4 best free secure messaging providers

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Secure messaging solutions are gaining popularity as more and more people choose to leave unsecured email providers such as Outlook, Yahoo and Gmail. These services have been shown to analyze users' emails for advertising data. And were even caught giving access to the content of government spy emails to the NSA.

If you've had enough of your privacy being invaded, you may be wondering if it's possible to start getting better email security for free. The good news is that there are many secure email providers on the market that provide simple, single address service for free. In this guide, we will show you our favorites.

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

The best free and secure email providers: in-depth analysis

Below, we have listed the 4 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 on the email provider's website for more information about their service.

1. ProtonMail

500 MB free storage space – Keeps no log of your email activity – iOS and Android app

ProtonMail is based in Switzerland, a place considered much better than invasive jurisdictions such as the United States and the United Kingdom. This means that the company can provide a strict privacy policy that promises never to store your IP address or other personally identifiable information.

Although it is possible that the Swiss authorities provide the company with a mandate allowing it to provide all the data at its disposal, since it does not keep any journal (other than payment information), it would have nothing to give .

However, free users are asked to verify their account, which means that you will need to provide a different email address when you create the account. This is not ideal and means that to start a free account that is not linked to you, you will need a “burner” email address elsewhere.

Most importantly, ProtonMail is open-source and has been audited. In addition, it offers full PGP compatibility for sending encrypted emails. And all emails are securely encrypted on its idle servers.

It's impressive since you can use it for free with a single address and 500 MB of storage space. If you value privacy and don't need more than one email address, you really have no reason not to leave AOL and Yahoo behind.

2. Tutanota

1 GB of free storage – Send and receive emails securely without PGP – Applications for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iPhone

Tutanota is a truly superb email service that allows users to have an email address and 1 GB of storage for free. This is really exceptional, especially if you are a beginner in sending secure emails and don't want to learn more about PGP keys (PGP encrypted emails can have a learning curve abrupt).

With Tutanota, you can send and receive emails securely without PGP keys. This is done using strong AES encryption with Perfect Forward Secrecy. What does that mean? With Tutanota, you can use a special link system and password to send encrypted email from start to finish to anyone: whatever service they are currently using.

In addition, Tutanota is designed to remove IP addresses from the email header, and it can even encrypt metadata. As a result, you get an extremely secure email service which makes it very difficult for anyone to track your emails and impossible for them to see the content. Users can even send self-destructing emails!

The only downside may be that the company stores minimum metadata logs on messages sent using the service for 5 days (to keep the service running). However, this shouldn't be a concern for 99.9% of users.

3. Mailfence

1 GB of storage (500 MB of email, 500 MB of documents) – Two-factor authentication – Assistance by email

This secure email is based in Belgium and it is a very impressive service. Users can get a single email address for free with 500MB of storage. And the benefits of using this service are many.

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

Mailfence has impressive additional features such as a calendar, contacts and document storage. 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.

Although Mailfence stores certain logs on its users – including user IP addresses and metadata – it does so only to comply with Belgian laws. And it provides a full transparency report that reveals exactly how many requests from the authorities it receives.

However, no matter what guarantees it receives, it will never be able to provide access to email content thanks to the end-to-end encryption it offers. Excellent for beginners.

4. Hushmail

15 MB of storage – Full PGP compatibility – Application for iPhone

This Canadian provider is another secure email service that allows users to get an account for free. Without paying, consumers can get a single address with 15 MB of storage. Admittedly, it's not a lot of storage space, which means you won't be able to receive emails with massive attachments or have a large email inbox that you don't not worth removing. However, if you're happy to delete your emails as you go, this free service may be right for you.

Users have access to end-to-end encrypted email with full PGP compatibility, and all email is securely stored at rest. IMAP and POP are supported, which means you can use this email account with a third-party client to avoid potential Javascript vulnerabilities.

Being based in Canada, which is part of the 5 eyes, means that he comes from a country that is not considered excellent for privacy. This may be enough to put some people out of service. However, it should be remembered that end-to-end encryption means that even if the authorities contact the company, they will not be able to access the content of the encrypted emails.

Not as good as some of the services earlier in this article, but a much better free and secure email provider than Google.

Free secure messaging alternative

Signal

Unlimited storage – encrypted messages – Apps for Android and iPhone

Signal mobile app

Okay, so let's start by admitting that it's not actually a messaging service. However, it's free and when it comes to sending messages with strong end-to-end encryption, nothing really rivals Signal for its ease of use and security.

The signal is completely secure, and it is one of the few services that promise never to work with government officials. Singal developer Open Whisper has publicly stated that he will never provide backdoors to authorities, and the Signal protocol is both open source and extremely robust.

The great thing about Signal is that it's absolutely free. This means that anyone, anywhere, can send messages using the service without paying a dime. And, with Signal, you know that no one will ever see the content of your messages – other than the intended recipient.

So although it is not technically an email service, it allows you to send encrypted messages over the Internet. We believe that for many people the signal is a better option for communicating than with an email address with a major technology company like Google. And for this reason, we recommend that people look into this free service!

Explore other private instant messaging options.

Conclusion

If you want to start sending secure emails for free, you will need an email provider that provides end-to-end encryption for nothing. This is extremely rare as it is not easy to provide strong end-to-end encryption.

There are many free email services such as KOLAB Now, and these services are considered better than Gmail because they do not actively penetrate users' emails for analysis for marketing purposes. However, many of these email providers do not offer idle data encryption or end-to-end encryption.

Therefore, these free email accounts cannot be considered secure. Because, if approached with a government mandate, they will (and will be able) to provide access to the content of your emails.

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

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