Secure email: These 5 providers encrypt your messages
Are you sending confidential information by email, the protection of which is a top priority? Then you need the right email provider and a secure email address. We now present five such services to you.
ProtonMail is an encrypted email provider from Switzerland based on open source. The service can be used via the website and apps for iOS or Android. The provider relies on end-to-end encryption, which means that nobody can decrypt messages without an appropriate password.
This also applies to employees of ProtonMail, the Internet provider or government agencies. But: If you forget the password, your emails cannot be restored. At the same time, ProtonMail does not save any IP addresses, which means that emails cannot be traced either.
The free version of the service offers you 500 MB of email storage and is limited to 150 messages per day. If you need more storage space, email aliases, labels, improved filter options, integrated VPN protection and other features, you have to book a paid version.
Tutanota uses a similar principle to ProtonMail. All emails from sender to recipient are encrypted and are only decrypted on the respective end device – the private encryption key is not accessible to anyone else. If emails are to be sent outside the Tutanota system , a password can be generated, which the recipient must enter in order to be able to encrypt the message. The provider relies on the encryption standards AES and RSA, the servers of the service are located in Germany – which should be a plus for many users in this country.
Separate directories can be created for message management, and attachments are also supported. Unfortunately, there is no sophisticated search function on board, but the system has a spam filter. The open source service also offers apps for iPhones and Android smartphones. Free use is possible, but there are restrictions.
For its encryption, the CounterMail service relies on OpenPGP, which means that encrypted mails are only saved on the provider's servers – and they are located in Sweden. A special feature: The particularly secure e-mails are not saved on hard disks, but only on CD-ROMs.
What sounds strange should make data leaks more difficult and prevent it in practice. You can encrypt messages yourself via USB memory, the corresponding key for decryption is saved directly on the device and requires a login to your account.
The secure email provider works in the browser and offers its own iPhone app. You can use anonymous email headers and apply various filters. Due to the additional physical level of security, the service is not quite as easily accessible as comparable providers; after all, the service supports IMAP and SMTP. So you can also use it with apps for Android that support the OpenPGP standard, such as K-9 Mail . You can use the service free of charge for a week, but during this phase you only have 3 MB of storage space available.
When it comes to encrypting email, Hushmail is a real veteran – the service has been around since 1999. You can not only send encrypted emails to Hushmail users, but also to users of Gmail and Co., an iOS app is also available for download. The provider also supports email signatures, unlimited email aliases and optional two-factor authentication. You can test the service free of charge for two weeks, but then you have to decide whether you want to continue using it for a premium tariff.
MailFence relies on end-to-end encryption based on OpenPGP, which enables access to the IMAP and STMP protocols with a secure SSL / TLS connection via the mail program of your choice. However, you can only send encrypted messages to users who also use MailFence or to people who use OpenPGP-based encryption.
The service does without advertising and allows you a variety of settings for individualization. With the purchase of credits, you can even send fax or text messages, and importing emails in EML format is also possible.
The free use is very limited with a storage space of only 200 MB, more storage is possible for a corresponding fee. Your key for decryption is only saved on the service servers located in Belgium. The provider assures that due to AES-256 encryption, tapping by unauthorized users is not possible.