Most free email account services are fine for regular use, but if you want to be extra confident that the messages you send and receive are protected, check out the email services below. These services keep emails private, secure, and encrypted.
An encrypted email account protects your privacy. If you want more anonymity, use your secure account behind a free, anonymous web proxy serveror a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service.
What We Like
Send password-protected messages to anyone.
Import CSV contact lists.
What We Don't Like
Limited search abilities.
Occasionally sluggish web interface.
Cumbersome integration with other email clients.
ProtonMail is a free, open-source, encrypted email provider based in Switzerland. It works from any computer through the ProtonMailwebsite and also through Android and iOS mobile apps.
The most important feature when talking about any encrypted email service is whether or not other people can access your messages, and the answer is a solid nowhen it comes to ProtonMail, as it features end-to-end encryption.
Nobody can decrypt ProtonMail messages without your unique password, not even employees at ProtonMail, its ISP, your ISP, or the government.
ProtonMail is so secure that it can't recover your emails if you forget your password. The decryption happens when you log in, which means the service doesn't have a means of decrypting emails without your password or a recovery account on file.
ProtonMail also doesn't keep your IP address information. With a no-log email service like ProtonMail, emails can't be traced back to you.
The free version of ProtonMail supports 1GB of email storage and limits usage to 150 messages per day.
Purchase thePlusor Unlimited service for more email storage, email aliases, priority support, labels, custom filtering options, the ability to auto-reply, built-in VPN protection, and the ability to send more emails each day. Business plans are also available for organizations.
What We Like
Doesn't keep IP address logs.
Includes Safebox, a built-in password manager.
What We Don't Like
Can't send encrypted emails to non-users.
Limited storage space.
10-day free trial period only.
If you're seriously concerned with email privacy, CounterMail offers a secure implementation of OpenPGP-encrypted email in a browser. Only encrypted emails are stored on CounterMail servers.
Additionally, the servers (which are based in Sweden) don't store emails on hard disks. All data is stored on CD-ROMs only. This method helps prevent data leaks, and the moment someone tries to tamper with the server directly, the data is likely lost.
With CounterMail, you can also set up a USB drive to further encrypt email. The decryption key is stored on the device, and it, too, is required to log in to your account. This way, decryption is impossible even if a hacker steals your password.
The added physical security of the USB device makes CounterMail less simple and convenient to use than other secure email services, but you do get IMAP and SMTP access, which you can use with any OpenPGP-enabled email program, such as K-9 Mailfor Android.
After the 10-day free trial, purchase a plan to keep using the service. The trial includes 100 MB of space.
What We Like
Supports IMAP and POP.
Optional two-step verification.
Import contacts from a CSV file.
Spam filter and auto-responder.
Includes 10 GB of storage.
What We Don't Like
No free trial.
Only available on iOS.
Can be pricey.
Hushmail is an encrypted email service that's been around since 1999. It keeps emails secure and locked behind state-of-the-art encryption methods. Not even Hushmail can read your messages; only someone with your password can do so.
With this service, you can send encrypted messages to users of Hushmail as well as non-users who have accounts with Gmail, Outlook Mail, or other similar email clients.
The web version of Hushmail is easy to use and provides a modern interface to send and receive encrypted messages from any computer.
When creating a new Hushmail account, choose from a variety of domains to use in your address, such as @hushmail.com or @hush.com.
There are several personal and business options when you sign up for Hushmail, but none are free.
What We Like
Digital email signatures prove authorship.
Supports two-factor authentication.
Includes spam blocker.
Import contacts from Outlook, CSV files, Gmail, etc.
Calendar and file storage for documents.
What We Don't Like
Limited online storage.
Requires alternative email address for activation key.
Private keys kept on Mailfence servers.
Mailfence is a security-centric email service that features end-to-end encryption to ensure nobody but you and your intended recipient can read your messages.
The service includes an email address and web interface that incorporates OpenPGP public key encryption. Create a key pair for your account and manage a store of keys for people you want to email securely.
This OpenPGP standardization means you can access Mailfence using IMAP and SMTP with secured SSL/TLS connections through the email program of your choice. You cannot use Mailfence to send encrypted messages to people who don't use OpenPGP and have no public key available.
For online storage, a free Mailfence account provides 500 MB, while paid accounts offer ample space as well as the option to use your own domain name for your Mailfence email address.
Mailfence's softwareis only available for inspection by auditing teams, academic researchers, and other reputed groups because it's notopen source, making it less secure and private.
Mailfencestores your private encryption key on Mailfence servers but insists it can't be read because it's encrypted with your passphrase (via AES-256), and there's no root key that would allow the service to decrypt messages encrypted with your keys.
Mailfence uses servers in Belgium, so it's only through a Belgian court order that the company can be forced to reveal private data.
What We Like
Apps for iOS and Android.
Includes 1 GB of storage space.
Supports spam filtering.
What We Don't Like
Alias addresses only available to paid accounts.
Doesn't support IMAP.
Can't import contacts in bulk.
Tutanota is similar to ProtonMailin its design and security level. All Tutanota emails are encrypted from the sender to the receiverand decrypted on the device. The private encryption key isn't accessible to anyone else.
This email account is all that's needed to exchange secure emails with other Tutanotausers. For encrypted emails outside the system, specify a password for the recipient to use when viewing the message in a browser. That interface allows them to reply securely, too.
The web interface is user-friendly and there's a search function so you can search for previous emails.
Tutanota usesAES and RSAfor email encryption. The servers are located in Germany, which means that German regulationsapply.
Free accounts can create an email account using a Tutanota domain, while paid plans can create custom domains. Tutanota domains are: @tutanota.com, @tutanota.de, @tutamail.com, @tuta.io, and @keemail.me.
Several features in this service are only available on paid plans. For example, the Premium edition lets you purchase up to 5 aliases, while the Teams plan expands the storage to 10 GB.
Additional Tips to Keep Email Secure and Private
If you use an email service that offers end-to-end encryption, you've taken a huge step toward making your email secure and private. To make lifeeven more difficult for hackers, here are a few more precautions:
- Beware ofkeylogging softwarethat captures what you type on the keyboard. These programs can thwart encryption if the password is all the hacker needs to access an account.
- Don't leave mobile devices or computers unguarded. Also, make sure devices are protected with strong passwords or biometrics and don't allow for guest accounts or similarly unprotected access. If supported, also add two-factor authentication.
- Be vigilant of social engineering. Phishing attempts often come by email, instant messages, VoIP,or social networking messages, and can be designed or tailored specifically to you. These communications are tricks to get you to hand out personal details such as passwords and banking information.
- Don't write down or share passwords. Never make note of the password unless you store it in a secure password manager.
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What is the safest free email account to have? ›
Gmail is the overall best email service. Outlook is good for multiple app integrations. Yahoo has good spam blocking capabilities. Zoho Mail is the best option for home businesses. AOL provides unlimited storage.Which are the five most popular email services? ›
- Gmail. Since 2004, Gmail has rapidly become the most popular email provider globally. ...
- Outlook. Outlook started as Hotmail back in 1996. ...
- AOL. ...
- Proton Mail. ...
- Zoho Mail. ...
- GMX. ...
- iCloud Mail. ...
- 8. Yahoo Mail.
- Zoho Mail for desktop and mobile business use.
- iCloud for a seamless Apple experience.
- Tutanota for secure email hosting and message encryption.
- Posteo for online anonimity.
- StartMail for unlimited disposable email addresses.
- Runbox for supporting sustainable business practices.
- Securemyemail. Best overall secure email service. ...
- ProtonMail. Most popular secure email provider. ...
- Mailbox.org. Secure email workflow for business users. ...
- Zoho Mail. Affordable email with a focus on security. ...
- Posteo. Anonymized email for activists. ...
Unless you specifically KNOW the sender of an e-mail, never, ever open an attachment. That includes PDFs, zip files, music and video files and anything referencing an unpaid invoice or accounting file (many hackers use this to get people in accounting departments to open e-mails).What email should not be used for? ›
Email is typically a form of one-way communication—meaning it does not allow for an immediate exchange of ideas like calls, in-person, or online virtual meetings do.What email service doesn t track you? ›
Email service providers like ProtonMail, Tutanota, and Mailfence don't track you and encrypt your emails. Connect to a CyberGhost VPN server before using your email account and you'll enjoy maximum anonymity and data protection.What is the most used email in USA? ›
Gmail. Gmail by Google is one of the most popular web clients for email because it's free and easy to use. In fact, Gmail accounted for 36.5% of email opens globally in 2021.Is there a better Mail than Gmail? ›
To recap, Zoho Mail and Outlook are excellent options with similar productivity tools and various integrations. However, if you're serious about the features related to secure email service and users' privacy, Mailfence, Tutanota, and ProtonMail might be better choices.
Is ProtonMail still secure? ›
Yes. End-to-end encryption is king when it comes to data protection. All data stored on Proton Mail is encrypted, so neither hackers nor ProtonMail employees can read the contents of your messages.Does anyone still use Yahoo email? ›
Gmail and Yahoo Mail (a.k.a. Yahoo! Mail a.k.a. Ymail) are two of the biggest email providers: Google's Gmail is responsible for over a third of opened emails, while Verizon-owned Yahoo Mail—despite launching in 1997—has around 225 million active users per month.What will replace Gmail? ›
- Zoho Mail.
- iCloud Mail.
Gmail has a better security record
Yahoo has the unique dishonor of having the largest discovered data breach. In two separate attacks in 2013 and 2014 (though only disclosed in 2016), hackers accessed data from all 3 billion Yahoo accounts.
How secure is Hotmail and Gmail? In terms of security, Gmail and Hotmail are two of the most secure emailing services available. While there isn't end-to-end encryption on your emails, both Microsoft and Google are extremely secure.Is Google or Outlook more secure? ›
Security: While both platforms offer excellent security, Gmail is more proactive in protecting users from malicious emails. Customer support: Only Outlook offers direct support for free users; Gmail users require a workspace account for it.Is ProtonMail safer than Gmail? ›
Generally speaking, ProtonMail is more secure, while Gmail is more flexible. As we'll see in our quick comparison, Gmail's flexibility makes it a great choice for using other Google services (such as Docs). Similarly, ProtonMail's security is invaluable when sending sensitive data.Is there a better email than Gmail? ›
To recap, Zoho Mail and Outlook are excellent options with similar productivity tools and various integrations. However, if you're serious about the features related to secure email service and users' privacy, Mailfence, Tutanota, and ProtonMail might be better choices.Does anyone use Yahoo email anymore? ›
Yes, people still use Yahoo Mail. According to one report from late 2019, there are more than 200 million active Yahoo email users responsible for more than 26 billion emails every day—all by themselves.Is Yahoo Mail being discontinued? ›
Will my Yahoo Mail account be affected? Yahoo is assuring users that the only thing being decommissioned is Yahoo Groups and emails sent from Yahoo Groups. "Yahoo Mail will continue to function normally,” it says.
Is Hotmail being discontinued? ›
Well, Hotmail was rebranded as Outlook several years ago. Hotmail doesn't exist as a provider any longer.What is Hotmail called now? ›
Hotmail is now Outlook.com. If you can't sign in to your Outlook.com, Hotmail, Live, or MSN email account, or you're not sure how to sign in or sign out, here are some solutions.Does anyone still use Hotmail? ›
Do people still use Hotmail as their main email account in 2020? Yes. I have had my account since the early days of Hotmail and it works directly through Outlook.Why is Outlook no longer secure? ›
Many a time, having a simple name mismatch in the domain name causes Outlook to believe that the certificate isn't secure. Usually, this happens for one of two reasons — you have a subdomain as your domain, or you have your domain listed instead of the domain of your hosting company (in case of shared web hosting).Who has better security Google or Microsoft? ›
Whereas Google uses an effective two-factor authentication solution, Microsoft's Authenticator is more robust: Microsoft Authenticator can support the same account across multiple devices. Microsoft offers a backup feature that helps when a given device is lost or stolen.Is there anything better than ProtonMail? ›
Tutanota encrypts more spaces within its ecosystem, but we give a slight edge to Proton Mail. Proton Mail has a restrictive spam filter, complete anonymity, and RSA 256-bit encryption compared to Tutanota's 128-bit protocol. Proton Mail also benefits from Switzerland's excellent attention to privacy.Can I be tracked using ProtonMail? ›
"By default, ProtonMail on the web now protects your privacy by: Blocking tracking pixels commonly found in newsletters and promotional emails, preventing senders from spying on your mail. Hiding your IP address from third parties, so your location remains private.What is more secure than ProtonMail? ›
Tutanota encrypts more sections of your email and inbox than ProtonMail (your calendar and address book) while also giving you a zero-knowledge text search. No one at Tutanota can see what you search for within your emails. Tutanota also makes it impossible to trace messages back to the user at least by using their IP.