It can feel like a neverending game of cat and mouse. You hear about the latest security threats that are out there, so you figure you’ll try and update your password to be on the safe side.
Except you find out that your email account was hacked just a couple of days ago.
It’s time for an upgrade!
The internet is a great invention and has definitely changed the way we live. It has given us instant access to information, staying connected with friends and family, and a whole lot more.
However, this luxury does come with an increase in security threats from hackers, viruses, and identity thieves. One way to reduce that risk is to implement one of these secure email providers that I’ll be going through in this post.
These companies are equipped with military-grade encryption software designed to protect you from all sorts of online threats.
Ready? Let’s Fly!
Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links that may provide a small commission to me at no cost to you (it will buy me a cup of coffee though 😉). However, these are the most secure service email providers to guard against your information being stolen. You can read more about the affiliate disclosure in my affiliate policy.
What are the Best Secure Email Providers?
Here is my list of the most secure email providers to keep your information secure from hackers and people trying to steal your identity.
Most Popular Secure Email Provider.
Headquartered in Switzerland with support centers in the United States and Macedonia, ProtonMail has spared no expense in creating one of the world’s most popular secure email services.
An article from Forbes labeled ProtonMail as “the only email system the NSA can’t access“.
The way it works is the data is encrypted before it gets to the server. Even if someone wanted to gain access and read the emails from another person, all of the encryption happened on your computer before it reached the ProtonMail server.
Known as zero access encryption, this means there’s no way for staff members from ProtonMail or their servers to see the original email. Now that’s secure!
- End-to-end encryption with a strict no logs policy.
- Available as an app on both Apple and Android.
- Own domain support.
- Self-destructing email function.
- End-to-end encrypted cloud storage.
It doesn’t matter if you’re working from the office, your home, or on the run, you can set up multiple email addresses for every role that you manage all from the one inbox which is encrypted by default.
This means you can feel safe providing classified data such as social security numbers to client information which is intended to be seen by certain people who need access and protected by the strict Swiss policy laws.
ProtonMail offers four different plans. Free, Plus, Professional, and Visionary. For most users, the free email will be enough with 500MB of space and the ability to send 150 emails per day.
Users who take up the Plus plan have the option to add extras to their plan such as extra storage, extra domains, or extra addresses. Also, by paying yearly you get access to a 20% discount.
2. Zoho Mail.
Best for small businesses using a B2B Office Suite.
Headquartered in India, Zoho is increasingly popular with business clients and solopreneurs alike thanks to its balance of feature-rich apps and heavy security.
Speaking of security, it comes with all of the features you would expect from a high-end secure email service provider. They have servers located globally which can be accessed by their staff.
So if your emails are subjected to any local government searches they will be able to get into it. Having said that, there is an extensive measure in place if it is ever needed to be accessed.
Zoho Mail is more than just an inbox. It comes with a complete suite of apps to manage your business right from your email account. You can be more productive with an integrated calendar, contacts list, tasks, notes, and bookmarks.
You can have meetings with your team, assign tasks, or even make it into a live stream.
If you’ve ever regretted sending an email then Zoho has you covered. Share your drafts with others to look over them before sending it.
- 2FA for added security.
- Malware, spam, and end-to-end encryption.
- GDPR email compliant policies – handy if you have an office or do business in the EU.
- Comes as both a web app and smartphone app.
- Supports OAuth 2.0 for third party apps such as Zapier.
- Out of office response – let people know when you’re on vacation.
Other features include having the ability of an admin or super admin to view the access level of every user and even allow password resets.
Of course, if you get stuck at any point you can make contact with Zoho’s technical support 24hrs a day by email or over the phone.
Pricing starts with a Forever Free plan however, assuming you came here for secure emails this probably isn’t the plan for you. Both web and mobile apps don’t include IMAP/POP/Active Sync as part of the free version.
The good news is that for just $1 you can get access to their Mail Lite plan which has significant advantages over the free version such as massive 250MB attachments.
If you or your business require additional apps from Zoho then take a look at the Workplace plan. You’ll get exclusive access to their wordprocessor, spreadsheet, and online meeting software.
One feature I like about Zoho is they give you a 15-day trial for their most popular Mail Premium plan.
Best for SMEs, healthcare businesses, and lawyers.
Launched in 1999, Hushmail is one of the oldest encrypted mail services. Located in Canada, their services have evolved into a simple and easy-to-use platform surrounded by Canadian privacy laws to protect your information.
While there is no hardware or software to install as they are a fully hosted web-based service, iPhone users do have access to an app so you can experience the same encryption anywhere you go.
This means you can send encrypted emails to anyone, even those who don’t use Hushmail.
However, to use the app will require a premium or business account. It does come standard with 2FA and Touch ID making it one of the more secure email clients on iOs.
- OpenPGP encryption with all communications over their servers being an A+ grade SSL/TLS connection.
- Hushmail for healthcare is fully HIPAA compliant so all of your client’s records that contain personal health information are kept confidential. It also includes the required BAA agreement.
- ESIGN and UETA compliant for use with electronic signatures on important digital forms.
- Build your own or customize secure web forms.
- Technical support via phone, email, or Twitter.
Hushmail is perfect for businesses owners and private home users that are purely looking for an email client.
Hushmail doesn’t offer any free plans, however, all plans come with a 60-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t completely satisfied.
The plans are broken up into different categories such as healthcare (HIPAA), small business, law, and personal use. Within these categories, you can find different pricing plans depending on your needs.
The Recommended Plan is the sweet spot (probably why they called it the recommended plan – original) with those in the healthcare industry that need electronic signatures, it comes included with this plan.
The Starter Plan is quite light on features but comes with all of the security and compliance you would expect. Each plan also comes with custom domains.
Starter Plan – $9.99/month
Recommended Plan – $19.99/month
Custom Plan – Starting from $39.99/month
Both plans in this category are very similar. Both come with up to two secure web forms and 10 Gb of storage per account. The only difference is that the small business plus has the ability to do email archiving.
Small Business Plan – $5.99 per user/month
Small Business Plus Plan – $7.99 per user/month
Very similar in features to the small business plans above. One difference is that with the law plan you’ll get access to a private message center. This is great if you have clients who don’t use Hushmail, they will receive a secure link to click on.
They will then get redirected to a secure web page to read your email and fill in any required forms.
Other features include an optional security question to verify the recipient’s identity before they get access to any secure information.
As an added extra security measure, any emails that contain sensitive information have the ability to remain in the message center for only a certain amount of time.
It is set to two weeks by default but you can change this time period as you need to.
Hushmail for Law – $9.99 per user/month
While it might seem that the focus is on business accounts, there is still an option for those who just want something a little more secure for their own emails. If you don’t mind ending up with a hushmail.com domain then this option this definitely the cheapest plan.
But if it’s a non-negotiable to have your own domain then you’ll need to upgrade to the small business plan.
Hushmail Premium – $49.98 annually
Best for digital signatures and the most customizable service.
Mailfence believes that privacy is a right and not a feature. As such, there are no third-party advertising or marketing trackers. In fact, Mailfence doesn’t even track your activity inside of their application.
Because Mailfence is located in Belgium with no other foreign parent company, only a valid Belgian court order can force them to release data. They do not comply with requests from domestic or international authorities. So they are not liable to any US gag orders or NSL’s.
If you’re after a suite of tools and features Mailfence has you covered. They offer an E2EE (end-to-end encryption) email solution, user-friendly calendars, document sharing, and import your contacts from all accounts.
- Access Mailfence from mobile devices using ActiveSync.
- Send encrypted messages to people who are not Mailfence users.
- Full control over your OpenPGP key management via an integrated keystore.
- Own domain name.
- two factor authentication support.
One of the biggest features of Mailfence is its digital signatures encryption (PGP/MIME) on every message. This is the same as handwriting your signature or giving it your company’s seal of approval.
It lets the receiver know that it was actually sent from you and you alone. There is no way it could have been sent from another address or someone else pretending to be you.
A four-tier pricing plan is offered for users. My recommendation is to start off on the free plan and then upgrade as you need to.
The great thing about the free plan is you get 500MB of storage for emails and another 500MB for your documents. It even includes customer support!
It is evident Mailfence is supportive of the fight for digital rights with 15% of the proceeds from the Pro and Ultra plans going to support the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the European Digital Rights Foundation.
Best for encrypting your existing email accounts.
With most other secure email service providers out there you will need to create a whole new email account. This can easily put people off from joining. Enter SecureMyEmail.
Here you can easily get set up with your current Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, or even iCloud email account and take advantage of their security measures.
The only requirement to be able to use your current email is that it must support IMAP (which most do anyway).
With the ability to encrypt up to eight email addresses per account, it’s perfect if you have a number of different email domains including your business or work email.
- No need to create new email addresses.
- Message expiry for additional protection.
- Uses PGP encryption keys – or import your own.
- Digitally sign your emails to prevent fraud.
- Use SecureMyEmail on all devices with native software for Apple, Android, and Windows.
The features just keep on coming with SecureMyEmail. Enjoy HIPAA and GDPR compliant emails with an easy to set up interface. And should you need it, you can contact them for their BAA.
To get started, simply download the software and create an account. No credit card information is required but you will only get to use SecureMyEmail for one email address.
If you wanted to get up to eight email accounts secured then choose to do the 30-day free trial instead. Even if you were on the free plan you can choose to upgrade at any time.
When you decide to upgrade you can choose between three different payment methods.
- Bill monthly – $3.99/month
- Bill yearly – $24.99/year ($2.49/month)
- Lifetime – One time payment of $99.99
To increase security overall, pair it up with a VPN from Witopia and get 40% off their VPN services when you purchase a plan from SecureMyEmail.
Best for ease of use.
Tutanota is known for its encryption style. They utilize open source technology and not only encrypts the entire mailbox but the calendar, your contacts…everything!
It hosts all of your emails in Germany using E2EE meaning your privacy is covered by strict data protection laws and the GDPR.
Whether you use the app or the web-based version, is very easy to use and navigate (not to mention aesthetically pleasing to the eye). You even have the ability to make an email secure or not secure with just one click of a button.
Even if you’re sending to someone outside of the Tutanota system you can specify a password for the email to be used by receivers and they can reply right within the same interface making it extremely secure.
- Used on any device or desktop with a user friendly and fast web client.
- Tutanota is an open source making sure the code is bug free and secure as possible.
- Entire mailbox is encrypted including subject lines, headers, body, and all attachments.
- IP addresses and metadata deleted.
- Supports over 20 languages.
Tutanota lets you create a white label style mailbox with your company’s logo and domain name. One unique feature is that you can add an encrypted contact form to your website. This means that any emails you get from your company site have the same level of security as your Tutanota mailbox.
Tutanota pricing separates plans into two different categories, private and business. The only free plan comes from the private category and although it is quite limited it may be enough for some users.
If you opt for the free plan then be prepared to accept only a Tutanota domain with a limited email search.
On the other hand business plans come with a lot more features and customizations. Naturally, if you go for a yearly plan you’ll save the most amount of money.
And if none of that suits you then you can create your own package with options that suit you the best. Options such as extra storage, white-label, sharing, or business features are able to be added as part of your plan.
Overall a very good and secure email client that can be much cheaper than other premium providers.
Best eco-friendly secure email provider.
If you’re just getting started with an online business then Runbox can not only provide a secure and private email service but domain hosting as well. You can then integrate your new domain with your email service to make it more personalized.
Runbox is located in the beautiful country of Norway where their data center sources 100% of electricity from renewable energy. Being based in Oslo, the company operates under strict Norweigian jurisdiction which means your data is secure from any third party and won’t be shared without your knowledge.
Runbox also comes with a powerful virus filter to keep your device and data safe from attacks. The spam filter can ‘learn’ your habits. Eventually, it will begin to understand what you allow into your inbox and what you send to the trash, keeping your inbox clean.
- Compatible with any email client including Apple Mail, Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.
- Keep your account secure with 2FA.
- Hide your IP address to remain anonymous.
- Advanced yet user-friendly webmail.
Runbox comes completely ad-free and lets you store your calendar items online (CalDAV) which can be synchronized across multiple devices.
If you come across any issues you can get in touch with Runbox’s customer service via email, web, and live chat.
To get started you’ll have to sign up for a main account. Runbox’s pricing structure is fairly complicated with lots of optional extras if you need them.
Every main account comes with a one-month free trial and up to a 60-day money-back guarantee. Features of the main account include up to 100 email aliases and the ability to purchase subaccounts for yourself or others.
Additional privacy features can also be purchased if you are after something a little more secure than just what is featured in the standard email service. These include dedicated, backup storage, and finding out particular information regarding domain registrars and registries.
Secure Email Provider FAQ
What is the Purpose of a Secure Email?
The purpose of using a security-focused email provider is to encrypt or hide what is being sent in an email. This protects any sensitive information from being viewed by anyone other than the intended recipient.
But it’s not just about hiding your social security number or client’s information. Hackers use email to gain access to attachments, and details about you. This could be used for fraud or other illegal activity.
What is the Most Secure Free Email Account Provider?
ProtonMail is the most secure free email account provider. The answer lies with the fact that the data is actually encrypted before the email even gets to their servers.
And even then, you would also be protected by the strict privacy laws of Switzerland, which is where the headquarters of the company is located.
This makes ProtonMail the least hacked email provider.
Is Gmail a Secure Email?
Gmail is a secure email provider but only up to a certain point. Their way of encryption is through TLS (or Transport Layer Security). It means that while your email is on the way to your recipient it will be very hard for anyone to even ‘take a look’ at what’s inside your email.
When it finally gets to the other end and has reached the server, it can’t be guaranteed that your email will actually remain confidential. Google could theoretically have the ability to see all of your messages on your account.
It’s actually how they determine phishing scams and spam attacks.
If you value any kind of protection over your privacy on the internet then given how often we are emailing these days it’s a good idea to look at some of these tools. Most come with a free trial or free version which is good enough if you’re a personal user.
However, if you have a business that relies on sending and receiving personal information then it could pay off to have an encrypted channel to send those details through.
Completely free email providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook do their best to try and encrypt the data, but you need to ask yourself if they are really placing the highest priority on your security.
Of course, no online product will ever be 100% secure so it’s important not to forget the basics and use a VPN as an extra layer of security to make it extremely difficult for someone else to gain unauthorized access.
Which is your favorite email provider? Are there any other secure email providers I need to add?
Let me know in the comments below!
It’s time to be the pilot of your life and not just the passenger.
Chris Bournelis is a blogger and part-time web developer. He has been working in online business since 2015. Join him here at ChrisBournelis.com for the best SaaS reviews and tips to get the most out of your online business.