In A Nutshell
- If you are interested in a reasonable level of email privacy (securely stored and not scanned) consider FastMail
- If you want your emails stored in Switzerland I recommend MyKolab
- 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, see 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 $10 per year.
Encrypted Email Providers
ProtonMail is a reliable encrypted email provider based in Switzerland.
Here are some similar services that provide end-t0-end encrypted email:
Kolab Now: Secure Business Email and File Sharing
Kolab Now is one of the most fully-featured private email providers. The service is hosted in Switzerland, because of its strict privacy law. It is run with 100% Open Source software which is developed in-house by Kolab Systems. You can access you email via a webmail interface, or via mobiles devices and email clients via IMAP/POP.
Kolab Now also provides a full groupware feature set to its users. This includes multiple address books, shared calendars, task management and synchronization to various native clients and mobile devices.
They also support an ActiveSync option, which allows you to synchronize all your emails, contacts, events and tasks from MyKolab.com to your mobile device. This works with all devices that support ActiveSync, such as Android, iPhone or Blackberry Z10. You can also decide what folders will be synchronized to your device. Alternatively, you can use CalDAV and CardDAV capable clients to synchronize your data.
Prices are about $11 per month for an individual account.