In A Nutshell
- If you are interested in a reasonable level of email privacy — securely stored and not scanned — consider FastMail
- If you want end-to-end email encryption — I recommend ProtonMail
Almost all of us would prefer our emails to remain private, or at least not routinely scanned by large corporations and government entities. There are email companies (listed below) that provide a service where your email will remain fairly secure and un-scanned.
Note, however, that regular email is an inherently insecure medium. This is because email is always sent to someone else — thus releasing them into unknown hands. For example, if you send an email to someone who uses Gmail, your email will scanned by Google and the NSA. If you want to avoid this situation, you’ll have to encrypt all you emails, and send them to people who also have encrypted email installed (for example using Thunderbird with Enigmail and GnuPG).
Listed below are email services that offer two advantages over services like Gmail or Yahoo Mail — they do not scan your emails, and they provide a fairly secure environment for email storage. They also do not require personal information like phone numbers during registration.
FastMail: Reliable, Private Email
If you want a reliable, independent email service that doesn’t scan your messages like Gmail or Hotmail, I reccommed using a provider like FastMail.
- we use encrypted SMTP for sending your mail when the receiving server supports it
- we mandate encrypted access for webmail, IMAP and POP
- we use Perfect Forward Secrecy where possible for all encrypted connections
- we encrypt all email while at rest on our servers
- we encrypt communications between our data centers
After testing this service for years, I found this company to be a reliable provider. Fastmail has well-designed apps for iOS and Android.
FastMail‘s prices start at $30 per year.
Encrypted Email Providers
If you want more security and anonymity you can opt for an encrypted email provider. These services provider “end-to-end” email encryption, and the ability to send encrypted to those who use regular email.
ProtonMail is a reliable encrypted email provider based in Switzerland.
Here are similar services that provide end-t0-end encrypted email: