If sending an encrypted message to a non-ProtonMail user, they receive a link which loads the encrypted message onto their browser, which they can decrypt using a passphrase that you have shared with them. You can also send unencrypted messages to Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook and others, just like regular email. Note that unencrypted email can be viewed by anyone who has access to that email service. For example, if you send an unencrypted email to someone at a gmail address, anyone who has access to that gmail account can see any email you've sent to that account.
Notable feature: Self destructing messages

ProtonMail

Tutanota
Location: Germany
Free plan: Tutanota webmail offers 1 GB of free storage for private users.
Availability: Webmail access, iOS, Android, and amazon.com. Currently, mobile and amazon apps are free
Log in: Tutanota email address and password
Languages: Multiple, see site
What's encrypted: Contacts and all mails including subject, content and attachments
What's visible to Tutanota: metadata of email sender, recipient, and date of email
Sending email to other providers: A notification is sent with a link to a temporary Tutanota account. After entering a previously exchanged password, the recipient can read the message and reply end-to-end encrypted.
Notable feature: Spam filters

Tutanota

One thing to be aware of is that neither of these services will import existing email from any other email program or service. ProtonMail will upload and download contacts, while Tutanota doesn't have that option right now. Tutanota does have an excellent FAQ and how-to section, while ProtonMail has good but not as extensive information. Both sites are easy to navigate.
Either of these services should work for anyone looking for a secure email service. Both offer a wide variety of customization options and settings, though they do differ in some features. Look around at both and see which one suits you best.


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Comments

You write:
No ISP does not have access to your email
Do you mean:
No ISP has any access to your email
?

Thanks for pointing that out, I've corrected it. Sometimes no matter how carefully you check something or how many times you proof read something, things still slide right by. :)

I'm not clear on what you're saying. Are you saying that both services turned your free accounts in to paid account and gave you a few days notice, and that you lost emails as a result?

They stopped free email accounts and I didn't want to be a paid user. They simply deleted my accounts when I couldn't back up the data during the given period. Net facility and computers were rare then, at least in the country I stay in.

These two appear to be half-hearted largess. I lost 2 email id's of xxxxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxx when they made them paid services, after giving a few days' notices.

Thanks rhiannon,

So far.....I've NEVER had that with Proton mail and I've had a couple of accounts since day one.
Created an account at Tutanota.. nice find.
@There's a dark theme for it at userstyles.

Thanks for the userstyles tip, I'll check it out. :)

Here you go..

https://userstyles.org/styles/141594/tutanota-dark

Thanks bunches!