4 Best free Secure Email Providers | No cost & ad free (2023)

These are the best free secure email providers

  1. SecureMyEmail
  2. Mailfence
  3. ProtonMail
  4. Tutanota

Secure email solutions are growing in popularity as more and more people are choosing to leave insecure email providers such as Outlook, Yahoo, and Gmail. Those services have been shown to scan user’s emails for advertising data. And have even been caught providing access to the contents of emails for government snoops at the NSA.

If you are sick of having your privacy invaded, you may be wondering if it is possible to start getting better email security for free. The good news is that there are plenty of secure email providers on the market that provide a simple, single address service for free. In this guide, we'll show you our favourites.

While secure email options don’t necessarily get masses of storage space, and all the extra features that come with a Google account, you do get secure encrypted messaging. This means that when you send and receive emails, you know that only you can access the contents of those emails.

The best free secure Email providers: In-depth analysis

Below we have listed the 5 most secure free email providers. All of these services will keep your private emails private and are great alternatives to Gmail, Outlook, and other services that sell your data to the highest bidder. Click through to the email provider's website for more information about their service.

1. SecureMyEmail

With a free tier available, support for encrypting up to 8 email addresses and the ability to pay monthly or annually, SecureMyEmail is a simple way to secure your emails.

  • Pricing

    • Monthly Price: $3.99/mth
    • Annual Price: $29.99/mth
    • Lifetime: $99.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Impressive free tier
    • No need to change email addresses
    • Supports end-to-end encryption
    • Easy-to-use encryption
  • Cons

    • Some features sluggish
    • There are cheaper options

SecureMyEmail boasts an easy-to-use service that takes the stress out of securing your emails, all without having to change your email or move to a new service! I loved that, unlike other secure email providers like Startmail or Tutanota, SecureMyEmail works alongside popular services such as Yahoo, Outlook and Gmail rather than being a replacement for them, and you don't need to be a tech pro to get set up and make your emails more secure.


There's no charge to sign up for an account


You don't have to hand over any personal details or even payment information to get started. The only thing you need to hand over is the email address you want to secure. Not only that, if the address you want to protect is a Gmail, Yahoo, or Microsoft/Outlook account, then you can keep using SecureMyEmail entirely free.


If the free tier isn't quite enough for you, if your account is on another service like BT, Verizon, Virgin, etc, then you will need to sign up for a paid subscription. You'll also need to sign up for a subscription if you want to protect more than a single email address, with the subscription covering up to eight, which should be more than enough for most folks. A subscription costs $3.99 per month or $29.99 per year and there's even a lifetime option for a one-off payment of $99.99, though we remain unconvinced that these offer real value for money and would suggest you stick with paying monthly/annually instead.


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Pretty good privacy encryption


SecureMyEmail uses PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) for its encryption, but it's made it easy to use even for those who are new to this sort of security. PGP has been around for decades and is still used as the basis for many secure messaging systems. Messages sent using PGP encryption are secured from being intercepted or read by anyone but the intended recipient.


To get it set up, you will need to set up a passphrase, which should be different from your account password, to secure the public and private keys that SecureMyEmail creates. Make sure you don't lose this passphrase or you won't be able to access your encrypted messages! You don't even need to use the PGP key that SecureMyEmail creates – if you have your own key already, you can import and use that one instead!


Apps for all platforms


You don't just need to be a desktop computer user either. SecureMyEmail has apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, ensuring that you can secure your email no matter where you are or what device you're using. There's even an unlimited 30-day free trial for you to try it for yourself. Just remember that if you want to secure more than one address, or you're using anything other than Google, Yahoo or Outlook, you will lose access at the end of that time unless you opt for a subscription.

Mailfence offers 500MB of storage, two-factor authentication, calendar functionality and compatibility with other OpenPGP email services.

  • Pricing

    • 500 MB: $0/mth
    • 5GB: $2.75/mth
    • 20 GB: $8.3/mth
  • Pros

    • Free option available
    • Low-cost premium plans
    • Integrated calendars, contacts, and document storage
  • Cons

    • Interface could be more up-to-date
    • Does log some user data

Mailfence is based in Belgium offers a highly-impressive free service. Free users are permitted to get a single email address with 500 Mb of storage. Add to that the wealth of features available, and the advantages of using this service stack up quickly.


Customisable security


End-to-end encryption is provided thanks to strong PGP compatibility. However, for beginners, the option is there to securely encrypt emails using a "shared secret" password system. This means that anybody can instantly start sending secure emails – without the need to learn about complicated PGP keys.


4 Best free Secure Email Providers | No cost & ad free (4)


More than just an email provider


Mailfence has awesome extra features such as a calendar, contacts, and documents storage – helping you to maximize your organization, without the extra cost. It's also easy to sync the service across all your devices – and lets you quickly import your old contacts from your old email address using a CSV file.


Full transparency for logs


While Mailfence does store some logs about its users – including user IP addresses and metadata – it only does this to comply with Belgian laws. And it does provide a full transparency report that reveals exactly how many requests from the authorities it receives.


However, no matter what warrants it receives, it can never provide access to the contents of emails thanks to the strong end-to-end encryption it provides.

3. ProtonMail

(Video) 5 Best encrypted email services for 2021 | Are you using a secure email??

Protonmail offers secure file storage, encrypted email to non-users, password protected messages and an excellent free tier.

  • Pricing

    • Free: $0/mth
    • 1 month: $0/mth
    • Plus: $4/mth
    • Plus: $5/mth
    • Professional: $6.25/mth
    • Professional: $8/mth
  • Pros

    • Supports OpenPGP
    • Self-destructing emails
    • Send encrypted messages to non-users
    • Free tier available
  • Cons

    • Has handed over user data to authorities in the past
    • No POP3 support
    • You'll need a burner email for setup

ProtonMail is based in Switzerland, a location considered much better than invasive jurisdictions such as the US and the UK, but one that has recently become fraught with controversy due to the BÜPF legislation which binds telecommunication companies to store user information.


A knock to its reputation


Unfortunately, Swiss authorities have recently served the firm with warrants to provide data in ongoing criminal cases, and as such, ProtonMail's reputation and user-base have taken a significant knock, losing the trust of activists around the world. Despite this, the service remains a robustly secure provider, and one that's certainly worth considering if you're just looking to add an extra layer of security to your emails. However, it is not one that we would recommend for political activists or dissidents who may see Swiss authorities cooperating with their own government.


4 Best free Secure Email Providers | No cost & ad free (6)


You'll need a disposable email for setup


Free users are asked to verify their account, which means that you will need to provide another email address when you create the account. This is not ideal and does mean that to start a free account that isn't tied to you, you will need a burner email address elsewhere. This is pretty easy to obtain and isn't an issue with the right setup.


Open-source and fully audited


Fortunately, ProtonMail is an open-source email solution, and has been independently audited. In addition, it provides full PGP compatibility for sending encrypted emails, and all emails are securely encrypted on its servers while at rest.


This is impressive considering that you can use it for free with one address and 500 MB of storage space. If you want to add robust security to your day-to-day emails, and don't need more than one email address, it's well worth putting to the test!

4. Tutanota

4 Best free Secure Email Providers | No cost & ad free (7)

Tutanota offers 1GB of free storage, apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iPhone and the ability to send encrypted messages to non-users.

  • Pricing

    • Free: $0/mth
    • 1 month: $0/mth
    • /year: $13.23/mth
    • /year: $66/mth
  • Pros

    • Open-source code
    • Free tier available
    • Support for custom domains
    • Removes IP address from emails when sending
  • Cons

    • Doesn't use PGP
    • No aliases on free account
    • Free users are limited to only other Tutanota accounts

Tutanota is a superb email service that permits users to have one email address and 1GB of storage for free. It's a great service for secure email beginners that don't want to learn about PGP keys (since PGP encrypted email can have a steep learning curve). Couple that with calendar and contact integration, and you get a robust platform that's brimming with features.


4 Best free Secure Email Providers | No cost & ad free (8)


Advanced encryption


With Tutanota, you get the ability to send and receive emails securely without PGP keys. This is done using strong AES encryption with Perfect Forward Secrecy. So what does this mean? With Tutanota you can use a special link system and a password to send end-to-end encrypted emails to anybody: no matter which service they currently use.


Minimal metadata logs


Perhaps the only downsides are that the firm stores some minimal metadata logs about messages sent using the service for 5 days (to keep the service running smoothly) – however, this should not be a concern to 99.9% of users. Couple that with the limitation that free users can only interact with other Tutanota domains and you may want to consider the €1/month upgrade to the premium version.


4 Best free Secure Email Providers | No cost & ad free (9)


Greater privacy protection


Fortunately, Tutanota is designed to strip IP addresses from the header of emails, and it can even encrypt metadata. As a result, you get an extremely secure email service that makes it very difficult for anybody to track your emails, and impossible for them to see the contents. Users can even send self-destructing emails!

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Free secure Email Alternative

Signal

Unlimited storage – encrypted messages – Apps for Android and iPhone

4 Best free Secure Email Providers | No cost & ad free (10)

Ok, so we will begin by admitting that this is not actually an email service. However, it is free, and when it comes to sending messages with strong end-to-end encryption there is nothing that really rivals Signal for ease of use and security.

Signal is completely secure, and it is one of the few services that promise never ever to work with government authorities. Singal’s developer Open Whisper is on the record as stating that it will never provide backdoors for the authorities, and the Signal protocol is both open source and extremely robust.

The nice thing about Signal is that it is absolutely free. That means anybody, anywhere, can send messages using the service without paying a dime. And, with Signal, you know that nobody will ever see the contents of your messages – other than the intended recipient.

So, while this isn’t technically an email service, it does allow you to send encrypted messages over the internet. We think that for many people Signal is a better option for communicating than via an email address with a big tech firm such as Google. And for this reason, we recommend people to look into this free service!

Check out more private instant messaging options.

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Conclusion

If you want to start sending secure emails for free, you are going to need an email provider that provides end-to-end encryption for nothing. This is extremely rare because providing strong end-to-end encryption is not easy.

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Many free emailing services exist, such as KOLAB Now, and those services are considered better than Gmail because they do not actively break into user’s emails to scan them for marketing purposes. However, many of those email providers do not provide encryption for data at rest or end-to-end encryption.

As a result, those free email accounts can not be considered secure. Because, if they are approached with a warrant by the government they will have to (and be able to) provide access to the contents of your emails.

In this guide, we have listed only email services that provide strong encryption that ensures only the senders and recipients of message ever have access to the contents. This is true email security, and these services all provide it for free.

FAQs

Which email is most secure and free? ›

ProtonMail is the most secure free email account provider. This safety is due to the service provider offering end-to-end encryption, but it also has to do with the physical location of the ProtonMail headquarters in Switzerland.

What is the most secure free email provider 2022? ›

1. ProtonMail. ProtonMail is the most well-known secure email provider. It's open source, based in Switzerland, and provides end-to-end asymmetric encryption.

Is there a safer email than Gmail? ›

With anonymous mail and end-to-end encryption, Proton Mail is the best secure email service available in the market. Its security is so tight that even Proton cannot decrypt and read your emails, giving you complete protection. Proton has an open-source code, and their basic accounts are free.

Which is safer Gmail or ProtonMail? ›

Generally speaking, ProtonMail is more secure, while Gmail is more flexible. As we'll see in our quick comparison, Gmail's flexibility makes it a great choice for using other Google services (such as Docs). Similarly, ProtonMail's security is invaluable when sending sensitive data.

Is there anything better than ProtonMail? ›

Tutanota encrypts more sections of your email and inbox than ProtonMail (your calendar and address book) while also giving you a zero-knowledge text search. No one at Tutanota can see what you search for within your emails. Tutanota also makes it impossible to trace messages back to the user at least by using their IP.

Is ProtonMail free better than Gmail? ›

ProtonMail vs Gmail: Using Different Email Providers

Gmail offers a wider variety of features for more personal use, whereas Proton Mail is strictly a secure email service, sending mail with end-end encryption. If security is number one on your list of email service properties, maybe Proton Mail is the one for you.

Is the free version of ProtonMail secure? ›

All messages on the ProtonMail servers boast end-to-end encryption. This means that not even ProtonMail can read your messages. The only way to access your data is through an encryption key that is known only to you. End-to-end encryption is one of the safest ways to communicate via email.

Which free email service is best? ›

An overview of the best email providers in 2022:
  • Gmail.
  • Outlook.
  • AOL.
  • Proton Mail.
  • Zoho Mail.
  • GMX.
  • iCloud Mail.
  • 8. Yahoo Mail.

Do hackers use ProtonMail? ›

ProtonMail is a truly secure email service. I found no evidence that someone has hacked them. Yes, there have been attempts, but they have all failed.

What companies have been hacked the most? ›

The 67 Biggest Data Breaches Ranked by Impact
  1. CAM4 Data Breach. Date: March 2020. ...
  2. 2. Yahoo Data Breach (2017) Date: October 2017. ...
  3. Aadhaar Data Breach. ...
  4. First American Financial Corporation Data Breach. ...
  5. Verifications.io Data Breach. ...
  6. LinkedIn Data Breach (2021) ...
  7. 7. Facebook Data Breach (2019) ...
  8. Yahoo Data Breach (2014)

What is replacing Gmail? ›

Best Alternatives to Gmail in 2022
  • Outlook.com.
  • Zoho Mail.
  • Yandex.
  • Tutanota.
  • ProtonMail.
  • Mailbox.org.
  • GMX.
  • iCloud Mail.

Is Gmail still free 2022? ›

It's completely free to sign up for Gmail and create a Gmail address of your own. With that free account, you can send and receive emails with up to 15 GB of storage.

What is more secure than email? ›

Ultimately, fax is more secure than email as long as you configure your local network correctly and send fax over a private, encrypted network.

Can ProtonMail be traced by police? ›

What can be traced. As part of their service, ProtonMail does temporarily log some metadata such as IP addresses. This could potentially be used to identify you, or at least where you live. Subject lines of emails, as well as the recipient and sender addresses, are not encrypted during transmission.

Who should use ProtonMail? ›

For one thing, it's owned by Google, so its app and desktop version are really easy to use and it offers much more in the way of customer support. But for us, there's no contest: if you're even slightly concerned about your online privacy, ProtonMail is a much safer choice.

Is ProtonMail a Chinese company? ›

Proton Mail (also written as ProtonMail) is an end-to-end encrypted email service founded in 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland. It uses client-side encryption to protect email content and user data before they are sent to Proton Mail servers, unlike other common email providers such as Gmail and Outlook.com.

Why do people use ProtonMail? ›

ProtonMail is an easy webmail service that protects your message archive with zero-access encryption and offers end-to-end encryption for message transmission. This evolving product also incudes a secure calendar and (beta) file storage system.

Can I use my Gmail address with ProtonMail? ›

Once you've imported existing emails from Gmail, continue with the setup of automatic forwarding. This ensures that all the new messages sent to your old Gmail account also arrive in your Proton Mail inbox. Once senders learn your new Proton address, they can reach you directly at your Proton Mail address.

What are the 2 biggest website that offer free email? ›

The Best Free Email Providers [2021 Guide to Online Email Account Services]
  • Gmail.
  • Outlook.
  • ProtonMail.
  • AOL.
  • Zoho Mail.
  • iCloud Mail.
  • Yahoo! Mail.
  • GMX.
10 Nov 2020

Is there a better email app than Gmail? ›

If you don't use Gmail or want an email app that takes automated inbox management to the next level, Edison Mail is what you're after. It's also available on iOS, macOS, and Windows, but it's topping the Android list because of how much nicer to use it is than most of the other Android alternatives.

Which is better Tutanota or ProtonMail? ›

Tutanota encrypts more spaces within its ecosystem, but we give a slight edge to Proton Mail. Proton Mail has a restrictive spam filter, complete anonymity, and RSA 256-bit encryption compared to Tutanota's 128-bit protocol. Proton Mail also benefits from Switzerland's excellent attention to privacy.

Can ProtonMail with a VPN be traced? ›

Using a VPN will effectively hide your IP address and your actual location from ProtonMail's own servers, making you untraceable. However, some VPNs still keep logs of your IP address, so you may want to use Tor for this purpose instead.

Which phone is hacked the most? ›

iPhone owners are 192 times more at risk to being targeted by hackers than other phone brands.
...
You are 192 times more at risk to get hacked if you have THIS phone.
Most hacked phone brands (US)Total search volume
iPhone48,010
Samsung3,100
LG670
Sony320
2 more rows
11 Dec 2019

Who do hackers target the most? ›

Hackers typically target four main industries.
  • Healthcare. Over 90% of hospitals have been the victims of cyberattacks (most notably, ransomware) within the past three years. ...
  • Government. ...
  • Non-Profit. ...
  • Finance and Insurance.
7 Sept 2022

What accounts are most likely to be hacked? ›

Breaches continue to happen every day and they take advantage of weak security.
...
Netflix And Spotify Users Are The Most Likely To Be Hacked -- Here's What To Do.
Row labels%
Illegal Content2.5%
Business2.2%
Personal finance1.9%
Sports1.4%
26 more rows
13 Jun 2019

› most-secure-email-providers ›

You might not think a lot about the security level of your email provider. Most users don't, typically using the same email address first set up fifteen yea...
According to the Breach Level Index, over 13 million records have leaked or been lost in published cybersecurity breaches since 2013. Of those 13 million record...
Not All Email Providers Are Equal · The type of encryption used by the email provider; · Geographic location of the parent company; · Stren...

Which free email is best for privacy? ›

Best Free Email Accounts For Privacy
  • Zoho Mail.
  • Proton Mail.
  • GMX Mail.
  • Trustifi.
  • Mailfence.
12 Jan 2022

What free email is better than Gmail? ›

To recap, Zoho Mail and Outlook are excellent options with similar productivity tools and various integrations. However, if you're serious about the features related to secure email service and users' privacy, Mailfence, Tutanota, and ProtonMail might be better choices.

What is replacing Gmail? ›

Best Alternatives to Gmail in 2022
  • Outlook.com.
  • Zoho Mail.
  • Yandex.
  • Tutanota.
  • ProtonMail.
  • Mailbox.org.
  • GMX.
  • iCloud Mail.

Is Yahoo safer than Gmail? ›

Which is safer, Gmail or Yahoo? Because Gmail has a shorter session expiry time than Yahoo Mail, it is more secure. In addition, it has security features that force the user to use a safer and stronger password and two-step authentication, which increases the security of any account.

Is Gmail still free 2022? ›

It's completely free to sign up for Gmail and create a Gmail address of your own. With that free account, you can send and receive emails with up to 15 GB of storage.

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