With numerous private email services available, it can be challenging to choose the best one. In this article, we explore three of the best private email services: Tutanota, ProtonMail, and ZohoMail. These services offer robust encryption, privacy-focused features, and reliable platforms for your email needs. Let's see which is best to create a private email address with!
More and more people and businesses consider data privacy and security a basic necessity, no longer just a nice-to-have. Microsoft, Google and Apple offer email services that are so widely used and have been on the market for so long, that many people consider them the “default” email services. But security experts have been warning about the risks of using these legacy services that were never meant to prioritize your security or privacy.
As people become aware of the risks associated with using big tech email programs, the demand for secure and private alternatives is on the rise. Out of all the companies currently offering private email alternatives to Big Tech, ProtonMail, Tutanota and ZohoMail stand out from the crowd. Let's take a look at what each of them does!
You already know that Gmail is not private, but what's the best alternative?
Tutanota was launched in 2014 with a dedicated mission to promote privacy worldwide. While this approach initially adds complexity to our product development, it ensures that we never compromise on your privacy and security. Our commitment to these aspects has influenced strategic decisions that involve extensive efforts, such as creating our own push notification system for Android instead of relying on Google Push like other private email providers.
In the long term, this strategy yields significant benefits. We have gained widespread recognition as the leading secure email service that prioritizes privacy, eliminates tracking, and encrypts the most data. For instance, Tutanota goes beyond encrypting just email content and attachments, but also email subject lines and calendar event reminders. This unparalleled level of security sets us apart from competitors, underlining our reputation as pioneers in innovative encryption and post-quantum security.
We prioritize the protection of your privacy and security, and we never take shortcuts or prioritize profits if it meant compromising these vital aspects. Furthermore, as an independent team, we are not influenced by external investors or shareholders, allowing us to follow our passion for privacy and security without external pressures.
At Tutanota, our objective is to ensure that security and privacy are accessible to everyone. This is why we place significant emphasis on usability and convenience. The encryption process is seamlessly integrated into the email clients and takes place in the background, enabling you to utilize Tutanota with the same ease as any other email service.
The Tutanota email app asks for very few permissions to keep your level of privacy to a maximum. Every component of the email clients have been 100% open source since we first released them. With Tutanota, you can create your email address without a phone number or any other personal information.
Tutanota offers excellent value for both free email accounts and paid subscriptions, providing a wide range of features at no cost and the most affordable pricing for premium plans. With a free account, you can enjoy numerous features, while the paid subscriptions offer even more benefits, including custom domain support, unlimited inbox rules, unlimited fully encrypted calendars and an option for a whitelabel version, all at the lowest price points in the market.
We're also upgrading all our clients to post-quantum encryption protocols and in the future we plan to launch a post-quantum secure cloud storage solution to offer even better security in the quantum era.
All of these facts make Tutanota one of the best private email and calendar services.
Proton is another secure email service that focuses on privacy, although more expensive and more limited in the free version. ProtonMail's Swiss-based servers, just like Tutanota's servers in Germany, are protected by strict privacy laws. Proton though have secondary offices in the US, one of the Five Eyes countries.
Like Tutanota, ProtonMail uses end-to-end encryption for all emails, and enables users to use a password for encrypting emails sent to recipients that don’t have an address registered with an encrypted email provider. One major differentiation is that in Tutanota external recipients can access the entire email thread via the shared password while recipients of encrypted messages from Proton Mail are limited to just seeing one message.
ProtonMail uses PGP encryption, which lacks important requirements that Tutanota is able to fix. Tutanota encrypts not just bodies and attachments of emails, but also the subject line, which can contain very sensitive information. Additionally, the encryption protocols used in Tutanota enable us to easily upgrade to new algorithms for post-quantum security and add support for Prefect Forward Secrecy.
Tutanota and ProtonMail both prioritize user security and privacy over profits, unlike older generation email services like Gmail and Outlook. People choose to create email addresses with these two services to get rid of Big Tech.
ProtonMail also offers open source email clients which means that anyone can inspect the code and ensure there are no backdoors, but Proton does not have its own desktop email clients. Tutanota excels in also offering open source desktop clients for Linux, macOS and Windows, available to free users as well as paying subscribers, while Proton has built a so called "bridge" only available to paying users. However, this bridge is not the most secure solution, because when in use all data is stored unencrypted in a third party email client like Outlook or Thunderbird. At Tutanota, we aim for a solution where all data is always stored securely encrypted, even on your own devices. Our desktop clients do exactly that and make the data also available when offline.
Additionally, IMAP and SMTP are not the most efficient protocols especially when it comes to push notifications or to attachments of emails (which are encoded into the email body).
All ProtonMail business plans also include a subscription to ProtonVPN and the company also has a cloud storage solution, ProtonDrive, in addition to its private email offering.
Zoho Mail is a reliable email service with a focus on business users and more advanced security and privacy features than Gmail our Outlook, but lagging behind Tutanota and Proton in this respect.
ZohoMail's integration with other Zoho products, such as Zoho Docs and Zoho CRM, and a wide range of enterprise tools, make it a comprehensive solution for businesses.
Zoho’s applications are closed-source and rely on integrations with closed-source third-party tools that don’t prioritize your privacy and security. Being closed source means that no one can check whether the code is actually doing what Zoho promises; thus, a backdoor could be included in the code without anyone noticing.
Zoho’s data centers are distributed across the US, Europe, China, India and Australia, which makes it available to some of the worst surveillance programs in the world. For instance, the EU and the USA just agreed on a new data sharing agreement Data Privacy Framework, which is heavily criticised as it allows tech companies like Zoho to store data of EU citizens in the US where it is at risk of NSA mass surveillance orders. In terms of encryption protocols, Zoho encrypts your emails at rest but does not encrypt all your data end-to-end. Zoho Mail uses TLS for all communications from POP/IMAP/SMTP clients to their servers. For an optional end-to-end encryption of messages Zoho uses S/MIME. In May 2018, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced critical vulnerabilities in S/MIME, together with an obsolete form of OpenPGP that is still used in many email clients. Dubbed EFAIL, the vulnerability required significant coordinated effort by many email client vendors to fix this vulnerability. However, to date, it is not clear whether all email services actually did fix the issue.
ZohoMail offers the option to use standard mail clients via IMAP/Pop (except with their free accounts), but emails stored in these mail clients would be stored in plain text (unless you encrypt your local hard drive yourself).
ZohoMail doesn't have security measures like a no-log policy or no third-party captcha and, thus, can not be considered as truly private.
When it comes to private email services, both Tutanota and ProtonMail stand out for their commitment to user privacy and security. While Zoho Mail is a close follow-up, it could do better particularly in regards to easy-to-use end-to-end encryption as well as not logging users' IP addresses. ZohoMail offers many business-grade features and seamless integration with other Zoho products, but privacy and security are not its top priority.
Tutanota's end-to-end encryption and user-friendly apps make it an excellent choice for individuals and businesses alike who are looking for a new, private email address. Tutanota has the highest level of security which makes it the best private email service for businesses that deal with sensitive data. ProtonMail allows users to send self-destructing emails and the Proton suite includes a cloud storage solution as a secure alternative to Google Drive, and a VPN, which is another crucial tool for your online safety. The best security practice, however, is to use different services for your email and VPN needs, so that your private email provider of choices does not have access to any identifiable information like IP addresses about you.
If you're looking for more in-depth information, check out our email comparison section to help you choose the service that aligns best with your needs and priorities for private email.
Remember it's critical to protect your online privacy and data security by opting for a private email service. By creating an email address with the best private email service, you can enjoy a secure and confidential communication experience.
Create a free, private email address now and make sure that your communication stays secure!
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