Best Free Secure Email Providers

6 Best Free Secure Email Providers in 2022 (Encrypted Mail)

Last Updated: October 24, 2022
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In a hurry?
The best free secure email provider in 2022, as found in our independent testing, is ProtonMail!


More and more consumers are opting to quit unsecure email providers like Outlook and Yahoo in favor of free secure email providers.

Such providers for advertising data scan emails sent to and from users. And have even been detected allowing NSA snoops to view their email contents.

If you’re tired of misusing your personal information, you may ask if there’s any way to receive the most secure free email.

The best part is that many companies offer free encrypted email services suitable for sending and receiving messages between a single address.

Our personal favorites are featured in this guide.

We’ve compiled a list of the top 6 free encrypted email services available today.

You may rest assured that your sensitive correspondence will remain private when using any of these services instead of Gmail, Outlook, or any other service that may sell your information.

If you want to learn more about the features offered by the best free secure email provider, keep on reading. 

Best Free Secure Email Providers 2022

  1. ProtonMail – 🏆 Winner!
  2. Tutanota
  3. Zoho Mail
  4. Mailfence
  5. StartMail
  6. HushMail

1. ProtonMail

ProtonMail

When it comes to free secure email services, ProtonMail is the safest option.

End-to-end asymmetric encryption is provided by this free and open-source project based in Switzerland.

If you don’t require a lot of space and send fewer than 150 emails per day, ProtonMail is free for you to use.

👉 Get Free Account

ProtonMail’s ability to send messages that automatically delete is a cool feature.

When the recipient’s inbox space is needed, you can send an email with a predetermined expiration date.

ProtonMail uses zero-access encryption to protect your messages and attachments. 

Because of this, even ProtonMail cannot read your encrypted messages because it does not have access to your password.

(That they can’t change your password either.) There’s an Android and iOS app for ProtonMail, too.

Pros
  • Swiss-based servers
  • Software that is freely available to the public
  • There is full encryption from beginning to end.
  • The zero-access cryptosystem
  • Disappearing messages in your inbox
  • App for mobile devices
Cons
  • Disallows transmitting in bulk
  • The lack of POP3 support

How ProtonMail Encrypts Email Messages

Using the other user’s key in your browser or mobile app, ProtonMail encrypts your email before sending it and only decrypts it when the receiver opens it.

As a result, there’s no need to implement password protection.

It is possible to password-protect messages sent to recipients who do not use ProtonMail.

To read your message, the receiver will receive an email that contains a link to the ProtonMail web browser and a login.

They can respond to you in an encrypted form using the same interface and password.

When sending encrypted emails, you can use PGP and take your public and private PGP keys out of ProtonMail to utilize with another provider.

You can integrate your current keys into your ProtonMail account if you already use encrypted email.

Anonymity

What makes ProtonMail stand apart from the competition is as follows: Nothing will be recorded or monitored.

Even the most supposedly private websites will likely record your IP address. Since your email traffic is encrypted, ProtonMail cannot even see your messages.

There is no way for anyone to monitor you without your explicit consent, and your IP address, metadata, and targeted adverts are all anonymous.

It fulfills a dream for those who value their personal space the most.

Your data is safe under the protection of stringent regulations; it is stored on secure servers where there is no possibility of a data breach or tampering.

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is another robust security measure offered by ProtonMail.

Everything you know (the password) and something you have (the phone) are needed (something that you have).

Someone else can steal your password, but they won’t be able to access your account without your phone.

Google Authenticator, FreeOTP, and Authy are just a few of the authenticator apps that ProtonMail is compatible with.

It only takes a few minutes to install all three, and they’re compatible with both iOS and Android.

Also, you can install them on numerous devices, allowing you to prove your identity with either your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy tablet.

2. Tutanota

image 117

Over two million users have trusted this open-source, free, end-to-end free secure email service.

Now we’ll investigate the factors that led them to select Tutanota over competing services.

But we can say those numbers would be lower if they weren’t published in GitHub under the GPL v3 license.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Accessible and simple to use
  • The no logs policy
  • Anti-spam system
  • Over 20 languages are supported.
  • Secure schedules
Cons
  • Neither PGP nor IMAP support

How Tutanota Secure Your Emails?

Tutanota starts by implementing RSA and AES encryption rather than PGP encryption.

Both use the same techniques, but the latter combines symmetric and asymmetric keys for an additional layer of protection.

However, Tutanota encrypts not only the sender’s and recipient’s names but also the subject line.

TOTP (authenticator applications) and U2F are both options for two-factor authentication (YubiKey).

This encrypted inbox takes user privacy very seriously. To ensure your privacy, we scrub the heading metadata of IP addresses and email addresses.

A stringent no-logs policy is also in place.

Still, the fact that Germany is a member of the Fourteen Eyes intelligence alliance lays a pall over Tutanta’s otherwise impeccable image.

Interface And In Use

A Tutanota account can be created in a matter of minutes. After selecting a password, you’ll have to fill out a Captcha.

Then, a code to restore your backup will be sent to you. You will then have to wait up to 48 hours for someone to review your account and give it the final go-ahead.

You cannot send or receive emails while your account is being reviewed.

The user interface is clear and simple to understand. There are no extraneous widgets or buttons, and switching between your emails is simple.

The complete list of features is accessible by clicking the settings button in the upper-right corner, but it doesn’t take much effort to learn how to use them.

You may check your Tutanota inbox from any device with an app—including Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS, and Linux desktop clients—in addition to the web app.

Tutanota anonymity

For those still skeptical about Tutanota’s anonymity, remember that only your password hash is transmitted to their server for verification purposes.

You can never get back your original password from its hashed form. 

Therefore, Tutanota is completely unaware of any information regarding your password.

They have included a randomly generated recovery code displayed during account creation and from the settings tab in case you forget your password. 

3. Zoho Mail

Zoho Mail

Try Zoho Mail if you need a trustworthy and free secure email service for your business or personal use.

Companies may benefit from this tool’s many capabilities and use it to improve their operations.

Subscribe to the Workplace plan, for instance. 

You’ll have access to several collaborative tools, including a spreadsheet tool, word processor, chat capabilities, webinar platform, and others.

This program’s functionality extends well beyond that of a mere email service. It can also be used for teamwork purposes.

Pros
  • Compatibility with the web-based Zoho Office Suite
  • Does not engage in spam email scanning
  • Individual accounts can have up to 1 terabyte of storage space, with the first 5 GB provided at no cost.
  • With both POP and IMAP support.
  • Labels and in-depth searches facilitate organizing.
Cons
  • You are not allowed to utilize prewritten responses.
  • It has a weak spam protection system.

Encryption In Rest And Transit

All your correspondence is securely stored in an encrypted format on Zoho Mail’s servers.

To put this into practice, you will need to divide your data into smaller pieces and encrypt each individually.

Thanks to this end-to-end encryption, everything of your correspondence sent using Zoho Mail will remain confidential.

Connecting to a server using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connection encrypts all of your emails in transit to and from your inbox.

Your inbox and the Internet are secured from prying eyes, so you can rest easy knowing your emails are transported securely.

Interface And In Use

Web and mobile applications for iOS and Android are available for Zoho Mail. We found the web version to be more intuitive than the smartphone one.

The service employs a tabbed interface, much like a web browser. You can have your calendar, your contacts, and your mailbox all open in different tabs at the same time.

We must also highlight the excellent search capabilities of Zoho Mail.

Depending on your needs, you can conduct a system-wide keyword search or narrow your focus to just your inbox, notes, calendar, contacts, or files attached to emails.

The search also comes with a plethora of pre-set filters to help you zero in on the specific pieces of data you need.

4. Mailfence

Mailfence

Secure email provider Mailfence is located in Belgium, a country known for its stringent data privacy legislation.

In place of Google’s standard Gmail, it’s a fantastic alternate option for sending and receiving email. Your information is completely safe from prying eyes.

Mailfence provides a wide range of safety options.

Emails and accounts are also secured by password encryption, cryptographic signature, and two-factor authentication, in addition to end-to-end encryption.

Pros
  • Provides digital signatures and end-to-end encryption
  • Useful programs for mobile devices and the web
  • Information is saved on servers located in Belgium.
  • It is OpenPGP-encrypted and offers a key exchange.
  • Groups, Messages, Documents, Calendars, and Contacts
  • Support for SMTP, POP3, and IMAP
  • Allows for time-sensitive, password-protected messages
Cons
  • Non-open source software

Security

Mailfence uses OpenPGP, a simple and effective email encryption protocol. The goal here is to make PGP encryption easier to use.

Mails transmitted between Mailfence users are encrypted using either PGP or login and never leave the Mailfence servers. 

Unsecured or unprotected emails signed with a private PGP key can be forwarded to recipients who are not members.

Additionally, customers have the option to send signed, encrypted emails.

Mailfence uses SSL/TLS encrypted connections for all server communication. Both web-based and email client (IMAP, POP3, and SMTP) access are affected. 

Interface And In Use

Regrettably, Mailfence’s interface isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing we’ve encountered. It does its purpose, although in a cumbersome and archaic manner.

Your primary dashboard features a calendar on the left, quick links to your inbox, calendar, other features, and other contextual information on the right.

The inbox is straightforward, and all the other features perform as advertised.

Privacy

In its privacy policy, Mailfence states that it does not share user data with law enforcement agencies outside of Belgium.

Even yet, it often rejects requests for user information. In addition, they never share, sell, or trade individual customer information.

 5. StartMail

StartMail

StartMail is an encrypted email service with good usability and high security. It was developed by the same team responsible for the safe and private Startpage search engine.

Is StartMail the perfect email client for you? What is it?

Pros
  • StartMail users can make use of automatic PGP encryption with their messages.
  • Encryption using passwords for inactive accounts
  • Set up and control temporary email addresses
  • Modern and aesthetically pleasing user interface
  • The excellent spam folder system
Cons
  • No downloaded applications

Encryption And Privacy

StartMail’s support for PGP encryption is a major selling point for us.

It also allows you to create passwords for those who don’t use encrypted email services or don’t have the correct PGP key.

StartMail is self-hosted on Dutch servers and employs secured TLS connections to control your emails, among other advantages. The problem is that it cuts both ways.

First, it’s in line with General Data Protection Regulation rules.

However, The Netherlands is a member of the 9 Eyes Alliance; therefore, the security of your information may be compromised. 

Interface And In Use

With a mobile-friendly website, StartMail’s webmail service is easy to access from any device.

An account can be set up quickly and easily with just a few sources of evidence, but including payment information puts you at risk of being invoiced for a yearly subscription if you neglect to cancel before the renewal date.

As a whole, the platform’s layout is very similar to that of a standard email service, with tabs for commonly used locations like “Drafts,” “Sent,” and “Trash” on the left side of the screen and the option for the traditional split-screen view.

Privacy And Security

The main security concern we have with StartMail is its reliance on server-side encryption rather than end-to-end.

This means that there is a potential your information could be misused in the extremely unlikely case that StartMail’s server is ever breached.

And it’s even easier than ever to send an encrypted email using StartMail; compose your message, select a password, and verify your PGP information.

 6. HushMail

HushMail

Canadian-based Hushmail provides a safe and encrypted email service.

Emails sent to or from people who aren’t also using Hushmail are encrypted using PGP; however, using a password is the fallback.

Your IP address is removed from the email header while using Hushmail.

You can connect your Hushmail account to a different email client to send and receive plaintext emails.

You’ll continue to access the web interface or the Hushmail iOS app to read or send a secret message.

Pros
  • Meets all HIPAA requirements
  • Full integration with OpenPGP
  • Numerous alternative email addresses are available at no extra cost.
  • Provides SMTP, IMAP, and POP3 support
  • Deletes sender and receiver IP addresses from messages
  • Encrypted conversations with people who don’t use Hushmail are now possible.
  • Built specifically for Apple’s iOS
Cons
  • The calendar and file storage is unavailable.
  • The code is not freely available.
  • Originating in Canada

Interface And In Use

When you sign up with Hushmail, you’ll need to provide your current email address. A phone number verification is also required.

This one feels obtrusive compared to anonymous sign-up options for private email providers.

Hushmail’s website design prioritizes functionality over aesthetics.

Email features include folder organization, automated responses, aliases, blocking spammers and spam emails, and two-factor authentication.

It is possible to have Hushmail forward all incoming messages to a specific inbox.

Security And Privacy

Hushmail uses encryption when sending and receiving emails.

However, Hushmail stores all unencrypted emails on its servers, making them vulnerable to government surveillance if the company is ever subpoenaed.

Unfortunately, there is no valid reason Hushmail cannot encrypt all outgoing and incoming emails, even those sent without encryption.

Hushmail removes the user’s real IP address from the email’s header and replaces it with a dedicated Hushmail IP address before the email is sent.

The anonymity of the sender’s IP address is a security plus, as it prevents the recipient from knowing the sender’s true location. 

Note, however, that Hushmail automatically logs your IP address when you access its services; this information is being logged and could get into the hands of law enforcement at some point in the future.

The Final Thoughts

The best free secure email providers were discussed in this post. A secure email service provider can better protect your private conversations and other sensitive data.

There are countless reports of cybercrime daily in the modern era, thanks to the proliferation of the Internet.

That’s why you’re an individual or a corporation.

You should use a secure email provider that encrypts your messages, blocks spam and viruses, and guarantees privacy.

From our investigation into the market for free secure email services, we can confidently say that ProtonMail, Tutanota, Mailfence, and Zoho Mail are among the best.

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Written by Jason Wise

Hi! I’m Jason. I tend to gravitate towards business and technology topics, with a deep interest in social media, privacy and crypto. I enjoy testing and reviewing products, so you’ll see a lot of that from me here on EarthWeb.

Latest Stories

Last Updated: October 24, 2022
Best Free Secure Email Providers
EarthWeb is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Stay on top of the latest technology trends — delivered directly to your inbox, free!

Subscription Form Posts

Don't worry, we don't spam

Written by Jason Wise

Hi! I’m Jason. I tend to gravitate towards business and technology topics, with a deep interest in social media, privacy and crypto. I enjoy testing and reviewing products, so you’ll see a lot of that from me here on EarthWeb.

Latest Stories