StartMail Review

Mikaela Bray
Mikaela Bray | Contributing Writer
Last updated: December 19, 2019
StartMail review
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If you’ve always believed that your email is secure, you might need to rethink that.

Have you ever come across advertisements related to your recent online searches in your Gmail? Ever wonder how Google knows what you are looking for?

The answer is simple. They take a cue from your online activities. This is how most email services make use of your information

While this might not be a big deal for a lot of people out there.  However, if you are a smart user, and are very particular about your internet security, there is thankfully a range of secure private email options out there which can come to your rescue.

And StartMail is one of them.

What is StartMail?

StartMail is a secure email client that keeps your email conversations protected, all thanks to the latest encryption protocols that the service uses. It ensures that none of your emails gets exposed to third-parties, and that you stay protected against unwanted intrusion and mass surveillance.

Let’s know more about StartMail and have a look at all the features that make this service one of the best that we have with us today.

Startmail Features

  1. 10 GB storage

StartMail provides you with 10 GB storage in a personal vault which is more than what you will need to store all your sensitive information safely and securely.

  1. Temporary email addresses

The service allows you to create your own temporary email address on the go. This feature proves to be really handy when you don’t want to share your real email address with the recipient and are looking for something more temporary.

  1. Easy to set up and configure

The entire process revolving around setting and configuring the email is pretty simple. You don’t need to download any software or run heavy installations.

  1. IMAP/SMTP compatible

If you are in the habit of managing your emails through third-party programs like Outlook, Apple Mail, and Thunderbird, StartMail has got you covered here as well.

The service is compatible with all major email programs, thus providing you with complete flexibility.

  1. Use your own domain

StartMail email has got your back even when you want to use it on your own domain or subdomain. The service even allows you to have custom email addresses.

  1. Pricing

StartMail allows you to have a trial run to test the waters. After that, if you plan to continue using the service, you can opt for the personal plan which costs you $59.95/year, and provides you access with private and encrypted email.

Additionally, you can opt for the business plan which costs $59.95/mailbox/year.

How does StartMail work?

In an age when third parties, identity thieves, hackers and even governments can intrude your private space and get access to unprotected communications, StartMail provides you with reliable and secure email connection.

The service is based on PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption which was originally written in 1991. PGP makes use of digital key pairs and each pair consists of two keys: a public key and a private key. The public key, as the name suggests, is shared to encrypt the mail, while the private key is kept private and is used to decrypt the mail.

Setting up and configuring StartMail is like a walk in the park. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Start by choosing a username that is not already occupied. The signup page will notify you when your chosen name is available.
  2. Create an account password and agree to the terms and conditions.
  3. You will be then asked to provide a recovery mail address so that you are not locked out of your account in unforeseen moments.

Your new account is now ready to use. The service allows you to send and receive messages to and from people who are not already StartMail users.

Is StartMail secure?

Definitely. StartMail email, as mentioned above, makes use of the PGP encryption model. The service creates the required public and private key pair.

However, you can create your own public key for outgoing messages, too. The whole thing is pretty easy to grasp. StartMail makes sure that your personal identity remains intact, and is not shared with anyone at any point in time. What more can you ask for?

StartMail vs. ProtonMail

To have a closer look at StartMail services and features, let’s compare it with ProtonMail and see how it performs.

OwnerSurfboard Holding B.VProton Technologies AG
Free version availableYesYes
Cost$59.95/year for personal plan and $59.95/year/mailbox for business plan€48.00/yr for Plus plan, €75.00/yr/user for Professional plan, and €288.00/yr for Visionary plan
Mailbox storage10 GB500 MB – 20 GB depending on your plan
Max. attachment limitN/A25 MB
Security featuresPGPAES, RSA, and OpenPGP

Recommended reads:

Most Secure Email Providers

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  1. oscar

    I’ve had so many problems with protonmail, I just gave up. Protonmail will not send to a gmail address, It says it has, the message appears in the sent folder, but the message never arrives at Gmail. There are also issues with hotmail addresses. Protonmail marks some hotmail addresses as invalid, even when they are valid. If protonmail thinks an address is invalid and that address is in a group, no one in that group gets the message. I spent 25 years in silicon valley much of it in stress test mode, Protonmail has way too may bug in it, and when I ask for help to resolve the issues , it’s apparently my fault.

  2. AB

    I appreciate the privacy advocacy, but unless the service offers true e2e encryption (only client keeps keys so that it is impossible for SM to access email), this doesn’t go far enough. I wish other e2e encryption email providers also offered UNLIMITED aliases. You have to give an email address for EVERYTHING nowadays–which is the reason our inboxes become bloated with crap.

  3. guru

    We should have stopped using yahoo, hotmail, gmail from many years ago.
    Interestingly the article compares with protonmail but not tutanota. I thought it was the most secure free version at the moment.

  4. SillyBlack

    StartMail has chosen server-side encryption. The alternative, client-side encryption, may one day become possible to implement safely, but currently, it is dangerous and less secure.

    Makes StartMail a non-starter for me. I do appreciate the company’s search engine, as a way to run Google searches without exposing oneself to Google.

  5. Jane T

    I agree that we should all stop using Outlook or Gmail for our day to day mailing or even professional, but not everyone can afford the packages of proton mail (depending on what you need of course). And the Google services remain useful nontheless when you need to work with a team. I think it’s more about using them in last resorts or for certain projects you have, and using more secure email providers for professional mailing or sensitive informations.

  6. GargaLet

    People need to stop using services like Gmail and Outlook ASAP! It has been proven time after time that they sell our information, we’re not safe with them. StartMail and Protonmail are much better choices.

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