Although internet security only really became a hot topic in the 21st century, some email service providers developed secure ways to communicate via email much earlier. Hushmail and Fastmail, founded in 1998 and 1999 respectively, are two examples of that. It doesn't mean they provide privacy in the same way, though. While Hushmail offers end-to-end encryption and a built-in antivirus, Fastmail only ensures that your data is protected from advertising companies. However, the latter comes packed with email management features that compete with the most popular email service providers, such as Gmail or Outlook. Although neither of the companies offers a free plan, they both provide free trials to test the service before committing to a purchase.
|Unified Email Inbox|
|Privacy and Security|
|# Email Addresses||1||100|
|# Email Aliases||Unlimited||600|
|Yearly Subscription||$4.17/mo ($49.98)|
|Free Trial||14 days||30 days|
|Money-Back Guarantee||60 days|
Hushmail was created with companies in mind, especially the ones in the healthcare industry. Therefore, privacy was one of Hushmail's main concerns from the beginning since it had to be compliant with HIPAA guidelines. The result was an automatic way to exchange end-to-end encrypted emails between Hushmail users via OpenPGP. For an extra layer of security, this email service provider also scans your inbox for viruses, ensuring you won't download any infected attachments. Another giveaway of Hushmail being developed with companies in mind is the pre-built web forms provided. Besides the two more general forms (contact and file transfer), you can count on various web forms designed for healthcare companies as well.
Unfortunately, what Hushmail offers in security, it lacks on email management features. It's a very basic piece of software, only capable of filtering, backing up, and archiving emails – nothing more. In other words, it doesn't provide even the most basic management tools such as a built-in calendar or email rules. Nevertheless, there is the possibility of using your Hushmail account with other email platforms since it supports POP3 and IMAP. It's far from optimal, but it's better than nothing.
Unlike other email service providers, Hushmail only offers one payment option – $4.17 per month with annual payments. While this is quite inflexible, at least users can test the product first through the 14-day free trial and 60-day money-back guarantee.
Fastmail advertises that your emails are always secure with them, but for us, that's not entirely true. Sure, the company is GDPR compliant and won't sell your data on to advertising companies. However, since Fastmail doesn't offer end-to-end encryption, it can't actually ensure that messages are safe from eavesdropping while in transit. Furthermore, considering that its servers are located in the U.S. and that Fastmail is an Australian company (both part of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance), there's no guarantee that it won't have to give your information to the authorities when asked.
Fortunately, Fastmail compensates for its lack of security features with the email management tools it provides. Besides having a user-friendly interface that allows you to select among five different themes, there's also a comprehensive calendar feature, where you can create multiple calendars and display them aggregated or separately. Moreover, it also lets you configure how to showcase emails (in conversations or individually), pin emails to the top of the inbox, create different folders, add email rules, inbox snooze, and attach emails. What's more, Fastmail also comes with built-in storage space where users can upload documents and attach them to an email later, or even add an attachment directly from Dropbox.
There are three Fastmail pricing plans available: two for personal use and one for business use. The one that unlocks Fastmail’s full potential costs $4.17 per month with annual payments, and there's a 30-day free trial to test the service.
Hushmail and Fastmail are two very distinct email service providers, which means it's very easy for you to decide which one answers your needs the most. Hushmail is the way to go if you're looking for top-notch security. With its end-to-end encryption and built-in antivirus, there's no doubt that your information will be protected from prying eyes. On the other hand, if you don't see yourself sacrificing so many email management tools (such as a built-in calendar or email rules), then Fastmail offers a comprehensive list of features. While it doesn't provide as much security as Hushmail, it's still an improvement compared to other email service providers. Pricing-wise, Hushmail and Fastmail are pretty equal but due to its 60-day money-back guarantee, Hushmail provides a longer period to test its email service.
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