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Write Your Mother: The 10 Best Free Email Services

In the 90’s, when a child was born they were handed an AOL CD straight out of the maternity ward to help them get setup with a new thing called “Electronic Mail.” Working much the same way as traditional mail, this “Electronic” delivery system allows you to instantly receive letters from Nigerian princes who desperately need your bank account information; and offers to enlarge your penis, whether you happen to have one or not.

Today, everyone has email, usually a dozen accounts or so, and would greatly prefer to make it a lot harder for people to get a hold of us. Though most of us don’t think too long or hard about which company’s name comes after the “@” symbol, new privacy concerns should have you considering it. Email providers can often access your accounts, reading whatever they see fit, tracking who you know, who they know, what you talk about, and any other tidbits that can be used to influence your buying activity and lure you deeper into their fold. Which is why you should get serious about personal protection and privacy, and start using the 10 safest, quickest, most secure email providers out there.



Rich in features, easy to use, interfaces with Google Docs, can work seamlessly to combine all your accounts into one place. Expansive, top end security, there’s no reason you can’t love Gmail. Except, they track you. Google has a loose interpretation of what constitutes “private” and they can get away with that because the letter of the law allows it. It might look like government collusion with the digital giant, but it’s business as usual to monitor people that use your services. If you like Google and features and don’t mind having them watch every single thing you do, go with god.



Not to be ignored, Outlook has begun quietly creeping up behind the Gmail machine for some time now, taking the former email client and turning it into a full-fledged online assistant. The privacy protection still isn’t something worth crowing about, but Microsoft has been highly critical of Google for reading the email of its users, and thus has devised a slightly safer system that at least pays lip-service to guarding you against prying eyes, inside the company and out. It’s extremely well-organized and devotees of MS who use Office and Windows and the whole shebang will get a fairly seamless system in which to work.



A website for professionals that is generally geared toward executives who want to consolidate their system, as well as leverage expansive business-solution infrastructure, you can also snag a plain free email address from them. Anyone who owns a domain will find that they can set up Zoho to give them an email name that is “@” their domain, but still retains all the utility of the more powerful, more secure Zoho entity.



GMX is so good, that if you lose your password and haven’t properly configured your account for retrieval, you’re not going to get in without some serious work; to say nothing of repeated contact with customer service. That is inconvenient, but it also shows that GMX hides your information to the point that even the company can’t get into it easily.



Both of these prize encryption and protection. Both are repeatedly ranked at the top of the list for secure email clients. What you will get is some powerful encryption that works from end to end and is overflowing with (paid) features that you can snap up should you plan on going into the whistleblowing or undercover journalism business. All that security comes at a price of convenience whether you use Proton or Tutanota. With both of these you’re going to be forced to use a browser to send/receive email. Neither will interface well with an email client, such as Thunderbird, so consolidating your email in this way is laughable. Leave these for when you need deep security.



RiseUp is elegantly executed, but also frustrating. Like the old days of IRC, in order to get an account with RiseUp, you must get an invitation from a current RiseUp user in good standing with company. This level of cronyism is to ensure only those who can be trusted can access RiseUp at all. Paranoid to a level that is artistic, should you find a patron willing to sponsor you you’ll get independent security that is Dark Web approved. Nothing is stored by RiseUp, so there’s nothing to tell should your email records be subpoenaed.



OpenPGP encryption is on display here, and the servers are all based in Sweden, the land of neutrality, even for Nazis hiding art and gold pilfered from Jewish families. Their lack of a conscience is your gain as Countermail has no solid hard drives on which to store data, which means nothing can be deleted and then dug out of the digital graveyard later. You will need a decryption key to use it, but that is simply stored on a USB flash drive



Since it’s become popular to outsource everything from manual labor to high-level government jobs to Russia, there’s no reason you can’t piggyback on their biggest search engine. Yandex is the Russian Google, which gives them the infrastructure to last a long time, and they have features that show the ambition to match Google stride for stride, providing an offshore alternative. Use is no different from any standard email client, though anyone who can’t read Cyrillic should be sure to use the site rather than the homepage.



A calendar and email service that is largely for organization, there’s also a nice encryption feature built into the service allowing you to flag those who should get more secure, encrypted messages that require a decryption key to read, and those to whom you can send normal “How’s your mama?” emails. It has OpenPGP encryption with IMAP and SMTP choices. This feature sets it apart as it can be easily wired to work with an email client, something that can be problematic with other secure email choices. The storage is supremely small, so managing your mail is key.