The 10 most secure email providers of 2020

Last updated: October 27, 2020

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If you’re looking for an email provider you can trust, finding the right service isn’t always easy. Plenty of companies claim to be secure email providers, but actually have plenty of holes, letting hackers and phishers wreak havoc. However, there are also fantastic operators, running some of the safest email accounts ever created. So to help you make a selection, we’ve put together our list of the 10 most secure email providers. Any one of these will keep your data safe, quarantine your contacts and block snoopers.

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So if problems with your old provider have led you to ask what the most secure email option is – stick around. It’s time for a change. The most secure email providers on the market offer features that can keep you safe and ensure total privacy online. Let’s find out more!
ProtonMail - email provider

ProtonMail

Many people’s preferred option for the most secure email system, ProtonMail is a slick Swiss company that focuses on absolute privacy. The location is important, as Switzerland is legendary for ensuring secrecy and privacy. So any data on ProtonMail will remain hidden from government surveillance.

Their free package comes with 500MB of storage, which can be upgraded to 5-20GB using the paid services. ProtonMail’s End-to-End encryption puts them among the safest email vendors, providing safety even when sending to users outside the ProtonMail service. Moreover, everything is anonymized and no personal information has to be supplied when you sign up.

Buying the Visionary plan of ProtonMail (24 EUR/month) will also give you access to ProtonVPN – their super secure VPN service. If you need both a secure email service and a VPN, this may be worth considering.

Tutanota - safe email service

Tutanota

Despite its exotic-sounding name, Tutanota hails from Germany, where it has earned an impressive reputation as one of the most secure email providers. All mail and attachments sent via Tutanota are automatically encrypted by Tutanota’s open source webmail client, saving a little bit of time and avoiding human error. And no IP information is retained after sending. Basically, Tutanota goes all out for your email security.

It’s also very cheap, with Premium packages starting at around $1 per month. There’s a limited free option, as well as the Pro package, which includes a generous 10GB of storage. The regular Premium option is just as secure but comes with just 1GB.

fastmail - one of the best secure emails

FastMail

A relative veteran of the secure email scene, FastMail offers a simple service for individual users. All sent and received messages are encrypted when possible, while TLS and SSL encryption are standard on the FastMail web client or app. They also offer “world class” spam filtering, which keeps users’ inboxes free of clutter, and is among the best where virus checking is concerned.

Basic packages come with 2 GB storage, Standard features 25 GB, while Professional offers 100 GB. All are competitively priced and come with zero ads or tracking. All-in-all, it’s a great option for solo email users.
HushMail - high security email service

HushMail

One of the most famous secure email providers around, Hushmail has created easy to use web and desktop clients. Based in Canada, Hushmail’s tools encrypt outgoing messages, creating dedicated websites for recipients to use, while OpenPGP and SSL/TLS combine to keep any messages private.

They offer free and Premium packages, which come with 10GB of secure storage, and there’s a well designed iPhone app as well, helping to protect your messages even when you’re on the move.

Zoho mail - safe email service

Zoho Mail

Generally oriented towards professional users, Zoho Mail seeks to offer an affordable set of communication tools for businesses who need reassurance and privacy. A great feature for businesses is the way their email clients work with the Zoho Workplace – a set of secure office apps.

But the real gem here is Zoho’s encryption and authentication, which puts it in the upper echelons of secure email providers. Standard packages come with 30GB of storage, while Professional packages bundle in over 100GB.

SCRYPTMail - most secure email provider

SCRYPTMail

The only way SCRYPTMail could be more serious about security is if they had a global private mercenary force punishing hackers. It’s as they say – “privacy is a right, not a privilege”. Founded by a group of security obsessives in the USA, this email service offers top of the line encryption and can send encrypted messages to any web user.

Unlike some other services, SCRYPTMail also encrypts the metadata on its servers, putting another barrier between hackers (or government agencies) and user data. Storage limits are generous, and almost all of the services offered by SCRYPTmail are free, making it doubly attractive.
Posteo - one of the most secure email providers

Posteo

If you’re asking yourself what the most secure email service around is, the German contender Posteo is surely going to appear near the top of the list. Based on open source coding, Posteo is ad-free and totally secure. It is also deeply committed to sustainability, which makes it unique in the secure email world.

Expect strong encryption and two-factor authentication and don’t expect any data collection or surveillance. If Posteo runs into issues with the government, they make a point of warning their users. The (very cheap) Basic package comes with 2 GB of storage, which can be increased to 20 GB for small monthly fees.

LuxSci - one of the safest email providers

LuxSci

If you’re looking for a business email solution and you’re based in North America, LuxSci could be just what you need. Based in Massachusetts, this company offers a suite of secure communications tools (not just email). Packages come with 1-50GB storage.

There are individual accounts as well as corporate packages, but in reality, LuxSci’s services lean towards larger organizations. And they do a pretty good job at filtering emails and keeping staff data safe and sound.

CounterMail - one of the best safe emails

CounterMail

Going against the grain of commercial email companies, CounterMail is Sweden’s addition to the pack of high-security email providers. Uniquely, it uses a CD ROM-based system to store user data, minimizing the chance of hackers accessing emails. The company also follows a policy of total openness – a refreshing decision in the online security world.

There’s no free option with CounterMail, and prices are relatively high, as you might expect with the safest of email accounts. Storage maxes out at 2GB with standard packages, but can easily be expanded for a supplementary fee.

Mailfence - email with great privacy

Mailfence

Coming from Belgium, Mailfence is among the finest secure email providers in the world. Ensuring total freedom for users communicating with other email accounts, Mailfence uses OpenPGP to provide excellent encryption on all incoming and outgoing data and also includes two-factor authentication to add another layer of security.

The free package features 500 MB of storage, which increases with Entry and Pro packages, offering a maximum of 20 GB. Mailfence commits to blocking every single spam email and preventing any unwanted ads from appearing in your webmail inbox.

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29 comments
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  1. gurglin

    I forgot to mention Mailo.com. Despite being a France-based provider, it seems to be one of the best around.


  2. Gurglin

    Hi Nadin,

    And thanks for the extensive list. I would like to add some other providers that are focussed on security and privacy:

    – Librem Mail (https://librem.one/ ) but that is not free

    https://riseup.net/it/email , although you need to get an invitation from them (and I did not get any…)

    https://ctemplar.com/ (you need to get an invitation code from them, but that does not seem difficult). It is based in Iceland, which is great, in terms of security. However, the free account has many restrictions, while both web version and app are very buggy.

    – Disroot Email (https://disroot.org/en/services/email). Based in the Netherlands, it has a difficult access system.

    Hope it helps


  3. Jim

    Cox email accounts are very vulnerable to hackers, who are able to change the passwords of the cox account holders. I guess that is why Cox is abandoning its email service as a product. How well are the passwords/pin numbers/security question answers protected in these 10 “top” email service companies?


  4. Nemo

    This is great, but a comparison table of features would be really helpful to discern between all of them.


  5. Carla Foster

    Thanks for the great analysis. I recently attended a presentation on “big tech” and email security and so I began looking for alternatives to gmail. (D rating on DuckDuck Go). I may be a retired, home user, but these days security is important to everyone. I’m pouring through the options here to select one; obviously the business related providers would not apply, but what a great resource! Thanks.


    1. Pilgrim

      D rating on DuckDuck Go … Does that mean they are bad??? I’ve liked them (ANY alternative to Google is a relief!) so far .. but if you have any better suggestions for non-Google-related servers like DDG, please – fire away and let me know! – Looking for safe, free, email too! – Thanks!


  6. Tom Ciruncle

    Scryptmail.com is closing operations.


  7. Ore B

    Nice article btw, I was using Gmail for decade+ and decided to switch to Mailfence last year. Nothing to complain about this guy. Their interface was a bit outdated but since last year but they have updated and it looks pretty cool and modern. Besides the email, they also offer some cool features like Calendar, Document, Group and even Chat.


  8. Joe B.

    Any reason(s) you did not include StartMail to your list ? ? ?


    1. Nadin Bhatt Author

      Hi there Joe,

      We’re constantly updating our articles to make sure we’re giving our readers the most up-to-date information. We’ll certainly look into StartMail and see if it fits the bill.

      Thanks for the recommendation!

      -Nadin


  9. Turtle

    I’ve been thinking about switching from Yahoo since they keep failing at security, so this list is exactly what I needed! Thanks!


    1. Nadin Bhatt Author

      Yup, we definitely recommend choosing any of these alternatives on this list. Good luck!


  10. Flora Dunbar

    Healthcare providers must use security email services that I offer a business associate agreement. I know that Hushmail offers this option. Do any of the other top rated providers do so?


    1. Nadin Bhatt Author

      Hi there,

      Besides HushMail, LuxSci and ProtonMail are HIPAA compliant as well. Thanks for reading!

      -Nadin


      1. Sofia

        LuxSci is based in North America…not sure I would trust it.


        1. Nadin Bhatt Author

          It’s a valid point, although perhaps somewhat overplayed.

          -Nadin


  11. MonkeyJoe

    i believe neither Mailfence nor ProtonMail strips out email metadata(ip addresses, subject line, sender info)


    1. Eileen

      ProtonMail removes the IP address from all outgoing mail.


      1. Sofia

        Hi!
        What about other porviders? Do they remove IP address from outgoing mail?
        Thank you.


  12. l33ch

    Tutanota seems to be doing well recently. But, Customers seem to find Protonmail to be more user friendly.

    Hushmail is also very good and secure. But, It has gone paid only now.


    1. aaa

      Protonmail got money from Swiss government and US company


  13. Edi

    I have experienced most of these service providers, however Mailfence is the top service. I’ve been using it for past years and am quite satisfied with it. Compared to the other mentioned services, apart from secure email, Mailfence has calendars and docs. Highly recommended…


  14. Lombardo322

    I’m surprised that Runbox wasn’t included on your great list of secure email providers. It’s based in Norway and although they only offer a 1 GB storage for $19.95 per year, they have a 30-day free trial and a 60-day money back guarantee so you can determine if it will work for you. Thanks for the detailed review!


  15. Emma

    ProtonMail is great! I am in the mids of switching to then after reading this comparison as a secure alternative to Gmail: https://protonmail.com/blog/protonmail-vs-gmail-security/


    1. or

      But ProntoMail do not have folders. I am using Zoho now, but I am thinking of HushMail or FastMail for my very secure email. I have the free Zoho and I love them. I use the family domain and we get 5 email addresses for free.


      1. Lance

        ProtonMail does have folders


  16. ShaunaG

    Wow, I didn’t know about all these providers, I had only heard of Protonmails. They all seem to be really interesting and affordable. I’ll be sure to check them out and see which one inspire me the most. Thanks for the article it’s useful.


  17. infinitijack

    Some of these email providers provide quite a huge amount of storage space. Standard package by Zoho Mail gives 30GB.. that’s like WOW! I’ve been using Yahoo mail primarily because of their unlimited storage feature. Although Yahoo is not very secure, and they’ve had some data breaches in the past as well, but thankfully I haven’t run into any trouble.


    1. Nadin Bhatt Author

      Hey, I think it is the most important that a safe email provider would give a lot of storage space for all the emails we get during the day. Of course, your email provider it is not one of the most secure network, so you should think about choosing another email service before something unpleasant happened with you information!

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