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Wed Mar 6, 2019, 08:17 PM

Secure, private email provider recommendations

Last edited Thu Mar 7, 2019, 05:06 AM - Edit history (4)

This discussion thread was locked by steve2470 (a host of the Computer Help and Support group).

...well, as secure and private as possible, anyway, knowing that anything involving the Internet is "secure and private" only within reason. I'm not doing anything that would (or should!) attract law enforcement scrutiny, but I don't want my personal information and buying habits spread any farther than absolutely necessary. (As a Gmail user, I realize that cow has already left the barn... but I'm doing what I can to correct the situation.)

I'm getting ready to switch email providers and am looking for recommendations. I have both an email through my current blogging web host, Bluehost (using my custom domain) and a Gmail account (which I want to close due to the above-mentioned privacy concerns). I would not consider using an email address associated with my ISP (e.g., Comcast), partly for privacy reasons and partly because I don't want to feel trapped with my service provider. I'm getting ready to drop Bluehost as my web host -- that's a whole 'nother story. For now, I'll stick to the email component.

I'm weighing a few options for the custom-domain account (currently through Bluehost):
  1. Migrate the custom domain to a new web hosting company, keeping the same email addresses. Main downside of this approach is that the custom email domain is the same as that I use for a blog, and I want to create some separation between the two.

  2. Close the accounts associated with that domain and sign up with a new email provider. Main downside of this approach is the incredible hassle of informing numerous contacts and service providers of my new address(es).

Any recommendations for email providers if I go with option 2? Here are some I'm considering:
* Mailfence
* Tutanota
* Disroot
* TorGuard (they offer both VPN and email services)
* Posteo
* Kolab Now
* CounterMail

I'd love to hear from anyone with experience with any of these providers, or opinions/conjecture.

There are others. For example, I've considered ProtonMail, but I need to learn more to know whether it would work for me.

I was considering Hushmail, until I read this comment by user "Lon Moore" on the Tech Junkie article:

Iíve had the HushMail experience. Itís certainly as secure as any free disposable email. I was with them for a time, and some problem occurred that did not affect me. All of a sudden, every email I ever wrote, and every incoming showed up in my incoming mail, with an explanation that they were being helpful and providing me all my past mail so I could decide which I wanted to keep. I understand that they have since given the information about their 100% non-private practice of keeping such copies, when a sucker signs up. I donít know because I wouldnít touch them with a stick. NO security, NO privacy. HushMail is a big lie.


Articles for reference:
* The 3 Most Secure & Encrypted Email Providers Online (MakeUseOf, Jan. 2017)
* 9 of the Most Secure Email Providers (Tech Junkie, Dec. 2018)
* The 11 Most Secure Email Services for Better Privacy (MakeTechEasier, July 2018)

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Secure, private email provider recommendations (Original post)
klook Mar 2019 OP
discntnt_irny_srcsm Mar 2019 #1
klook Mar 2019 #2
discntnt_irny_srcsm Mar 2019 #6
klook Mar 2019 #9
klook Mar 2019 #10
discntnt_irny_srcsm Mar 2019 #11
TygrBright Mar 2019 #3
klook Mar 2019 #4
douglas9 Mar 2019 #5
klook Mar 2019 #8
noneof_theabove Apr 2019 #13
klook Mar 2019 #7
Name removed Mar 2019 #12

Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2019, 08:37 PM

1. How much trouble and expense are you willing to deal with?

The ultimate in secure from snooping for email is to host your own. Many NAS (network attached storage) devices have apps that can host an email server.

I have an older version of this: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822108624
The base unit is about $300 then add what you can afford in HDDs. I've been using these: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAAEE3XE0745&Description=wd2000fyps&cm_re=wd2000fyps-_-22-136-365-_-Product

I use them for backup and some other tasks. I'm kind of a control freak.
I don't run the email package but it's there. If your a tech hobbyist, that might be for you.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 6, 2019, 09:46 PM

2. Interesting

I do have external storage, and one of my plans is to set up some RAID-1 volumes using that setup. Havenít seriously considered setting up my own email server before, but itís worth considering.

Iím not super techie, but techie enough I might tackle this on a trial basis. Thanks.

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Response to klook (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 7, 2019, 06:51 AM

6. Also, a good VPN is worth considering

I'd be suspicious of the free VPNs.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 7, 2019, 10:32 AM

9. Yep.

Iíve been using Tunnel Bear for a couple of years. They seem good, and I like the fact that they have a mobile version.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 7, 2019, 01:37 PM

10. Just came across a product for this purpose,

Helm, which was mentioned on the 12/15/2018 episode of The New Screen Savers podcast:
https://www.twit.tv/shows/new-screen-savers/episodes/187

On their web site Helm lists a few reviews. Looks promising.

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Response to klook (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 8, 2019, 07:21 AM

11. $300 good price for the start

$99/year seems a bit high but not crazy. I'd consider that.
Thanks for the tip.

https://thehelm.com/pages/shop

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2019, 11:05 PM

3. ProtonMail isn't too bad. n/t

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Response to TygrBright (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 7, 2019, 05:08 AM

4. Thanks - I've revised my OP.

After reading the Reddit thread, I'm not convinced that that original poster's claims are a valid concern. I'm still researching all these services, and Proton Mail is worth a serious look. I'd be interested to know more about your experience with them if you care to share.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2019, 06:00 AM

5. Email Section (That One Privacy Site)

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Response to douglas9 (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 7, 2019, 09:26 AM

8. Yes, excellent resource - thanks!

I found That One Privacy Site overnight and have spent some time looking at it.

This guy has spent a lot of time gathering information about email providers (and VPNs). His sortable chart of email providers rates them on various criteria. Well worth checking out.

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Response to douglas9 (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 28, 2019, 08:21 AM

13. Good site

used it 4 years ago to get a VPN before he did EMail.

YES for VPN
Chose PIA and they are even better now 3yrs/$99/10 devices [Android & Apple].
Most servers and fastest.

Sometime VPN will interfere with a few sites but they aren't worth my data and the important ones, bank, I have no trouble with.

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Response to klook (Original post)


Response to klook (Original post)