Recommended Private Email Providers

Use an email provider that's not controlled by a big tech giant and keeps your emails private.

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Society has become even more dependent on online communications such as email and messaging services and email is of the most important aspects of our online life because it’s the address that links most of our accounts; it’s what we use to get logins and collect receipts. Access to our email account can give someone access to almost our entire online life. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re using an email provider that’s private, secure, and not controlled by a big tech giant.

Unfortunately, the major free email services such as Gmail and Yahoo! Mail have relatively little respect for the privacy of users’ inboxes. This disregard for user privacy is the bread and butter of Google, Yahoo, and other free email services. They earn tons of money through advertisers who want to keep track of individual purchasing habits or to identify potential customers by matching purchasing patterns with advertisements.

Many people just want to move away from big tech giants that have invaded so many aspects of our lives and want to support the alternatives.

In short, if you are concerned with the privacy of your email inbox, then switching to a more secure and private email service is the only way to go. Not all of these services come free – that’s because you’re paying for a product, instead of being used.

If you weigh the advantages over the cost, you might realize that in the end, the security and privacy that you get may be worth the price you pay for the service.

Below are the top secure and private services that you can choose to use to ensure the privacy of your personal information as contained in your email inbox.

Proton Mail

Proton Mail is a secure email service known for its strong emphasis on privacy and security. It was founded in 2013 by scientists who met at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) and is based in Switzerland, a country renowned for its privacy laws.

Key Privacy Features:

End-to-End Encryption: Proton Mail uses end-to-end encryption, ensuring that only the sender and the recipient can read the content of the emails. This encryption occurs automatically and does not require any technical knowledge from the user.

Zero-Access Architecture: The service’s zero-access architecture means that Proton Mail’s servers cannot access user emails, enhancing privacy.

No Personal Information Required: Users can create an email account without providing any personal information, allowing for greater anonymity.

Swiss Privacy Laws: Operating from Switzerland, Proton Mail benefits from some of the strongest privacy laws in the world.

Open Source Cryptography: The service uses open-source cryptographic algorithms, which are widely scrutinized and considered more secure than proprietary ones.

However, Proton Mail does have some limitations:

Speed and Performance: Due to its high-security measures, Proton Mail can be slower than less secure, mainstream email providers.

Limited Free Storage: The free version offers limited storage compared to some other free email services, which could be a constraint for users with high storage needs.

Limited Search Functionality: The strong encryption limits the search functionality for the message body of emails, as the content is encrypted.

No End-to-End Encryption with Non-Proton Mail Users by Default: While emails between Proton Mail users are automatically encrypted, this is not the case for emails sent to or received from non-Proton Mail users unless additional steps are taken.

Despite these limitations, Proton Mail remains a popular choice for individuals and organizations prioritizing privacy and security in their email communications.


Tuta is a secure email service that emphasizes privacy and security for its users. It’s known for its end-to-end encryption, which ensures that only the sender and the recipient can access the contents of an email, protecting it from third parties, including Tuta itself. This encryption extends to email contacts and calendar entries as well.

One of the key features of Tuta is its adherence to strict privacy laws, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union. This compliance ensures a high level of data protection and privacy for users, particularly beneficial for those concerned about government surveillance or data mining by corporations.

Tuta also offers a free version, making encrypted email accessible to everyone, and has paid versions with additional features like expanded storage and custom domain support.

However, there are some limitations to Tuta. Its focus on security can lead to less convenience compared to more mainstream email services. Features like third-party email client support and the ability to import emails from other services are limited or non-existent. The encryption also means that certain functionalities, like searching the text of emails, are more restricted than in non-encrypted email services. Additionally, while Tuta is highly secure, its smaller user base compared to giants like Gmail or Outlook might be a downside for those looking for widespread adoption and integration.


Mailfence is a secure email service known for its strong privacy and security features. It uses end-to-end encryption to ensure that emails are private and only readable by the intended recipients. Additionally, Mailfence operates under Belgium’s strict privacy laws, adding an extra layer of legal protection for users’ data.

However, it has some limitations. Its user interface is less intuitive compared to more mainstream email services, and the free plan offers limited storage space. Also, while it’s highly secure, its smaller user base compared to giants like Gmail or Outlook might affect convenience for some users.


Runbox is a Norway-based email service provider known for its commitment to privacy and security. It’s notable for operating under Norway’s stringent privacy laws, which are among the strictest in the world. This gives users an added layer of legal protection for their data. Runbox also emphasizes its use of sustainable, green energy sources for its data centers, appealing to environmentally conscious users.

There are some drawbacks. The interface of Runbox is not as modern or user-friendly as some of the larger email providers. However, that’s not so much of an issue since you can use it with third-party apps.

Additionally, while its security measures are strong, they don’t include end-to-end encryption, a feature that’s becoming increasingly standard in email privacy. Lastly, the service lacks some of the advanced features and integrations offered by larger, more established email platforms.


Posteo is a Germany-based email service provider that prioritizes privacy and sustainability. It’s known for not requiring any personal information for account creation, enhancing user anonymity. Posteo encrypts email data in transit and at rest but does not have end-to-end encryption, and it also supports two-factor authentication for added security.

However, Posteo has some limitations. It doesn’t offer a custom domain option, which can be a drawback for business users. The service’s interface, while functional, is less sleek and intuitive than those of larger providers like Gmail.


StartMail is a privacy-centric email service tailored for users who prioritize confidentiality and data security. It features end-to-end encryption, ensuring emails are readable only by the sender and recipient, and supports Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) for additional security. A notable feature is the ability to create disposable email addresses, useful for maintaining privacy in online interactions.

The service operates under a strict privacy policy and is based in the Netherlands, a country with robust privacy laws. For paid users, StartMail offers custom domain options, enhancing the professional use of the email.

However, StartMail has limitations, such as a less intuitive user interface compared to mainstream email services and the absence of a free version, which might deter some potential users. Integration with third-party applications is limited due to the focus on security, and some functionalities like in-depth email content search are restricted because of the encryption. is a secure email service based in Germany, offering strong privacy protections due to strict German data protection laws. It provides end-to-end encryption and supports PGP encryption, enhancing email security. Besides email, includes integrated office tools like a calendar, address book, task management, and cloud storage, all secured with encryption.

Despite its focus on privacy, maintains a user-friendly interface and offers custom domain options for professional use. However, it may lack some conveniences of mainstream email services, such as extensive search functionality within encrypted emails. While it features a comprehensive suite of tools, it might not match the full integration or ease of use of larger platforms. Don’t be put off however as it’s easy to use with a third-party app.

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Tired of censorship and surveillance?

Defend free speech and individual liberty online. Push back against Big Tech and media gatekeepers. Subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

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