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The 15 Most Secure Email Providers in 2022: Send & Receive Encrypted Messages

Have you ever questioned the level of security offered by popular email providers? If you need end-to-end data encryption, secure servers or even HIPAA compliance, you’ll find the right fit within the most secure email service providers.

Kanza Javed
By Kanza Javed (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2022-11-20T12:00:00+00:00 Facts checked by Vildana Bratic

Email is still our primary form of digital communication. It contains all our sensitive information which, if disclosed, can lead to significant loss. If you use one of the popular free email providers, there is a chance that the government, hackers and tech giants could be spying on your emails. Luckily, there are secure email providers that can protect you from these problems.

Key Takeaways:

  • A secure email service can protect the critical information you send and receive via email. Secure email providers use advanced encryption technologies, like end-to-end encryption, to make their service reliable.
  • None of the widely used email services, including Gmail, provides customers with enough protection and privacy.
  • Proton Mail is the best option for complete email security, though Tutanota, Mailfence, Hushmail and CounterMail are all excellent alternatives.

According to the IC3 Internet Crime Report for 2021, businesses in the United States lost about $2.4 billion due to email account compromises. Whether you’re a business or an individual, email security is crucial to preventing cyberattacks. That’s why we created this list of the most secure email providers.

We carefully analyzed each email service’s security and privacy features to choose the best secure email providers for you. ProtonMail is our top pick overall, thanks to its reliability, and it’s ideal for both beginners and those who require a high level of security. Keep reading to learn more about these secure email provider options.

  • 11/20/2022 Facts checked

    Rewrote the article to add extra secure email providers and provide information on why someone might want to use a secure email service.

  • No, Gmail does not use advanced security or have strict privacy policies to protect your emails.

  • Proton Mail is the most secure free email service provider.

  • Proton Mail was named “the only email system the NSA can’t access” by Forbes.

Top Five Secure Email Providers

What Makes the Most Secure Email Providers?

Despite the availability of many secure email providers, only a handful offer advanced and robust security features. The five options listed below are among those that offer excellent email security, without red flags or bugs.

  1. Proton Mail — The most secure, private and affordable email provider
  2. Tutanota — The best email service for privacy
  3. Mailfence — A secure email solution capable of syncing with other email clients
  4. Hushmail — A good email service for personal and professional use
  5. CounterMail — An email option with strong security and a safe user base

In terms of security features, the best secure email providers must have end-to-end encryption, meaning the only people who can read the encrypted messages are the sender and the recipient. Most secure email providers also use smart technologies that automatically filter out spam messages that spread malware and phishing attacks.

Secure email service providers protect your anonymity by not storing your logs, including IP addresses and online activities. The email provider should have servers in countries with strict privacy laws so that the business is not required by law to store your data and online information for a specific time. 

Is Gmail a Secure Email Service Provider?

Yes, but only to a certain extent. Gmail uses TLS (Transport Layer Security) and 128-bit encryption, which protects your data from outsiders. However, it does not offer encrypted emails. Additionally, your emails are not entirely private, as it is widely believed that Google scans user data for targeted advertisements.

The 15 Best Secure Email Services

If your current email provider does not offer a secure email service, it is best to switch to one of the most secure email providers listed below. To help you choose the best option, we have briefly explained the necessary details of each secure email service. The most secure email provider is Proton Mail, but there are 14 other alternative secure mail services to consider.

1. Proton Mail

Protonmail inbox
With the help of Proton Mail Bridge, users may integrate Proton Mail with popular email clients like Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail or Mozilla Thunderbird.

More details about Proton Mail:

  • Pricing: Free, $3.49 per month (two-year plan)
  • Provider website: proton.me/mail

Pros:

  • Zero-knowledge encryption
  • No-logs policy
  • Android & iOS apps

Cons:

  • Expensive paid plans
  • No phone support number 
  • Free 150 messages daily limit

Proton Mail is the most secure email provider and most private email option on this list for several reasons. First, its end-to-end and zero-knowledge encryption features keep everything secure and private. 

Since Proton Mail is a Swiss-based company, user data is protected from domestic and foreign businesses by the country’s strong privacy laws. As a result, the company can uphold its no-logs policy and it doesn’t keep tabs on your internet activity.

Moreover, you can use disposable emails in addition to the standard Proton Mail email addresses. If you want even more security, you can send self-destructing emails that will be deleted automatically from the recipient’s inbox after a set amount of time. Even if the recipient uses a different email client, you can send password-protected encrypted messages. 

Proton Mail has a free secure email service, but you can only send 150 messages per day and you’re limited to one email account. However, you can upgrade to the Proton Plus or Unlimited plans for a monthly fee of $4.99 or $11.99, respectively. You can find out more about it in our Proton Mail review.

2. Tutanota

Tutanota inbox
Tutanota encrypts all your data, including the subject line, body and any attachments.

More details about Tutanota:

  • Pricing: Free, $1 per month (one-year plan)
  • Provider website: tutanota.com

Pros:

  • No personal data required for account setup
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Apps for Android & iOS

Cons:

  • Does not support IMAP
  • Limited search functionality
  • Delayed account approval

The next secure email service provider we recommend is Tutanota. Since Tutanota is based in Germany, where laws prohibit data collection and retention, it is among the best email services for privacy. With its end-to-end encryption using the AES-128 cipher, Tutanota has everything under control regarding security and privacy. 

Because you are not required to supply your phone number or email address when creating an account, it enables you to create a free, anonymous email account. However, complete anonymity means you cannot retrieve your account credentials if you lose the password and recovery key. 

Tutanota offers a free version, but it has a number of limitations — for example, you are only allowed one email address and 1GB of storage. The monthly paid plans, which start at $1.20 per month, have many more features. You may purchase the same plan for around $1 per month (based on current exchange rates) if you pay annually. You can read more about that in our full Tutanota review.

3. Mailfence

mailfence inbox
With Mailfence, you can send encrypted messages that can be accessed with a password.

More details about Mailfence:

  • Pricing: Free, $2.50 per month (one-month plan)
  • Provider website: mailfence.com

Pros:

  • End-to-end encryption
  • Supports IMAP, POP & SMTP
  • Strips IP addresses

Cons:

  • Not open source
  • No custom domain on free plan
  • No mobile apps

Mailfence stands out for several reasons, including the fact you can sync your account with the email client of your choice using the Exchange ActiveSync feature. Mailfence uses perfect forward secrecy (PFS) encryption in case of data compromise and OpenPGP end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for email messages to ensure email security.

Mailfence’s servers are in Belgium — another country with robust privacy laws — but it does log some data by collecting IP addresses, timestamps, email addresses and subjects and other information. Despite this, the secure email provider maintains a high level of transparency and privacy.

Although Mailfence offers only 500MB of storage on the free version, the Pro plan offers 20GB of email storage for about $7.50 per month. Mailfence offers more affordable plans compared to its competitors. You can learn about the pricing on our Mailfence review

4. Hushmail

hushmail interface
Hushmail offers safe emailing services for personal use, small business, healthcare and legal team.

More details about Hushmail:

  • Pricing: $4.17 per month (one-year plan)
  • Provider website: hushmail.com

Pros:

  • HIPAA compliant
  • Unlimited email aliases
  • End-to-end encryption

Cons:

  • Collects user data
  • No calendar or file storage
  • No free version

Hushmail’s biggest selling point is its specific plans for law and healthcare, the latter of which is HIPAA-compliant. All plans offer end-to-end encryption using methods like TLA/SSL and OpenPGP. Despite being a zero-knowledge service, the service collects a lot of data, and it is based in Canada — a member of the Five Eyes alliance.

Hushmail lacks a free version and additional features — like calendars, contacts and cloud storage — that other secure email providers offer. However, IMAP and POP support allows you to sync it with other email clients. These features are available for around $4.17 per month, which is more than most of the alternatives. Read our Hushmail review to find out more about its features.

5. CounterMail

countermail website homepage
CounterMail mail service supports macOS, Windows and Linux.

More details about CounterMail:

Pros:

  • Supports IMAP
  • No-logs policy
  • End-to-end encryption

Cons:

  • Limited free trial
  • Costly additional storage

CounterMail is a secure email provider based in Sweden that offers OpenPGP end-to-end encryption with 4096-bit encryption keys. Although Sweden isn’t the ideal country for data privacy, CounterMail maintains a strict no-logging policy by allowing customers to delete their private keys from CounterMail’s servers and store them on their hard drives instead.

It stores your data on diskless web servers, which means that they don’t keep the data permanently. CounterMail is rather pricey, at around $3.29 per month for 4GB of storage. However, you’ll need an invitation from an existing user to register for a CounterMail account. You can find out more about the service in our CounterMail review.

6. Zoho Mail

zoho mail website mail page
Zoho Mail’s dark theme, called “night mode,” makes it easy to use the email service at night.

More details about Zoho Mail:

  • Pricing: $4 per month (one-year plan)
  • Provider website: zoho.com/mail

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Migration tools
  • End-to-end encryption

Cons:

  • Needs a phone number to sign up
  • Primarily for businesses
  • Limited storage

Although Zoho Mail has personal plans, it is more suited for businesses that require end-to-end encryption for company emails. It contains a number of features for official correspondence, including task modules, notes and calendars. Despite offering a wide range of tools, Zoho Mail’s plans start at an affordable cost of $1 per user per month.

Plan:PriceStorage
Mail Lite$15GB
Workplace$3N/A
Mail Premium$450GB
Charged per user per month, billed annually.

7. Posteo

posteo website features page
Since their servers and offices run on 100% green energy, Posteo is concerned not just with security, but also with sustainability.

More details about Posteo:

  • Pricing: $1 per month (one-month plan)
  • Provider website: posteo.de/en

Pros:

  • End-to-end encryption
  • No-logs policy
  • Extremely affordable

Cons:

  • No free account
  • Limited customer support
  • No mobile & desktop apps

Posteo provides anonymous email accounts with end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication. Its data reduction policy prevents the company from collecting your data and IP address. It has a simple user interface and several filtering features, such as antivirus and spam filters, to shield your account from hackers. 

It has a single pricing plan that costs about $1 per month for 2GB, but you can always buy more space.

Basic Plan:
$1 per month
2GB
Each additional gigabyte of storage costs $0.25 per month

8. StartMail

startmail website features
StartMail uses your account password as the PGP passphrase, but you can change it at any time.

More details about StartMail:

  • Pricing: $5 per month (one-year plan)
  • Provider website: startmail.com

Pros:

  • Unlimited disposable emails
  • PGP encryption
  • Complies with EU’s GDPR   

Cons:

  • Only a 7-day free trial
  • No mobile apps

StartMail, an encrypted email service, offers two-factor authentication, tracking pixel filtering and protection from malicious links, but it doesn’t provide end-to-end encryption. Despite having servers in the Netherlands, StartMail claims that it only collects anonymous data to improve the user interface.

You will not get many storage options with StartMail, though. The personal plan is $59.95 per year, while the business plan is $69.95, yet both plans only have 10GB of storage.

Plan:PriceStorage
Personal$510GB
Custom Domain$5.8510GB
Prices per month, billed annually.

9. Librem Mail

librem mail website homepage
Librem Mail uses K-9 Mail and OpenKeyChain for encrypting emails.

More details about Librem Mail:

  • Pricing: $7.99 per month (one-month plan)
  • Provider website: librem.one

Pros:

  • OpenPGP end-to-end security
  • Built-in VPN
  • Available on Android

Cons:

  • No free plan
  • Crashes often
  • Not available to iPhone users

Librem Mail is a part of Librem One — a one-stop shop for privacy-focused services — so you’ll get end-to-end encryption for safe emails, chats and socials. It automatically deletes unencrypted emails after 30 days to add an extra layer of protection. However, the email provider is based in the U.S., which raises many privacy concerns, given America’s policies for data collection.

Unfortunately, Librem Mail doesn’t have a free version. It charges $7.99 per month for a basic package that includes mail, chat, social media and VPN services.

Plan:Price
Get Everything$7.91 (monthly)
$71.91 (yearly)
Family Pack$14.99 (monthly)
$134.91 (yearly)

10. Fastmail

fastmail website homepage
Fastmail allows you to customize your email notifications.

More details about Fastmail:

  • Pricing: $5 per month (one-month plan)
  • Provider website: fastmail.com

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Supports IMAP & POP3
  • Supports custom domains

Cons:

  • Lacks end-to-end encryption
  • No free plan available 
  • Based in Australia 

Fastmail includes a slick user interface that makes it simple to quickly set up folders and use the advanced search option to find old emails. You have the option to create up to 600 disposable email addresses, which you can delete from the main menu. You can also filter those incoming emails to a different mailbox. 

Moreover, it offers features that shield your account from spam emails, though there’s no end-to-end encryption. In contrast to its competitors, Fastmail is relatively affordable. The basic plan costs $3 a month and includes features like calendars, contact lists and disposable email addresses.

Plan:PriceStorage
Basic$3 per month2GB
Standard$5 per month10GB
Professional$9 per month100GB

11. Mailbox

mailbox website services page
Every Mailbox plan includes a full suite of productivity tools.

More details about Mailbox:

  • Pricing: $3 per month (one-month plan)
  • Provider website: mailbox.org

Pros:

  • 30-day free trial
  • GDPR compliant
  • End-to-end encryption

Cons:

  • Expensive business plans
  • Logs IP addresses

Mailbox uses SSL/TLS encryption and end-to-end encryption to protect your emails. It has a function that allows you to test the encryption quality of the email transmission using TLS before sending it. Personal plans are reasonably priced, with a standard plan costing around $3 per month.

Plan:PriceStorage
Light$1 per month2GB
Standard$3 per month10GB
Premium$9 per month25GB

12. Kolab Now

kolab now inbox
Kolab Now allows over 108 billion files to be sent every day.

More details about Kolab Now:

  • Pricing: $5 per month (one-month plan)
  • Provider website: kolabnow.com

Pros:

  • Open source
  •  GDPR, HIPAA & PCI compliant
  • End-to-end encryption

Cons:

  • Limited storage
  • No free account

Kolab Now is another Swiss-based secure email provider with end-to-end encryption, so your data is well protected. It’s very user-friendly, especially since you can import your contacts and emails from another email client. 

Additionally, it has helpful features like file sharing, task management and notes. After you subscribe to a plan — the personal Just Mail plan costs roughly $5 per month — it offers a 30-day free trial.

Plan:PriceStorage
Just Mail$5 per month5GB
Full Kolab$9.92 per month5GB

13. Runbox

runbox inbox
Runbox uses IP address whitelisting to limit the people who can access your account.

More details about Runbox:

  • Pricing: $4.16 per month (one-year plan)
  • Provider website: runbox.com

Pros:

  • 60-day money-back return
  •  Disposable email addresses
  • Based in Norway

Cons:

  • Not suitable for businesses
  • No mobile apps

Runbox wins in the area of privacy because it is based in Norway, but it may fall short in security aspects because it doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption. However, it also includes key features like IP address removal and synchronization with other email clients that set it apart. Runbox’s cheapest package, which costs $19.95, offers 2GB of storage and a free trial.

Plan:PriceStorage
Micro$19.952GB
Mini$34.95   10GB
Medium$49.9525GB
Max$79.9550GB
Max100$119.95100GB
Max250$179.95250GB
Prices are annual

14. Thexyz

thexyz website email page
Thexyz allows you to restore deleted email messages.

More details about Thexyz:

  • Pricing: $4.95 per month (one-month plan)
  • Provider website: thexyz.com

Pros:

  • Supports IMAP & POP
  • Unlimited disposable emails
  • Android & iOS mobile apps

Cons:

  • No end-to-end encryption
  • No free trial
  • No desktop app

Thexyz offers exceptional security to users, including two-factor authentication and TLS/SSL encryption methods. Additionally, it enables you to sync your data across devices. Thexyz has voluntarily signed the GDPR — despite having its headquarters in Canada — which eases privacy concerns. The premium plan from Thexyz costs $2.95 a month for 25GB.

Plans:PriceStorage
Premium WebMail$2.9525GB
MobileSync + Cloud Drive$4.9530GB
Unlimited Email Archiving$9.95Varaible
Prices are monthly.

15. Soverin

soverin inbox
Soverin has a one-minute setup, with only about six steps to switch to it.

More details about Soverin:

  • Pricing: $3.25 per month (one-month plan)
  • Provider website: soverin.net

Pros:

  • Offers custom domains
  • Unlimited disposable emails

Cons:

  • Based in the Netherlands
  • No end-to-end encryption

Due to its use of SSL/TSL connections, email filters and the absence of advertising, Soverin is reliable in terms of security. However, it doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption. It even removes your IP address from the email header to further protect your privacy. Despite all this, the Netherlands’ privacy laws might make it less private. 

Soverin offers only one plan, which costs around $3.25 per month for 25GB of email storage.

Basic Plan
$3.25 per month
25GB

Why You Need to Use a Secure Email Provider

Using a regular email service without added security isn’t the best decision, considering the recent growth in cybercrime and data collection practices. You need a secure email provider that can protect your data from all prying eyes if you want to keep your communications private.

Most email service providers scan your data for marketing purposes or sell it to generate revenue, so your data may not be secure there. On the other hand, the most secure email services don’t even ask for your phone number or other contact information to use their service, which is excellent for safeguarding your anonymity.

What Is End-to-End Encryption?

End-to-end encryption is one of the main features that secure email providers implement to keep their service safe and private. End-to-end encryption refers to the fact that the message being transmitted is encrypted on the sender’s end and only gets decrypted once it reaches the recipient, leaving potential interlopers in the dark. 

If your email is not end-to-end encrypted, intruders may be able to read it before it reaches the recipient.

Final Thoughts: Secure Email Provider Options

The popular email providers — like Gmail — are not free, as you pay them with your data. Your security and privacy may also be at risk, regardless of who is collecting the data. Fortunately, you won’t have to worry about your email security anymore because of various secure email services.

The best option for fully securing your emails is Proton Mail, but the runners-up — such as Tutanota, Mailfence, Hushmail and CounterMail — are also among the most secure email providers. The rest of the services are still trustworthy and safe, even though they may not be among the finest on the market.

What encouraged you to make the decision to switch to a secure email provider? What service appears to be the best fit for you? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.

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