Most Secure Email Providers In 2024

Email security is a hot topic these days, with large-scale breaches being announced on a regular basis. Let's take a look at the 7 most secure email providers in 2024 and how Clean Email, a popular inbox cleaner, can help you keep your inbox organized and free of malware.

Searching for the Best Secure Email Provider

Back when email entered limited use in the 1960s and 1970s, security wasn't anyone's top priority. Today, our security practices and requirements are radically different, yet email hasn't changed all that much. The internet email message format, as it's defined by RFC 5322, specifies a syntax for text messages sent between computer users, but lacks provisions for encryption or safeguarding personal information.

Over the years, email providers have enhanced the privacy of email communication with technical solutions and secure services, offering intuitive end-to-end encryption. In this article, we talk about 7 most secure email providers and the features they offer.

7 Most Secure Email Providers

If you're asking "What is the most secure email provider today?" there isn't a clear answer. The only way to reliably assess how secure an email provider is is by examining its security history. We've selected 7 best secure email providers with flawless security track records that allow you to send secure email messages with ease while charging very little for their services.

1. Proton Mail

Price: free with up to 1 GB of mail storage or $12.99 a month for Proton Unlimited

Proton Mail was founded in 2013 by CERN scientists, and the Swiss-based secure email provider has since then grown to over 100 million users, making it one of the most popular services of its kind.

Proton Mail the Best Secure Email Provider

But its popularity isn’t the reason why we recommended it as the best secure email provider on this listicle. We recommend it because no other provider makes it as easy as Proton Mail to achieve the highest standards of privacy and security.

Thanks to the Easy Switch feature, you can painlessly migrate from your existing email service and even set up automatic forwarding so that future messages land in your new, secure inbox. Proton Mail itself is designed with usability in mind, and we find it just as straightforward as Gmail or

Of course, privacy and security are paramount when it comes to choosing the most secure email provider, and Proton Mail excels in both areas. Its end-to-end encryption guarantees that your emails are only accessible by you and the intended recipient, and its zero-access architecture stores your user data in a way that makes it impossible to be accessed by Proton Mail or any third party.

Extremely sensitive messages can be configured to automatically self-destruct when read, or you can set them so that recipients have to enter the correct password to decrypt them. All these and other features are accessible via the web interface or using native mobile apps for iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and Linux.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • The most battle-tested secure mail service
  • Password-protected and self-destructing messages
  • Generous free plan
  • Easy to migrate from other services
  • Modern user interface
  • Accepts cryptocurrency payments
  • Web, mobile, and desktop apps
👎🏼   Cons:
  • Doesn’t encrypt subject lines

2. Neo

Price: starts at $2.49 per mailbox per month with 10 GB of storage

Neo is a relatively new player in the secure email market, but it's already making waves with its ad-free, user-friendly service. Neo offers professional-looking email addresses on an existing domain or a new domain available through

The most secure email provider Neo

Unlike Proton Mail, Neo’s target users are businesses that want to empower their employees with a paid email service that cares about their privacy and security while also providing them with a whole suite of business email features that are as powerful as they are easy to use.

The Smart Write AI writing assistant, for example, can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to write messages with its context-aware suggestions that can be adjusted to fit your preferred tone. In our experience, the assistant is about on par with GPT-3.5 in terms of writing quality and speed.

Another Neo feature that sets it apart from other providers in this listicle is Email Tracking. With it, you can see when your emails are opened and read by the recipient, allowing you to better manage your follow-ups and improve your communication strategy. You can also block unwanted emails and more.

If you’re willing to give a new secure mail service a try, then you can try these features yourself because all new users get a free domain name for one year. And if you already have a domain name ready, then Neo lets you use it with ease.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • Ad-free and user-friendly interface
  • Professional-looking email addresses
  • Many extra features
  • Advanced spam filtering and blocking capabilities
  • GDPR-compliant
  • Dedicated customer support team
👎🏼   Cons:
  • Aimed mainly at business customers
  • The email service does not have an offline mode

3. Hushmail

Price: offers a free trial with 15 MB of storage and a personal premium plan that costs $49.98 annually

Hushmail is a secure email provider that has been around since 1999. Based in Canada, Hushmail offers PGP-encrypted email using OpenPGP standards. It serves both individual home email users and business customers.

In fact, Hushmail is the only private email service on this list that has plans aimed specifically at certain industries that commonly send highly sensitive messages. Its Hushmail for Healthcare plan, for example, is HIPAA-compliant right out of the box, making it perfect for healthcare professionals who need to send and receive confidential patient information securely. Similarly, its Hushmail for Law plan is designed to meet the needs of legal professionals who require a secure and encrypted email service to communicate with clients and colleagues.

Hushmail relies on OpenPGP encryption, which is open source and widely supported. The service is committed to not displaying ads so that user privacy isn’t compromised by third-party advertisers. This commitment extends to its robust spam filtering capabilities, which we found to effectively block most unwanted emails.

As far as user interface and usability go, Hushmail isn’t nearly as polished as Proton or Neo, but it still gets the job done. Its web interface is simple and straightforward, with all the essential features easily accessible. The mobile app for iOS is also user-friendly, although it lacks some of the advanced features found in the web version. Unfortunately, Hushmail for Android is still in development.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • Industry-specific plans
  • PGP-encrypted email using OpenPGP standards
  • Straightforward user interface
  • Support for POP, IMAP, SMTP
  • Encrypted messages with non-secure mail users
👎🏼   Cons:
  • Only 15 MB of free email storage space
  • No Android mobile app

4. Tuta (formerly Tutanota)

Price: free plan with 1 GB of storage available, premium personal plans start at €3.60 when paid monthly

Tuta, formerly known as Tutanota, uses custom end-to-end encryption implementation to ensure that only the sender and recipient can read the contents of a message. With it, the service is able to encrypt even subject lines, making it one of the safest email providers out there. Unfortunately, the strong encryption also limits interoperability with other services, most of which rely on PGP.

Tutanota most secure email provider in 2024

Besides encryption, another reason why Tuta is one of the best secure email services is the fact that it’s based in Germany. As an EU country, Germany has strict data protection laws that guarantee the privacy and security of user data, and Tuta must comply with them.

Our testing of Tutanota's service revealed a user-friendly interface that, despite some criticisms, provides a clean and minimalist user experience, particularly appreciated by those looking to de-Google their lives. Mobile apps and secure desktop clients are available for those who don’t like mobile apps.

Compared to Proton Mail, Tuta is a significantly cheaper option, making it an attractive choice for those on a budget. The service used to cost even less money (just €1 per month), but there was a price increase last year to help the company cope with global inflation.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • Strong encryption and privacy protections under German data regulation laws
  • No ads or data selling, focusing solely on user privacy
  • Clean, minimalist user interface with an easy-to-use calendar
  • Competitive pricing with a free plan available
👎🏼   Cons:
  • Slow development pace for new features and bug fixes
  • Lack of support for PGP

5. StartMail

Price: 7-day free trial, paid plans start at $5 per month when billed annually

Hailing from the Netherlands, StartMail is a secure email service designed for individuals and businesses seeking to fortify their digital communication against surveillance and data breaches. It offers robust PGP end-to-end encryption just like many other providers that let users send anonymous emails, and you can even pay for the service using anonymous cryptocurrency payments.

Similar to Proton Mail’s Easy Switch feature, StartMail offers a simple mail and contact migration process that allows users to seamlessly switch from other email providers without worrying about data loss. We have successfully used the feature to migrate from a Gmail account, and we’re sure that it will work just as reliably when migrating from other email services.

In our evaluation, StartMail stood out with its minimalistic design that facilitates a seamless user experience, free from ads, tracking, or spam. However, its lack of complementary tools such as calendars and notes, which are available with Proton Mail, might be a drawback for some users.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • Generous 20GB of storage for all your encrypted emails
  • PGP end-to-end encryption
  • Cryptocurrency payments are accepted
  • Unlimited burner aliases
  • User-friendly interface with a minimalistic design
👎🏼   Cons:
  • Lacks a free version and offers a relatively short trial period
  • Missing additional productivity tools like calendars and notes
  • No native mobile or desktop app

6. Mailfence

Price: free with 1 GB of storage, or starting at €2.50 per month for the Entry plan with 40 GB of storage

Mailfence is a secure email provider based in Belgium. With Belgian privacy laws providing robust legal protection, Mailfence promises users a secure environment free from ads, spam, trackers, and government surveillance. If you’ve ever wondered how to stop spam emails, then switching to Mailfence might be the right thing to do.

Mailfence most secure email provider in 2024

Whereas our previous secure mail recommendation, StartMail, is a barebones service without many extra features, Mailfence impressed us with its integrated suite of tools that extends beyond email to include calendars, documents, and groups.

If there’s one thing we didn’t like about Mailfence, it's the outdated user interface. While functional, the interface simply didn’t make us look forward to opening our inbox, which usability leaders like Neo managed to do. The mail client's design is reminiscent of older webmail services, and some features are buried in menus, making them difficult to find and use.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • Strong legal and privacy protections under Belgian law
  • Comprehensive end-to-end encryption and support for digital signatures
  • Integrated productivity tools including calendars, documents, and group sharing
  • No ads, trackers, or government surveillance
  • POP, IMAP, SMTP access
👎🏼   Cons:
  • Lack of a native mobile app, relying on PWA for mobile access
  • Smaller user base compared to leaders like Proton Mail
  • Outdated user interface

7. Zoho Mail

Price: free with up to 5 GB of storage space, paid plans start at just €0,90 per user per month when billed annually

While Zoho Mail (based in India) isn’t the safest free email service out there because privacy and security are not its main selling points, it still offers a range of features that make it a strong contender in the email market.

Zoho Mail most secure email provider

In terms of security, Zoho Mail offers end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication, and advanced spam filtering and blocking capabilities. However, it's important to note that Zoho Mail does not offer the same level of privacy as some of the other providers on our list.

What it does offer, however, is a suite of tools that go beyond just email, including calendar, tasks, notes, and contacts. Not interested in anything beyond mail? Well, then you might be interested in Zoho’s own AI assistant, called Zia, which is designed to help users compose emails faster and more efficiently with its auto-complete and auto-generate capabilities.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • Suite of tools beyond just email
  • AI assistant, Zia
  • End-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication
  • Advanced spam filtering and blocking
  • Inexpensive paid plans
👎🏼   Cons:
  • Privacy and security are not the main selling points
  • Can be overwhelming for users seeking a simple email solution
  • Some security features must be manually enabled

What Is Secure Email and How Does It Work?

All the best email service providers today have implemented transport-level encryption using TLS, a cryptographic protocol that provides communications security over a computer network. Without TLS, the communication between mail servers is transmitted as plain text, and anyone with relatively rudimentary knowledge of computer networks can intercept it and read it.

However, most secure email service providers go a step further and offer full end-to-end encryption, meaning the data is encrypted and decrypted only at the endpoints. In practice, end-to-end encryption allows you to encrypt an email at your end and send it to someone without any possibility of the message being decrypted by the mail service.

The most popular data encryption standard that allows anyone to send and receive end-to-end encrypted messages is OpenPGP. If you're wondering how to send a secure email using OpenPGP, we recommend you read this excellent tutorial from The Privacy Guide.

How Clean Email Can Enhance Email Security

Many people turn to a secure mail service out of frustration with unsolicited and spam emails, concerns about data breaches, and other security issues. However, migrating to a new email address may not be necessary, thanks to Clean Email. This inbox organizer offers a variety of useful features designed to improve your email experience by making it more secure and organized.

Your first line of defense against spam is Clean Email’s Screener tool. When enabled, it screens emails upon arrival to give users the power to decide what enters their inbox. I personally keep it turned on all the time and quickly go through all screened messages twice a day.

Stop spam emails with Screener feature in Clean EmailStop spam emails with Screener feature in Clean Email

Complementing the Screener tool is Clean Email’s weapon against unwanted subscription emails and newsletters: the Unsubscriber tool. With it, you can block unwanted emails from marketers whose content you no longer find valuable with a single click even when they don’t include an unsubscribe link.

Unsubscribe from emails with Clean EmailUnsubscribe from emails with Clean Email

For users concerned about their online privacy and the security of their personal information, Clean Email offers the Privacy Monitor feature. This feature regularly checks your email against known data breaches and security incidents, alerting you to potential vulnerabilities.

Privacy Monitor feature in Clean EmailPrivacy Monitor feature in Clean Email

Unlike most other inbox organizers, Clean Email doubles as an email client with its ability to reply, forward, and send messages directly within the app. This functionality enhances productivity by allowing you to manage email communications without switching between different applications. Combined with Auto Clean rules that automatically sort, archive, or delete emails based on your preferences, Clean Email can easily save you hours every week.

Automatically block incoming emails with Clean EmailAutomatically block incoming emails with Clean Email

Users can try Clean Email using its web or mobile apps for free, and the inbox organizer supports all IMAP-based email providers.

Most Secure Email Providers - FAQs

What is the most secure free email service provider?

Proton Mail ranks as one of the most secure free email providers, combining end-to-end encryption with the stringent privacy laws of its Swiss headquarters, safeguarding users from both American and European hackers. Note that the free version of Proton Mail offers up to 1 GB of email storage, meaning users will need to regularly clean their inbox or consider subscribing to a paid plan for additional space.

Is Proton Mail safer than Gmail?

Yes, Proton Mail is safer than Gmail. Proton Mail automatically secures your email interactions with end-to-end encryption. While Gmail only uses a TLS cryptographic protocol, Proton Mail uses a pair of RSA keys specific to your Proton Mail account. With this type of encryption, not even Proton Mail can access your messages.

Is Gmail secure?

When asking how secure Gmail is, it's key to understand that Gmail ranks as moderately secure. The system uses TLS (Transport Layer Security) to protect user messages. However, this email system only protects your email while transferring data while your emails rest using 128-bit encryption. Gmail does offer many different ways to fortify your account, such as adding better encryption, strong password, and two-step verification.

What is the most hacked email provider?

Historically, large providers like Yahoo have experienced significant breaches, making them among the most hacked email services.

What is the least hacked email provider?

It's challenging to determine which email has the best security due to the private nature of security incidents, but smaller, security-focused providers reviewed in the article have a strong reputation for avoiding major breaches.

Can Proton Mail be hacked?

In short, yes, even your Proton Mail can be hacked. However, if your account does get hacked, chances are, it will not affect your user data. The reason is Proton Mail's end-to-end encryption and zero-access encryption. While there is always going to be a threat, there are multiple steps to a successful hack. Fortunately, Proton Mail can thwart hacking attacks before they gain any useful information, even if they initially gain access to your account.

Can I get the most secure email free?

While you can access secure email services for free that offer end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication, they may not always be the most secure. If security is a paramount concern and you seek advanced features, investing in a paid service can be worthwhile.

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