Most email users register a free account with Gmail, Yahoo, or Microsoft Outlook and leave it at that.
What they perhaps don’t realize is that, though these providers offer some nice features and are free, in the end, they are not the most secure email solutions.
Many users don’t even give it a second thought when it comes to protecting their email account, or they think providers like these will protect their email.
That is simply not the case and many users who had their emails hacked or have been victims of phishing scams can attest to that.
What is more, even if we put hackers to the side, that is far from the only danger of not having a secure email.
Another thing that email users should worry about is what kind of privacy and anonymity does their current service offer?
In the case of Gmail, the answer is:
Creating an account with Gmail allows Google to scan all your emails for keywords and then use your email data to target you with personalized ads.
Here’s a question someone submitted on Google Support on how to stop Gmail from reading their PERSONAL emails?
How does Gmail know if the user needs to follow up on the message if they haven’t read the email contents? That is, in my book, a breach of privacy.
Most Secure Email Providers 2020
So what are the alternatives to Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Hotmail and other popular and free services?
I looked at dozens of candidates to give you the best encrypted email providers.
Here is our choice for the top 5 most secure email providers for 2020:
Let’s start with one of the newer privacy email providers on the market. Despite the relatively young age, CTemplar is already proving to be a very solid choice for your email privacy and security needs.
CTemplar goes a step beyond the standard offer when it comes to its security features.
For instance, they are using OpenPGP (library maintained by Proton Technologies) 4096-bit encryption, allow you to instantly delete emails via Dead Man’s Switch, won’t record your IP and store the emails on bare-metal servers in Iceland, which has some of the strongest online privacy laws in EU.
One downside of CTemplar is that it’s still largely a work-in-progress so there can be some minor issues, especially with apps, which were released relatively recently.
ProtonMail is today almost synonymous with email privacy. The popular secure email service was developed by CERN scientists and is based in Switzerland.
They offer powerful end-to-end encryption, which means nobody will be able to encrypt and read the messages you send other than you and the recipient. That means not the ISP, not the government, nor the hacker.
Also, ProtonMail is a no-log email service, which means your emails can’t be tracked back to you and they also don’t store your IP info.
Apart from secure email, Proton Technologies also has other products like ProtonVPN.
If there’s something that I didn’t like about ProtonMail it’s that IMAP bridge and mobile apps seem to be closed source.
Tutanota is a German-based encrypted email provider that is available on Windows, iOS and Android.
What separates Tutanota from many other secure email providers is that it works for both users and non-users (which isn’t always the case).
The free plan offers a solid 1GB of storage, whereas, for instance, ProtonMail offers just 500MB.
Tutanota is also based on open-source code and their data centers run on renewable energy.
If there’s a downside, it is that aliases are only available on paid plans and it also doesn’t support IMAP.
Hushmail is an encrypted email provider that mainly targets business users.
As such, it offers different pricing plans for different industries, such as non-profits, SMBs, enterprises, law firms, or healthcare (it is also HIPAA-compliant).
For personal use, Hushmail offers a 14-day trial period.
Hushmail also uses OpenPGP end-to-end encryption and users can create two web forms for people to reach you.
The main downside of Hushmail is that its servers are located in Canada, which hasn’t updated its online privacy laws in a long time. In general, it’s always better to seek an email service that has servers based in the EU.
Finally, we have Mailfence. This is another OpenPGP E2E encrypted email provider, which offers both free and paid plans. Free offers storage up to 500MB and you can upgrade it at any time.
The service is based in Belgium, which means only local judges with a court order can request to see your emails and that doesn’t happen often.
In addition, Mailfence includes two-factor authentication (2FA) and custom domain support.
On the downside, Maifence has no mobile apps available, so if you’re using it you’ll have to contend with the web version alone.
As you can see, Gmail is far from your only (or best) option for a secure email. In fact, we have only scratched the surface with these 5 best encrypted email providers here. There are many others out there that have just barely missed being included like CounterMail, Posteo and so on.
But in the end, there has to be one that is the best encrypted email service of them all. Our vote here goes to CTemplar because of its dedication to being fully independent of corporations and governments and not accepting any donations from them.
Do you agree with the list or not? Let me know.