Most online users now know that email and social media giants such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are guilty of spying on their customers’ data for advertising and data logging purposes. The scandal has rocked the technology industries and impacted heavily on company share prices when customers showed their dismay.
But the good news for individuals and businesses alike is that a raft of excellent and secure email provider alternatives are now on the market. Many of these providers are gaining significant traction and winning large numbers of clients, often in specialist sectors where absolute privacy and security is required within regulated markets.
Today we’re carrying out a full FastMail review to help you to decide whether this secure email client is for you. From FastMail pricing through to FastMail server settings, we’ve got you covered with the data that you need.
Why choose a secure email client?
As their name implies, a secure email client is exactly that – totally secure. You might weigh up FastMail vs Gmail on brand values alone and initially be swayed by the bigger provider – but delve deeper into the offer and you’ll find that they differ greatly. In fact, you can see this example specifically below in our FastMail vs Gmail comparison.
Non-secure email providers will often provide free email services – but they may well scan your data to re-sell it to advertisers, log it for their own marketing purposes and release it to organizations that request it.
Secure email providers offer something very different. They will provide state-of-the-art encryption so that your emails cannot be hacked into or scanned. They will have policies that prevent any scanning or reading of your data. They will also commit to never selling your data to advertisers. Some go a step further and also prevent any government organizations from accessing your email.
Secure email clients and the law
In the UK, GCHQ and other government organizations are legally allowed to read your emails. Some secure email clients will prevent this from happening by locating their business and servers in Switzerland, which has extremely stringent privacy laws. By taking steps like this, the email provider can remain within the law whilst ensuring that its users have the privacy and confidentiality of communication that they require.
This is often necessary for business purposes especially. For example, businesses in regulated industries such as the banking, medical, and legal sectors must guarantee that their communications with customers and other stakeholder groups cannot be accessed or hacked into. Secure email clients can ensure this and provide regulatory compliance in a way that Hotmail, Facebook, Gmail, and other big brands cannot.
So, without further ado, let’s move on to our FastMail review and see how it stands up.
What is FastMail?
The FastMail offer is designed for individual users, families, and businesses alike. It is entirely private and secure and free from advertising. Over 150,000 customers use the service across the world, including more than 40,000 businesses. The company has also been providing reliable and securely-hosted email for more than 15 years, giving it tried and trusted status.
FastMail is built on a platform designed to offer the best possible experience in efficiency and speed. Its key features include:
- A beautifully designed and intuitive user interface
- No advertising at any time
- Access to your emails at home, at work or while on the go using an app or the web browser version
- Push notifications for mobile and web so that you can choose to receive new emails as they arrive
- Superb anti-spam features, so that your inbox remains free from junk
- A powerful search facility
- The ability to pin message to your inbox header to show prioritization
- Grouped messages that allow you to follow conversations
- The ability to retrieve emails from other email accounts including Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo! Mail
Other Office-style features
- Intelligent calendar and contact features
- The ability to choose how you share events
Businesses can also choose additional products such as:
- TopicBox – which allows organizations and teams to share group conversations and to collaborate online
- PoBox – which offers email forwarding to individual brands and domains, working for individual and affinity bodies alike
How does FastMail work?
The company offers extremely tight security processes and technology that provide a secure, ad-free email experience. Customers can select from various aliases when receiving mail, and choose from different domains to make their emails memorable and professional.
FastMail server settings add high-tech filters that keep any junk mail away and allow easy email organization. The company has robust data centers that use strong physical measures to prevent any attack.
The company uses cutting edge security protocols and invests in the latest technologies to stay ahead of the security game. FastMail is one of the longest-running secure email systems in the industry and it has garnered an excellent reputation for its service.
There are different FastMail pricing options to choose from. For $3 a month, or $30 a year, the basic package gives you 2 GB of storage and full support, as well as mobile syncing. The standard package is $5 a month or $50 a year. It gives you 25 GB of storage and the ability to choose your domain.
Is FastMail safe?
Yes, and the company says that it prevents 30,000,000 spam emails daily! Its servers, encryption technologies, physical data centers, and working processes mean that customers are guaranteed a safe, secure, and private email experience. You can also choose to have two-step identity verification enabled for enhanced security when working on the go or using a device.
The company uses SSL for encryption and then, encryption on the FastMail server settings before going onwards. It also has policies that protect the customer’s data at all points. It never sells data to advertisers and has an excellent track record in delivery.
However, there are many users that prefer to use a VPN to help anonymize them on the internet. After all, VPNs provide users with a secure tunnel for data transfers, as well as hiding their real IP address by using another one from a location of their choice.
Using both a VPN and FastMail can help offer even more protection for users, and we always recommend using both at the same time. If you don’t know which VPN to choose, you can try one of the top VPNs on our list – NordVPN or ExpressVPN.
The company also offers 24/7 customer support and this feature gets great feedback from customers who may have queries or need assistance. Use the live chat feature or raise a ticket and one of the team will respond within 24 hours.
FastMail vs Gmail
So as part of our FastMail review, we’ve compared FastMail vs Gmail to give you a quick glimpse into how the providers differ.
|Owner||FastMail Pty Ltd|
|Released||1999||2009, after 5 years of beta testing|
|Free version available||Yes, try it free for 30 days.||Yes|
|Cost||Basic: $3/month, $30/year|
Standard: $5/month, $50/year
Professional: $9/month, $90/year
|Mailbox storage||Basic package: 2 GB|
Standard package: 25GB
Professional package: 100 GB
|Users each get 15GB, shared alongside other Google services (Google Drive and Google +)|
|Max. attachment limit||50MB|
The total message must be no bigger than 70 MB in size
|25 MB per email and Google Drive offers the ability to share 100 GB of documents.|
|Security features||Full encryption|
Cutting-edge security software
Robust data centers and policies that ensure no customer data will ever be shared or sold to advertisers
|Emails are encrypted, but only for data held on the company’s servers. Data remains vulnerable and unencrypted when it passes to other servers.|
In summary, our FastMail review has found the secure email client to offer plenty of benefits. It’s a tried and tested service with 15 years in the business, and in this time it has won a great number of fans. The service is used by individuals, families, and businesses alike who want the guarantee of secure and confidential email, without advertising.
FastMail has great features which make it slick and easy to use, with an intuitive and user-friendly interface and the ability to access emails from your computer or mobile device. The Office style features with calendar and contact management are also advanced and offer speed and efficiency as you work with your emails.
For a quality offer, the service is also cost-effective. Users can benefit from a 30-day trial to see if it is for them and then choose from cost-effective monthly or pricing plans or the annual plan at a discount. As a cloud deployed service, software updates are automatic and security technologies, upgrades, patches, and fixes are always deployed when they need to be and without compromising service.
In short, FastMail is a great service and deserves its reputation and place in the market. It’s a secure email client that we would recommend to anyone looking for a safer, more private, and slick email user experience. We also expect to see it continue to evolve to stay ahead of the game in the security market space!
Tech writer and privacy advocate
Julie is a firm believer in equal rights for everyone. She is a traveler and blogger, focusing her efforts on exposing censorship and discrimination around the world. She wants to hold corrupt governments and shady companies accountable by writing investigative articles and helpful guides.