Choosing the right Email Service

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Just a few days back another scam hit the world, this time involving the one time Internet Giant Yahoo. In brief, Yahoo had created a software that allowed it to extract emails containing certain key words and passing them over to the United States Government. Now this was a blatant disregard of users’ privacy and security. Though the list of those ‘Keywords’ has not been released one can be pretty sure that a huge amount of perfectly innocent emails would have ended up with the US Government.
Yahoo has always been riddled with privacy concerns, scams and lots of unfriendly advertisement but after this massive scam there is really no reason left to continue using Yahoo. In fact, Verzion which bought Yahoo for a meager 5 Billion USD has asked for a further 1 Bllion USD discount in the light of this scam.

Even The Intercept, one of the very few trustworthy news agencies has called out for deleting your Yahoo account. Read Sam Biddle‘s article for the same here.

So, today I am going to show you some of the best and most secure email service available.

In the early days email service was only provided by your Internet Service Provider, they still provide you with an email  but nowadays hardly anyone uses it. This is the age of thousands of email providers, each having their own pros and cons so choosing the right one is of paramount importance.

I have prepared a guide for choosing based on security, privacy and the applicable privacy laws.

The first thing to note is that any password protected service is only as good as the encryption used to store it by the service, in this regard almost all major email services are at par with each other and the golden standard.

The next thing, Privacy depends on how the content of the email is transferred from the sender to the receiver. That is a crucial moment because some one can intercept the sending traffic or the receiving traffic. The only way to thwart this is End To End Encryption. In short end to end encryption works this way: The data sent is automatically encrypted and can be decrypted only by the receiver’s key. This can be done manually by using PGP but it is very tedious. There are various email services offering pretty good encryption and I have a list coming up further.

The last part is the most important but is often ignored by most people. The physical location of of email service’s servers and Company Registration is very crucial.
Choosing a server located outside the jurisdiction of the US, UK, Russian and Chinese governments is always recommended. Safe server locations are the ‘Rest of Europe’ baring the Balkans. Note: After the repeated terror attacks last year, French Privacy Laws are set to be changed so you might not want to chose it.

Based on all these criteria we end up with a short list:

Premium Services:

Kolab Now: Kolab Now is hosted in Switzerland and plans for individuals start at 5$ for 2GB storage and other services like note taking apps etc.

Posteo: Hosted in Germany, Posteo satisfies all requirements and has plans starting at 1 Euro/Month for 2 GB storage.

Countermail: Counter mail offers strong Open PGP encryption along with an unique option of physical verification. It does so by using a USB Flash Drive/Pen Drive as a key. You can use your account only if the Pen Drive is inserted in your device. It is free only for a week after which you have to pay 7$/month.

 

Free Services (With Premium Upgrades). 

Tutanota : Tutanota offers end to end encryption with the recipient needing to produce a previously agreed key to access any aspect of the received email. It comes under German Jurisdiction and offers free service providing 1 GB storage, paid upgrades are available.
Note: Free version doesn’t offer aliases. Premium service offers five aliases.

Hushmail : Hushmail fits in with most of the criteria but it’s free service offers hardly 25 MB of storage. Paid Plans start at 50$ a Year.

The last in this list is THE BEST.
The service is known as Protonmail. It was developed by scientists from the European Center for Nuclear Science, popularly known as CERN.
Protonmail offers Military Grade, 4086 bit RSA end to end encryption.
Protonmail offers you two tiered security. Your first Password is used to log in to your profile and you second password is used to decrypt your mailbox.
Further it offers you an option to set up an additional password for an individual email.
Besides this it also enables you to send self destructing emails.
Protonmail’s servers are located in Switzerland and as everyone knows, Swiss Privacy Laws are the most robust and resilient in the world. As Forbes put it, Protonmail is the only email service that the US NSA wouldn’t be able to spy upon.
Protonmail’s free version offers you 500 MB Mailbox Storage. Further paid upgrades allow you to have custom name emails as well as enabling you to setup aliases.
Another bonus? It never logs your ip address.
And the best part? Protonmail is completely open source. The world’s best experts have analysed and scrutinized it’s code for bugs and backdoor issues and it has passed all these tests.
Protonmail is completely ad-free.
I strongly recommend the use of Protonmail to take back your privacy and security.
Protonmail is built by the world’s best engineers to defend the right to privacy.

You would have noticed that all these services offer way less storage than Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook etc.
So, maybe you can use Protonmail for your Banking Purposes and use a reinforced Gmail or similar for your personal use. Read my article on reinforcing you email account for the ‘How To’s.

THE VERY BEST:

Lastly, I would like to tell about another email service which surpasses all of those mentioned before. The drawback is that this service is ‘Members Only’. You can request a membership or contact two members for ‘Invites’. The service is RiseUp.
RiseUp is intended for Journalists, Reporters and Activists. RiseUp is free and offers limited storage but massive privacy, security and services like setting up unlimited aliases for receiving emails as well as unlimited identities to send email from. You can create and destroy identities and aliases on the go. Membership also offers access to other services like RiseUp VPN, RiseUp Pad etc.
If you are a journalist or activist RiseUp is irreplaceable.
As a member, I can provide an invite so, if you need invites, please email me at rohan_dandavate@riseup.net , I will entertain requests only if your need seems genuine.

Author: Rohan Dandavate

Email: rohan_dandavate@riseup.net
Public Key: [http://bluesphereobserver.com/rohan-dandavate/]

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