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A List Of Email Providers That Don’t Track You

by Grey One •

In A Nutshell

  • If you are interested in a reasonable level of email privacy — email that securely stored and not scanned — consider FastMail
  • If you want end-to-end email encryption — I recommend ProtonMail

The Details

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 (see ProtonMail or Enigmail).

FastMail: Reliable, Private Email

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 3.08.41 PM

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.

Based in Australia, FastMail has been running for 17 years, and they have a good privacy policy regarding email storage. Here’s what they say:

  • 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 USD 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. Prices start at 48 euros per year (about $56 USD)

Here are similar services that provide end-t0-end encrypted email:

Comments 48

  1. Great list, are any of these available on F-Droid? I’ve looked around a bit, but couldn’t find any of them. Would be a huge improvement if you don’t want to be tracked by Google.

  2. Beware of scammers i have been scammed 3 times because i was trying to know if my husband was cheating until i met this hacker named; (wizardcyprushacker@gmail.com) who helped me hack into my spouse phone for real this great hacker hacked into my spouse whats-app messages,Facebook messages.text messages,call logs,deleted text messages,bitcoin account and many more i was impressed with his job and he brought me results under 24 hours believe me he is real and his services are cheap and affordable.

  3. Aha, this page was discovered by the rusky trolls and immediately started campaigning. Who will be the next president?

  4. Please review https://soverin.net/ as this is a private & secure by design email service targeted at non-technical people – so very intuitive / easy to set up and use. No tracking, no advertising and no profiling. 25GB, calendar, personal profile page and contacts. Love to be in this list the next update.

    1. I am trying to contact the soverin.net customer support via twitter,contact form but never received a reply. The email provider without any customer support is not worth to consider

  5. Pingback: Saying goodbye to Yahoo. Taking back my privacy a little at a time.. | Roberts Thoughts 2

  6. Hey! You’ve created awesome list!

    I would like to add all “10 minutes email” services. They are really useful to use them when we don’t want to receive suspicious messages 🙂

  7. Fun article makes me LOL, and only for the ‘easy to believe everything’ people.

    ProtonMail based in Switzerland and (?nutral?), founded by people who went to Harvard and work at CERN! lol
    Others are all based in the European Union or United States! (nothing is safe here)
    No matter what encription, they own it all! 😉 Don’t get foolded people. It is all B*ullCrapp, and its Bad for ya!

    If you want secure Email – Server Hosting – Websites etc, i suggest you look in countries that don’t screw up our freedom of security. Example: Panama — Russia — Brazil — China.
    Search for ”’Hosting providers PANAMA”’, you’ll get the best and only FREEDOM of SECURITY and PRIVACY there is!
    PS: Use !!VPN!! And PAY for it, things for free doesnt fly, nothing is for free in this world 😉 😀

    1. What makes a Russian provider more trustworth than a Swiss provider? If you don’t trust encryption, you should probably be looking for something other than email to communicate.

      1. Seriously, you need to ask this question…
        NSA rings a bell? All European traffic goes true there mate 😉
        They also walk into your Windows/Apple/Android computer or telephone any time they want to.

        I suggest; Linux OS – Pre-Paid(cash) telephone – ‘Russian’ Kaspersky security suite including VPN -GPS blocker – Encrypted E-Mail provider in ‘Panama’ who doesn’t screw up our PRIVACY!

        Why Europe and the USA cancel the use for Kaspersky you think on government computers.
        I don’t mind the Russians look at my stuff if they want or do so, atleast they are honest about it and don’t use the info against me. Anti Russian propaganda b*llCr*p! Like hackers need that stuff lol

        Read George Orwell 1984, then atleast you know how it all ends for us in the west.

        1. Dude, even the NSA has MUCH, MUCH, MUCH, MUCH, MUCH more respect for your privacy and security than do Russia or China. And Kaspersky has close ties to Russia’s FSB, and actively assists them. Kaspersky himself is former Russian Millitary intleligence, and graduated from a cryptography school supported by the KGB, and you are recommending him but worrying about people who graduated from Harvard and worked at CERN?

          And China ranks worst in *the world* when it comes to internet freedom. Brazil is better, but even there they have banned What’s Ap and jailed a Facebook executive just because What’s Ap uses encryption which prevents the government from accessing user messages.

          Panama isn’t a bad suggestion. But if you are paranoid about the NSA, under US law, there are very few restrictions on what they can do outside of the US. So I’d still rather use a service in a country like Switzerland, with strong legal privacy protections of it’s own.

    2. I understand your opinion and yet you give little detail as to why your opinion is proof of the noted email systems in question are so bad. Then, of course, you talk about “Panama hosting server”. Where are the details?

      1. I was responding to the previous comment from “Anonymous”. They discounted my email provider selections, because they were based in Switzerland.

        In regards to Panama or Russia — it depends on what type of service/privacy you are seeking out.

  8. Indeed an informative list – but a do not include some of the other remarkable players. However, it seriously is incomplete without the following player:

    > https://mailfence.com/ (a pure end-to-end encryption service – that does not only provide confidentiality and integrity but also authentication via the capability of digital signatures, based on OpenPGP – it provides user full control over their keys and does it all in a very user-friendly manner)

    Now, the ultimate tool when it comes to OpenPGP and end-to-end encryption – is always have been GnuPG, though the reason it never really get lifted up is due to its complexity in terms of usability from a typical user standpoint (however, implementations like Gpg4Win, GPGSuite, Seahorse does come in handy).

    Lastly, the article is not bad at all, the only loose-end is not mentioning one of the key player. Nevertheless, it always drops down to one’s preferences and requirements (I personally use mailfence which is free, interoperable, without ads, completely locally hosted and provides an entire collaboration suite i.e. messages, contacts, calendar, documents, polls, tags ….)
    Again, its a matter of personal preference and the extent to which one understand end-to-end encryption technologies (OpenPGP, S/MIME etc, which most of the people don’t) – that contributes in the rightness and wrongness of their online privacy decisions.

  9. Hello there, try migadu.com, they are great and protect your privacy too. Free plan also avalable and you can use your own domain name.

  10. I am looking for an email service where both sender and receiver download email service, emails are encrypted between sender and receiver, emails are not stored on the company’s servers, but are stored on users’ devices. Only two people have the email — sender and receiver. Once both delete the email it is gone. Any recommendations?

    1. You can heck out decentralized messaging via bitmessage, or I2P-Bote.

      These apps allow you send encrypted text messages: Telegram, TextSecure (Android) by Open Whisper Systems, Wickr (Android and iOS), Cryptocat (iOS),

      Take it a step further and get control of your email with this easy-to-deploy mail server in a box. Mail-in-a-Box lets you become your own mail service provider in a few easy steps. It’s sort of like making your own gmail, but one you control from top to bottom. Technically, Mail-in-a-Box turns a fresh cloud computer into a working mail server. But you don’t need to be a technology expert to set it up. More: https://mailinabox.email/

  11. What are your thoughts on a paid Google for Work email account. Google says it does not scan those accounts and there are no ads.

  12. I did not see Sub Rosa at novo-ordo.com mentioned. Server is located in Panama, works with POP3, IMAP, or webmail over the clear web or the dark web, with no javascript. Lots of features. $34 per year so you know how they make their money.

  13. Thanks for all the helpful info on your site —

    but I’m very curious to know —
    why is there no mention of StartMail in this article?

    or at least in any Replies? article is dated 2014,
    I think StartMail is officially released in 2015

    I’ve had a fastmail account since they were fastmail.fm (pre-Opera),
    but I’m always interested in possibly better alternatives.

    TIA for sharing your perspective on StartMail.

    1. * bump * Truly, would sincerely appreciate your assessment of StartMail,
      as I requested a week ago. Just purchased a FastMail account for a client-friend,
      but I have more stringent needs than what FastMail may be able to provide at this time.

      Thank you for your Attention —

      1. I haven’t tested StartMail — looks like a reasonable offering, but it doesn’t offer much more that Fastmail in terms of privacy. One interesting feature is the one‐click PGP encryption through the webmail client.

        Startmail also offers Perfect Forward Secrecy, but Fastmail offers that too.

  14. Senior citizen here. Ignorant today. Could use some advice about privacy. Years ago with dialup, I had IMAP-POP email and used Pegasus mail. Now I have hughesnet for satellite and use yahoomail because a former wireless provider didn’t provide an email address.

    I’ve never used gmail, and I would like to get rid of yahoo. Given that I use hughesnet, what are my options of secure email services? I know that hughesnet will not work with VPNs because it uses its own proxy, but what about email?

    1. If you want to get away from Gmail and Yahoo and keep your every day email reasonably private, Fastmail would be your best bet. For more privacy, Tutanota is one of the better encrypted email services.

  15. Are there any secure email providers that allow you to have nested conversations (like Gmail)? I’m told you can do it via Thunderbird but I don’t like the idea of having my email stored on my computer.

  16. Hi there!
    I just read your blog post about privacy conscious webmail service
    and if it’s ok for you I would suggest you another website to add to the list.
    I’m Niko, nice to meet you!
    I’m the owner of “https://digitalenvelopes.email”, I’m a geek guy, FLOSS fanatic and a
    linux system administrator. I made up this website to give a chance to my friends,
    and actually to all the people that wanna try it, to use something different from big email providers.
    We all know privacy is a big problem with big email providers 😉

    It’s built 100% using open source software.

    With digitalenvelopes.email you can choose between 3 different webmail interfaces
    (Horde, Roundcube, Rainloop) and all of them come with the possibility to use pgp encryption,
    although unencrypted messages can also be sent.

    Horde, Roundcube, Rainloop are all at last version and keep updated.

    There are six available domains.

    An email is required to register, but registration is immediate so this can be a disposable one.

    Although the service is technically ‘free’, digitalenvelopes.email is run just by me,
    and therefore relies on donations.

    Ads: no
    Aliases: up to 5
    Terminated if inactive for: 180 days
    Encrypted by default: yes
    Inbox size: 1GB but effectively unlimited (support for more)
    POP/IMAP: yes
    Based: Italy
    Perfect Forward Secrecy: yes
    Privacy policy (https://digitalenvelopes.email/blog/index.php/privacy-policy/)
    Antivirus/spam filtering: Clam AV, SpamAssasin
    User IP in mail headers: No (webmail & SMTP)
    Signup through Tor: No
    Max attachment: 50MB (support for more)
    Severs in: France, Canada
    Connection Security: TLS 1.2, AES256 GCM and SHA384 with ECDHE RSA

  17. Beware of sigma.email! They are way too unreliable. I’ve been using them for a few weeks but have only got a handful of the emails that I was supposed to. Of course the most inconvenient and deadline oriented emails were the ones that were MIA. Same thing with Safe-mail.

  18. “William Smith says
    February 26, 2015 at 6:42 am

    Try https://sigma.email , encrypts using AES 256 in transit and on server clusters with unknown random keys. Its free and unlimited space, users can have their own domains as well.”

    I cant find any review on sigma.email. The interface looks really good along with calendar and note build in. Very nice layout overall on signmal email. i’m currently using runbox but the interface is out dated even for just simple thing as e-mailing. Filter in Runbox is a pain and it just not as handy as i want in sigma.

    Before switching all my account to sigma i would like more review and reliability source of this server. Google and nothing came up.

    1. I was using https://sigma.email and it seemed to work pretty well but it seems complete dead now. I just get

      Error establishing a database connection

      trying to access their server the last day or so.

  19. lighten up for gods sake. what can someone get
    from my email? the tons of porn solicitors and male enhancement offers?
    jeez.

    1. Your email account should be your most protected account, because hackers can use it to break into your other accounts. For example, a hacker can request password resets, and then click on the link in an email to complete the reset.

      Also, companies can gain vast amount of personal information by scanning your email. They can then sell that information to other companies, and link all the information together.

  20. Another great alternative is Posteo.de

    It’s hosted in Germany and offers the latest security standards alongside a data frugality approach i.e. they don’t ask you for your name, adress or other unnecessary details, you can even have an anonymous account if you pay with cash, the service costs 1€/month which I find very reasonable.

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