tl;dr: Getting an anonymous email address without a mobile number is now easy with Tutanota. Simply create one here.
You can even upgrade with cash or cryptocurrencies with a gift card from Proxystore to benefit from all premium email features.
Please check the how-to at the end of this post to learn how to create an anonymous email address and what to look out for when doing so.
What is anonymous email?
An anonymous email address must not be linked to a name or an IP address. When creating an anonymous email address one must not use personally identifiable information upon registration. The email provider must not log IP addresses and strip IP addresses from emails sent to qualify as anonymous.
Therefore there must be an option to create a gratis anonymous email account, or people must be able to pay in an anonymous way, for instance via sending a letter with cash or using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Monero.
Why is anonymity important?
A lot of people have the need to protect their identity, particularly Human Rights activists, whistleblowers, journalists, and resisting people in oppressive systems. Being able to communicate securely and anonymously can decide between life and death.
To stay anonymous, we highly recommend using the Tor browser when surfing the web as well as creating an email address without personal data linked to the account.
Registration without a phone number
Tutanota is one of the few anonymous providers that lets you create an email address without a phone number for free - even when you sign up via Tor.
We go to great lengths to allow a completely anonymous sign-up. This makes it more difficult to prevent spammers from signing up. However, our very good sender score shows that it is possible to keep spammers out, even when not asking for mobile phone numbers upon email registration.
Sometimes accounts are automatically marked for approval to prevent spammers from signing up. This is often the case when you sign up via Tor or a VPN, for example, because unfortunately spammers like to abuse Tor. In case your account gets marked for approval, you will be able to start using it within 48 hours after registration once it has been approved. Please simply wait the stated 48 hours as support cannot speed up this process. In case your gratis email address has not been approved after two days, you can get in touch with our support team and let them know the email address you registered.
This process can easily be skipped by choosing one of the paid plans in Tutanota. Even when paying for your email account, we make sure that you can stay anonymous as we support private payment options like cash, Bitcoin and Monero.
No IP logging, no tracking
By default, Tutanota does not track its users and does not log IP addresses because we believe that everybody has a right to communicate anonymously with each other.
Tutanota also strips IP addresses from anonymous emails sent and received to protect your right to privacy. In addition, Tutanota does not load images automatically when you click on an email. This makes sure that your IP address and other details about your online usage are not leaked to the sender of this email that reached your anonymous inbox. Only if you trust the sender, you should allow loading of external content such as images.
Monero, Bitcoin and Cash
We have added Bitccoin and Monero support for donations, and we have also enabled Monero, Bitcoin and cash as a payment options via our partner proxystore. This was a huge step as it allows users for the first time to pay for Tutanota anonymously, which is of crucial importance to journalists, whistleblowers and human rights activists who want to use the additional features they get with Tutanota's Premium and Pro plans.
Please support our fight for privacy by donating to Tutanota.
Fully encrypted email
Tutanota is not only a gratis anonymous email provider, it is also completely end-to-end encrypted to protect your private data. Tutanota encrypts your entire mailbox and all contacts automatically. Even we as the developers of Tutanota have no access to your data.
When you send an end-to-end encrypted anonymous email with Tutanota, it automatically encrypts subject, content and all attachments. You can send an encrypted email to anybody in the world by simply sharing a password once.
We also strip IP addresses from emails sent and received to protect your privacy and anonymity. Automatic image loading is blocked in Tutanota to make sure that no one can track you when you read their emails.
No selling of user data
Tutanota does not log IP addresses or track its users. The entire mailbox is encrypted and can only be accessed by the user. Thus, we have no access to any user data. That's how Tutanota is designed: To protect your privacy to the maximum. Therefore, we cannot and will never sell any user data.
Data privacy principles: data minimization & privacy by design
When you create a gratis Tutanota account, for instance, we only store the email address - nothing else.
German data protection laws & GDPR to guarantee anonymity
Germany has long had one of the strictest data protection laws in the world, the "Bundesdatenschutzgesetz".
This law has been updated to adapt requirements stated in the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This regulation puts users in charge of their data and requires companies to protect all personal data they handle. You can read details on how Tutanota can help businesses to send GDPR-compliant emails easily.
In a nutshell, German laws as well as the European GDPR require of Internet services such as Tutanota to store as little data about their users as possible. According to German laws, Tutanota can not be forced to store additional data or change the system in a way that additional data is being stored by request of the authorities. A gag order can also not be issued in Germany.
Additionally, it is noteworthy than contrary to many other countries there is no data retention law affecting email providers in Germany. Such a law would also not be possible as it would contradict the German constitution.
German society is pro-privacy
As laws may change, we are confident that German society will keep fighting for our right to privacy, even when politicians around the world are pushing for mass surveillance.
In Germany, we have learned why anonymous emails are important: First, we know why privacy matters and, second, mass surveillance can destroy a society and everybody's freedom which Germans had to endure during the time of German separation.
A good example of how Germans are fighting illegal mass surveillance is the fact that the German Constitutional Court has repeatedly declared data retention laws for emails illegal in Germany while many countries, including the USA, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, already have excessive data retention laws.
Most recently, Germany has also opposed EU plans for client side scanning, saying that "There is no prosecution at any cost".
How to create an anonymous email address?
- Simply open the Tutanota mail client in any browser.
Tutanota does not log IP addresses so you are free to sign up with any connection, however, the most anonymous browser you can use is the Tor browser.
The screenshot shows the dark theme of the Tutanota web client.
- Click on Sign-up to register a gratis anonymous email account with Tutanota.
Screenshot of the Tutanota sign up page.
- Enter your preferred anonymous email address.
Obviously, you should not choose the standard firstname.lastname@ as an address if you want the email address to be truly anonymous. You can also choose the domain by clicking on the three-dot button in the top right corner. Tutanota offers the following domains: tutanota.com, tutanota.de, tutamail.com, tuta.io, and keemail.me.
When entering a password, please choose a strong one and write it down somewhere safe. Also make sure to write down your recovery code. This code enables you to reset your credentials of your anonymous email account yourself in case you loose your password. We at Tutanota have no means to reset your password for security reasons: We have to make sure that no one, not even we, can hijack your email account.
Free anonymous email address is being created
Once you have completed the sign up for your anonymous email address with Tutanota, the browser calculates your private key and encrypts it with your password. This makes your password the key to your encrypted and anonymous Tutanota mailbox. Please make sure never to loose your password. Check here how to create a strong password.
Congratulations, you now own an anonymous email address!
How to send an anonymous email?
1. Use encrypted & anonymous email app
As explained already, the best option to send anonymous emails is to use an email app that is specially designed with privacy protections at its core - just like Tutanota.
2. Hide your IP
Tutanota does not log your IP address by default. However, whenever you connect to a website, your IP reveals your identity. To use email fully anonymously, it is therefore always recommended to hide your IP. You can achieve this by using the Tor browser or a VPN.
A VPN will encrypt your connection and route it through an intermediary server, hiding your actual IP address from the email provider. However, the VPN service will be able to see your real IP address. That's why Tor is best option: The Tor browser will pass your connection through several network nodes, masking your real identity completely.
3. Remove meta data from files
When you want to share files anonymously, remove the metadata from the files before attaching them to the email. Alternatively, you can also just send a screenshot of the file. When sending the files end-to-end encrypted, removing the metadata might not be so important as it can't be intercepted. Only the receiver will have access to the metadata.