Which Encrypted Email Service Is Best?

Email is the primary means of communication for millions of people around the globe. But with so much data being transferred via email and the prevalence of email hacking and spamming, security is paramount.

Free email services provide security only up to a point, and that’s where secure email service providers come into play.

ProtonMail and Tutanota are leading encrypted email providers that emphasize privacy and security over all else, but which is the best for you?

Tutanota vs. ProtonMail: Security and Encryption

Both email services use end-to-end encryption to secure the contents of your inbox, meaning only you can read them.

Tutanota combines AES 128-bit and RSA 2048-bit protocols to provide end-to-end encryption. Not even the company can decrypt your messages.

Tutanota encrypts more sections of your email and inbox than ProtonMail. It encrypts your email subject lines, body, calendar, and address book, keeping your contacts and meetings secure.

Though Tutanota doesn’t support OpenPGP, it uses the same algorithm as Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), a program used to encrypt and decrypt emails. Tutanota also uses perfect forward secrecy, a style of encryption that prevents cybercriminals from accessing future sessions after hacking a previous one.

Despite not encrypting email subject lines, ProtonMail provides almost the same level of end-to-end encryption. The service offers RSA 2048-bit and AES 256-bit protocols, using RSA 2048-bit for emails between users and AES 256-bit for communications between users and non-users.

Similar to Tutanota, Proton Mail can’t decrypt and read your messages. It, however, lacks perfect forward secrecy. The service also uses OpenPGP, so it doesn’t encrypt subject lines.

Both providers offer two-factor authentication (2FA), but only Tutanota uses a combination of 2FA and U2F, adding an extra layer of security.

ProtonMail vs. Tutanota: Privacy and Anonymity

From a privacy standpoint, the location of the headquarters of an email service provider is an important consideration. Fortunately, both email service providers are headquartered in countries with strict policies to protect your data.

Tutanota is located in Germany, a member of the 14-Eyes, a group of countries that share their surveillance data with each other. Despite this, the operator is protected by a federal data protection act that forbids the collection and use of personal data without user consent unless the law permits it.

ProtonMail is located in Switzerland, outside the EU and US jurisdiction. The Swiss data protection rules are among the strongest in the world, including a federal data protection act that strictly forbids the use of private information without clear permission.

Both providers protect your identity by not requesting much information when signing up and not storing logs. Also, when sending emails, Tutanota removes the IP address, making it impossible to identify a person from a message using their IP addresses.

Similarly, ProtonMail prevents users from being tracked using their IP addresses by stripping messages of IP addresses. In a past instance, though, they handed over a user’s IP upon request from Swiss authorities.

Tutanota and ProtonMail are based on open source, so security professionals can inspect the code that protects your emails. Even then, the server-side is not open source for both service providers.

Tutanota deploys a zero-knowledge architecture, meaning they can’t see your encryption key or password, and cannot view your messages. ProtonMail also maintains a zero-knowledge model, so they can’t access your emails.

Tutanota vs. ProtonMail: Which Is Easier of Use?

Tutanota and ProtonMail support simple end-to-end encryption between customers of the same service. Both are easy to use and set up, providing straightforward instructions during installation.

Both providers also allow you to send encrypted messages to any email address. To ensure emails between Tutanota users and non-users are encrypted end-to-end, users must share a pre-agreed password. We suggest sharing the password using Signal messenger.

For ProtonMail, select the External encryption option to enable end-to-end encryption between ProtonMail users and non-users.

These services have an intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface with clear features and functionalities. However, only Tutanota offers a smooth full-text search capability with an option to search the body of emails.

ProtonMail has very limited search capabilities, with the client unable to search message bodies. Instead, the service lets you search by senders, subject lines, recipients, and time.

ProtonMail vs. Tutanota: Spam Filtering

Both Tutanota and ProtonMail offer spam filtering.

Tutanota’s is a smart spam filter with parameters that help you identify unwanted content. ProtonMail uses an intelligent spam detection algorithm to automatically place incoming messages in the spam folder or inbox.

Compatibility With Email Clients and App Integrations

Tutanota offers a web-based version (i.e. accessible online), a desktop option for macOS, Windows, and Linux, as well as Android and iOS apps.

The service, however, doesn’t support third-party integrations, so if you want to use the email service with a different email provider’s client, like Apple Mail or Microsoft Outlook, you’ll be disappointed.

Like Tutanota, ProtonMail has a web-based version and apps for iOS or Android. Other than this, paid ProtonMail users can access ProtonMail Bridge, extending the compatibility of the service with any program that supports IMAP and SMTP, including Thunderbird, Outlook, and Apple Mail.

Do Tutanota and ProtonMail Offer Free Account Plans?

Both services provide a free version. Tutanota’s free plan includes 1GB of storage, while ProtonMail offers only 500MB and limits you to 150 messages daily.

ProtonMail vs. Tutanota: Additional Features

Among the unique features of Tutanota is SecureConnect, a tool that lets you add code to your website to create an encrypted contact form. This way, website visitors can securely send files and sensitive information to your inbox.

One area ProtonMail performs better is its inclusion of a VPN, ProtonVPN, in all premium plans. A good VPN hides your real IP address and location, making it hard for your ISP to track your internet activity.

Proton Mail also lets you send “self-destructing messages,” which are automatically deleted at a predetermined time.

Is Tutanota Better Than ProtonMail?

With the rise of data breaches and cyberattacks, email encryption has become essential for protecting sensitive information. ProtonMail and Tutanota are two of the most well-known secure email providers.

Both email service providers use end-to-end encryption and zero-knowledge infrastructure to protect your emails from being read by anyone other than the intended recipient.

However, Tutanota uses its own encryption standard, while ProtonMail employs OpenPGP. In some instances, Tutanota seems to prioritize anonymity over convenience. Which one you choose will ultimately depend on your priorities.

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