Most Secure Email Providers in 2023 for Privacy Protection
By Nancy William 18 minutes
In this blog, I will take you through the list of the most secure email providers in 2023. You can compare features and prices to choose the best free encrypted email service.
Choosing a secure email provider is significant for your inbox security. Since most cyberattacks take place through emails, you must be careful when choosing your email provider.
The top three most widely used email providers are Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, and certainly, they are not the most secure email providers.
There is no end-to-end encryption protection for your messages. In fact, you will be surprised to know that Google scans your emails to fetch keywords for the most relevant advertisements.
Also, these top email providers have a long, long list of data breaches, and if your government wants to snoop on your inbox, these email providers will be pretty alright with it.
With that said, it’s only you who should take your privacy seriously, so choosing the most secure email provider is what you need.
If you don’t know where to start, then take this blog as your go-to guide.
In a rush? Take a quick look at the most secure email providers for 2023:
- Private Mail
- Kolab Now
List of the features offered by the most secure email providers:
- End-to-end email encryption.
- Spam/virus detection and filter.
- Support for mobile phones and desktops
- Safe cloud storage.
- Secure collaboration tools.
- Ad-free services for not tracking you online.
Best Secure Email Providers Review- In Detail
ProtonMail is the top-rated secure email provider right now. It provides a secure email messaging service, gives users the ability for quick setup, and ensures they stay safe from email scammers, phishing, and other threats. Although signing up for ProtonMail is as simple as other popular email platforms like Outlook or Gmail, ProtonMail offers built-in security for user protection against scammers and snooping eyes.
- End-to-end encryption for all messages
- Users can send encrypted email messages to their contacts that don’t use ProtonMail
- Useful self-destruct emails
- User-friendly and updated online web interface
- Dedicated mobile applications for both iOS and Android.
- Open-source email service
- 5 to 20 GB storage on the premium plans
- Up to 1000 messages a day
- Free account with 500 MB storage, 150 messages per day, and limited support
- No POP3 support
- Comes without a desktop app
- Free (limited support)
- Plus – $5.00/mo.
- Visionary – $30.00/mo.
- Professional – $8/ 6 users
Titan is a secure email service for business professionals. This customer-centric email service is the best alternative to the most popular email providers like Google and Microsoft.
Titan covers your account with top-notch security features, including its enterprise-level security, to keep your accounts safe from cyberattacks. It also offers the latest anti-spam technology to reduce vulnerable viruses and junk mail.
The schedule sends email templates, follow-up reminders, etc., which are also a part of its features list.
Moreover, the built-in calendar, storage, and contact list within the inbox is practical and useful. Titan email is available on Android, iOS, and webmail.
- Email Templates to save and re-use
- Integrated contact, calendar, and email list
- Read Receipts that notify users when their sent email has been read.
- Follow-up Reminders can be set in case of no reply.
- Provides an anti-virus check feature
- Login problems
- Delivers emails to spam than the inbox.
- Titan Business Pro- $2/1 user/mo
- Titan business premium-$2.45/1 user/mo
Thexyz is yet another secure email service that supports mobile and desktop devices. Moreover, they have an app that syncs calendars, tasks, meeting details, and contacts to keep things organized. The app also protects you from viruses, spam, and unwanted ads. It also provides a secure IM chat client that lets you chat promptly on the webmail.
- Sync Calendar and contacts
- Secure Instant chat application
- Up to 25 GB of storage space for emails
- SSL Encryption support
- Payment options are limited
- Complex navigation
- Premium Webmail -$2.95/mo
- Mobile Sync + Cloud Drive- $4.95/mo
- Unlimited Email Archiving- $9.95 /mo
SecureMyEmail is the best email provider for free encryption. The best feature you will get with SecureMyEmail is free encryption for Gmail, Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, iCloud, and others. This is a unique feature that no secure email provider has offered yet.
You can use dedicated apps for iOS, Android, and desktop. It’s a risk-free email provider with a 30-day free trial and provides easy export for encrypted files.
- zero-knowledge encryption
- advanced security options
- Each SecureMyEmail account includes eight addresses.
- Limited number of email accounts
- No free version
- Premium Plan-$3.99/month or $29.99/year.
Soverin is a reliable and transparent secure email provider based in Amsterdam. It is one of the most secure email providers that only need your phone number for sign-up instead of other personal information.
Moreover, Soverin allows you a personal web page and domain and offers storage of up to 25GB, with unlimited messages.
- A personal domain is available
- Top-notch SSL/TLS encryption
- 25 GB of email storage.
- Unlimited virtual messages
- You can send and receive unlimited messages.
- Limited Cloud storage
- The importer feature doesn’t work
- Starting price- $31/year/user
6. Private Mail
Private Mail is a feature-packed secure email service. It is based in the US, offers excellent device compatibility, and supports various devices.
Private Mail service provides OpenPGP and AES, the most advanced encryption standards to protect your emails and cloud storage. With this level of encryption, no one, including the email provider, can access your email content as long as you have private keys.
- Powerful PGP encryption
- e-Signature tools
- Ad-free service
- Cross-device syncing
- iOS, Android, Desktop, and Web compatibility.
- Costly payment plans
- No free trial is available
- PrivateMail Pro-$15.95/mo
- Business Pro- $64.95/mo
- Business GroupShare- $64.95/mo
Posteo is an independent German secure email service providing great security, privacy, and sustainability on the internet. They offer sustainable and encrypted email accounts, including calendars and address books.
Posteo is totally self-funded and ad-free. Posteo is said to be one of the most all-around and friendly encrypted email services. It is a great, cost-effective solution for those who want to encrypt their entire mail suite.
- Two-factor authentication (TOTP) is available
- Fetched by IMAP/POP3,
- Address book and calendar (synchronizable)
- Simply saved data encryption
- Ad-free email account, ad-free website
- Easy signups
- Pay anonymously by cash, bank transfer, or PayPal
- 2 GB storage (can be increased)
- up to 50 MB of file attachment
- No end-to-end encryption
- Not as secure as other encrypted services
- 1 EUR per month
- Additional storage: 0.25 EUR per GB per month
Next, we have a secure email provider called Runbox that is Norwegian-based. Not the most popular secure email service than the ones mentioned above, but RunBox is slowly catching up to the top email providers in terms of email encryption.
Runbox uses various security tools to keep your data away from the cybercriminal who wants to steal it. When you send an email using Runbox, they are sent through a secure encrypted connection.
Everything sent between Runbox servers and your email address is also encrypted. The data stored on the Runbox server is locked in a vault (in Norway), where it is protected by the constitution.
Runbox also provides annual plans using Bitcoin for extra anonymity. For extra security, Runbox uses Two-factor authentication with no external tracking cookies. It’s almost impossible for scammers to hack into any Runbox email account.
- Create email aliases to use different email addresses with just one account
- Powerful and reliable in processing and storing a large amount of data.
- Professional management of emails such as spam filtering, customized sorting, forwarding, etc.
- Integrated services
- Strong email privacy protection
- Spam and virus protection
- Plenty of storage space
- Universal access via Web, IMAP, WAP, etc.
- Max attachment limit: 100 MB.
- Mailbox storage: 10 GB
- Less storage capacity
- High subscription costs for businesses.
- No Mobile App
- No free account
- Micro – $19.95/year
- Mini – $34.95/year
- Medium – $49.95/year
- Max – $79.95/year
Based in Germany, Mailbox.org is another secure email provider that offers powerful features. You could say it’s also the best for beginners because of its extremely user-friendly design.
Moreover, it’s also compatible with mobile apps and third-party email clients. What’s more? There’s much more that you can enjoy with its encryption feature that lets you encrypt all your data on servers in Germany.
- Ad-free services
- Custom domain name
- Cloud storage
- Spam protection
- 30-day free trial
- Max mail storage 25 GB
- Max cloud Storage 50 GB
- Enabled Registration Tracking
- The metadata for email isn’t encrypted
- Doesn’t support mobile clients.
- Light – €1.00/mo.
- Standard – €3.00/mo.
- Premium – €9.00/mo.
Startmail is formed by the team of a private search engine called Start page. It is based in the Netherlands. However, the company is following Dutch law. All the emails are encrypted on Dutch servers. Startmail supports IMAP, SMTP, and third-party apps like Thunderbird. There is no free account available on Startmail, but it does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee that you can use instead.
- PGP encryption
- Disposable email addresses
- IMAP/SMTP compatible
- Affordable plans
- GDPR Compliance
- Supports 2-factor authentication
- 7-day free trial
- Doesn’t support a custom mobile app
- The code is not open source.
- No identifiable end-to-end encryption
- Personal – $2.50/mo. annually
- Custom Domain – $2.95/mo. annually
11. Koliab Now
Kolab now is yet another Switzerland-based open-source encrypted email service that is focused on providing small and medium-sized enterprises with secure email services and a complete online office suite.
It Now allows you to pass confidential information through emails easily without any problems. It charges its users directly and offers various monthly and annual plans for individual accounts.
Kolab, as a secure email provider, now stores all your emails and files on its server in Switzerland. It keeps your data safe from your own government agencies, scammers, as well as advertisers.
The good news is that Kolab Now offers end-to-end encryption, along with features that are some of the most required for secure email providers today. Kolab might not be cheap, but it does provide great all-around email privacy.
- Integrated app for taking notes
- Supports Perfect Forward Secrecy
- Email-tagged support
- Contacts and calendars
- Shared folders
- A free version is available
- It’s more of a productivity app rather than a secure email service
- Rates are getting higher quickly
- Just email – CHF 5.00/mo
- Full Kolab – CHF 9.90/mo
Countermail is a secure email provider headquartered in Sweden. This provider is all about user security.
Although its interface looks pretty outdated, its system is regularly updated while its email security is second to none. Just like ProtonMail, it also offers end-to-end encryption between the sender and receiver.
Further, it uses OpenPGP to keep your email messages safe and your email account secure, matched with 4096-bit encryption keys for browsers. Since it uses diskless data servers, nobody will be able to read or write anything you send through these servers.
CounterMail is very open and honest about how its system works and is always ready to display how secure its system is for everyone.
- Supports IMAP
- Allows modification of different settings for your account
- Doesn’t keep IP address logs
- Includes a built-in password manager for password protection
- Uses anonymous email headers
- Supports email filters
- Available for desktop and IOS
- Cloud storage starts from 250Mb up to user requirements.
- Dated website
- Free tier is limited to a week
- $4.83/mo. (6 months plan)
- $4.00/mo. (1-year plan)
- $3.29/mo. (24-month plan)
Quite similar to ProtonMail, in design and usability, we have Tutanota. It’s yet another web-based secure email service that focuses on providing the best security and experience to its users. Another perk? Tutanota is one of the cheapest email services too!
It’s high AES and RSA encryption, matched with a variety of features and solutions, is all seen within its service. Tutanota is an open-source system that provides private users with a dedicated platform for their email.
The developers of Tutanota say that they do not use PGP because it lacks perfect forward secrecy. Therefore, they have developed a proprietary solution based on AES and RSA that encrypts attachments, text, and subjects. They do not record IPs or email addresses, which are deleted.
The only downside, also mentioned in the cons list below is that there is no search email option. It makes it a little more difficult to look up older emails in one go.
- End-to-end encryption and 2-factor authentication
- Tutanota supports all browsers
- The app is free for most personal users
- Tutanota offers apps for Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and support for Linux, Browsers
- Unlimited number of sent messages per day
- Premium account users can use their own domains with Tutanota
- Expand your cloud storage and user count
- Mailbox storage: 1 GB
- The mobile app design is out-dated
- No IMAP support
- Important features missing from the free app
- No ability to import contacts in bulk
- Teams- $56.40/year
- The free version is available.
Mailfence is an encrypted email service based on the OpenPGP standard that offers end-to-end encryption and digital signing. It was launched in November 2013 by ContactOffice Group, which has been managing an online collaborative suite for professionals, universities, and other organizations since 1999.
Unlike other private and secure messaging services that can be found on the web, Mailfence does not lock users into their own “digital island”. It leaves its users absolutely free to communicate securely with anyone, whether with other Mailfence users or any other email service (compliant with the OpenPGP protocol). But using Mailfence has many other benefits, as you can see in the table below.
It most recently launched its mobile app. You can follow the steps outlined here to add Mailfence to your list of apps.
- Supports two-factor authentication
- Emails addresses are digitally signed to prove authorship
- Doesn’t use ads
- Email settings can be customized and tweaked as per user preferences
- Blocks spam messages
- Allow users to buy credits to send text messages and faxes
- Contacts can be imported from Outlook, Gmail, CSV file, vCard, etc.
- Includes file storage and calendar for documents
- Max attachment limit: 10 MB (Free), 50 (Entry/Pro).
- Mailbox storage: 500 MB (free), 5 GB (Entry) and 20 GB (Pro).
- Free tier cloud storage is limited
- To receive an activation key, you’ll need another email address
- Free (No Ad)
- Entry – $2.50/mo.
- Pro – $7.50/mo.
- Ultra – $25.00/mo.
Using any secure email providers from the above list is up to you, but you can make your email even more secure by using a VPN service.
VPN creates a secure connection between your computer and the network (the email service provider). When you enable the VPN service, the internet traffic (emails, messaging, etc.,) travels through the VPN connection first.
This means VPN secures your email, web browsing, chat, etc., from scammers and hackers. So, if you have a VPN, enable it and keep yourself secure.
Security Features to Consider When Choosing the Best Personal Email Service
While searching for the most secure email services, be careful of what you’re considering. There are plenty of free email providers that might harm your email safety and privacy. Hence, to get the most secure email services, always consider the following criteria. Your personal email service should match a few, if not all, of the features below.
- End-to-end Encryption
End-to-end encryption is the most critical feature that makes an email service secure. A regular email service only provides encryption until it reaches the server, like Gmail or Outlook. End-to-end encryption keeps your message secure while transmitting and only allows the sender and receiver to read the message because only the receiver has the key to decrypt the message.
2. Two-Factor Authentication
Another important feature to look for is two-factor authentication. It gets you the added layer of protection and stops intruders from accessing your account. If hackers somehow manage to learn your password, the 2FA gets you the backup key and makes it impossible for a hacker to log in to your account even after having the login credentials. You can deploy different options for two-factor authentication, including SMS 2FA, TOTP 2FA, Push-based 2FA, and more.
3. Metadata Security
When a user sends an email, some of his information is attached to that email as a metadata header. The header covers critical information about your web browser, device, and recipient. However, a secure email service takes care of your metadata security by stripping out header metadata to protect privacy as much as possible.
4. Server Location
Server location is another strong security consideration. The main reason to always focus on server location is that some countries, including the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia, are the Five Eyes Intelligence network participants. These countries spy and share user data on their servers with agencies. Therefore, It’s suggested to select secure email services from safer countries that respect user privacy laws, including Sweden, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland.
How Does Secure Email Work?
Secure email works with end-to-end encryption, and the recipient can only decrypt your message. Yet, if you’re using a regular email provider, the service can read or scan emails through keywords, making it easier for hackers to intervene.
Secure email services have many encryption choices, just like PGB, that mix both symmetric and asymmetric encryption. Other encryption protocols like S/MIME use the certificate to ensure that no one has tempered the email you sent.
There are other encryption choices available such as Transport-level encryption and end-to-end encryption.
Transport-level encryption safely delivers the email on the web, but email providers can read it. However, it can be combined with other protocols like TCP, HTTP, or FTP to better work for other things like IMAP, and SMTP.
Another email encryption is known as PGP, which is pretty good privacy. PGP encryption has everything in it. It deals with symmetric encryption, hashing, and a public encryption key. The best thing is users don’t have to exchange encryption keys every time. The whole encryption process takes place secretively, so you don’t have to worry about anything.
Yet, so far, End-to-end Encryption is the best as it prevents third-party and mail providers from reading the message. Only the sender and receiver have private keys to decrypt messages when needed.
Why Should You Use Secure Email Services?
Gmail is not a very secure option when it comes to security. There are many reasons why one should be using secure email services in the first place. However, to clarify things, below is a list of practical reasons to use a secure and encrypted email service.
- Storing Messages in a Safe Location
A safer location is needed to keep your messages away from the Fourteen Eyes intelligence-sharing countries. Secure mail services have servers at private locations that won’t allow anyone to break into your emails.
2. Metadata privacy
Gmail or regular email services never encrypt the metadata header that contains data about you, your browser, your device, and the receipt. Yet, secure email services always hide your metadata header to better ensure privacy.
3. Strong Messages Encryption
Unsecure email services never maintain encryption once your message arrives at its intended server. Any hacker or the email service itself can easily snoop on your messages. Secure email providers always manage end-to-end encryption, making it impossible for anyone to read messages except you and the recipient.
FAQs- Most Secure Email Providers
Why is Gmail not a Secure Service Provider?
Gmail is not considered a secure service provider due to its lack of encryption. It only uses TLS encryption that protects messages when they are in transit. Once the message reaches the mailbox, then Gmail can clearly see your content.
Why should I encrypt my emails?
One should use encrypted email services because your email might contain sensitive personal or business information. Without encryption, anyone can easily track or spoof your messages.
Can I encrypt my messages manually?
Yes, you can manually activate encrypted emails by setting up the PGP encryption method. However, the setup should be followed from both ends, the sender and the recipient.
What will happen when an email account gets hacked?
When a hacker hacks your email account, then he can send anything miserable in your name. He has the power to transfer money or falsely manage your online account. Not only that, he can send anything with your name, and it will badly affect your personal or business reputation.
How to figure out if anyone is reading my messages?
A few signs will help you know if your email gets hacked. Yet, there are no signs to determine if someone is reading your messages. The best bet to avert email snooping is through end-to-end encryption.
A secure email provider is a must to maintain your online privacy. Your email provider should safeguard the security and privacy of your confidential chats and information.
For complete security of your emails, you can opt any secure email provider mentioned in this blog. The most secure email providers are the best for online safety. However, free email providers monitor your inbox’s information and sell it for profit.
Therefore, shifting to an encrypted email account is the best bet for keeping your communications private.
All the listed email providers are secure and up to the industry’s standard. Choose your email provider and enjoy a safe and private email account.