- Multiple calendars
- OpenPGP encryption
- Encrypted file storage
- Customer service channels
- No automatic end-to-end encryption
- Minor bugs
TorGuard, known for its VPN, proxy, and routers, has now ventured into the secure email industry. Private-Mail offers secure email through OpenPGP email encryption and claims to make sending encrypted emails so easy that even regular users can do it. And contrary to other email providers on the market, Private-Mail does its best to maintain a wide variety of features to satisfy any email power user. Besides providing an easy way to encrypt your messages, Private-Mail makes the most of its siblings to make sure everything is secure. By using AES-256 encryption, the email provider lets you take advantage of its cloud storage without showing anyone what files you’re storing – not even the company can view them. Better yet, Private-Mail offers a free plan that, although limited, can be used forever. For people looking for Private-Mail paid versions, it’s possible to get 50% off all personal plans by using our exclusive coupon.
Private-Mail offers the essential features that any email user needs. One thing that is always important to have is a contact list. Private-Mail knows this and provides a user-friendly contact list where you can add new people or import an existing contact list from a CSV or VCF file. Better yet, it's also possible to associate contacts with groups and easily send an email to everyone in that group.
The calendar is pretty neat as well. Even better than the ability to create various calendars is the user-friendly interface that lets you enable or disable the calendars shown by simply ticking a box. This way, you can have separate calendars for business meetings, personal events, birthdays, or even tasks, and then decide which ones you want to see overlapping. On top of that, if you already have a calendar, you can import it to the Private-Mail dashboard.
Private-Mail also comes with a comprehensive task function that makes organizing your tasks a piece of cake. It lets you add the date, subject, description, and location of the task, as well as attach it to one of your calendars. This way, not only will you be able to have everything right in front of you, but you can arrange everything to suit your needs. The possibilities are endless.
Privacy & Security
Private-Mail states that it makes encryption easy for the average user, but we have to disagree. Implementing OpenPGP with this email provider is indeed more straightforward than other services in the industry, such as Outlook or Gmail. However, comparing it to other security-focused email providers, it must be said that Private-Mail lacks in some departments.
First, unlike some of its competitors, Private-Mail does not provide automatic end-to-end encryption – not even when you are exchanging emails with other Private-Mail users. In other words, you will have to create a password and give it to everyone you’re going to exchange messages with. If you want to use Private-Mail as your business email, it's easy to understand the problem you’ll face. Furthermore, to send encrypted emails with OpenPGP, the receiver will also need to set up their own password and share it with you.
However, we can't say that Private-Mail lacks privacy. Though encrypted emails and files are stored on Private-Mail's servers, the decryption keys are stored locally on the user's machine. In other words, all information is encrypted, and nobody – not even Private-Mail itself – can see a thing.
For the time being, there is only a browser version of Private-Mail, and the mobile browser version is not that great. It has some design problems in the settings menu, and it's not able to access the calendar and tasks functions. However, Private-Mail's developers are working on various apps, and will soon have them available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
The desktop version works well, though. It's important to bear in mind that the service is brand new, so it's natural to find some minor bugs here and there. Regardless, the layout is user-friendly and straightforward. It's possible to pick between five different themes, but there is not much layout configuration. Basically, you can change the number of messages and contacts per page, and that's it.
Private-Mail offers five different plans, with two of them targeted at businesses. A great place to start is with the free plan, even if it is pretty limited. It only comes with 200MB email and storage space and leaves out some neat features such as contacts, calendars, and synchronization. However, it comes with enough features to get a feel for what this email provider can do.
To get the full package, you'll need to sign up for the Standard plan that costs $8.95 per month. Besides all the features mentioned above, this package increases your total storage space to 20GB, adds five email aliases, and opens up the mobile app for you. Costing $15.99, the Pro plan adds an extra 20GB of storage space and 15 aliases. Best Reviews readers can get the excellent discount of 50% for all plans (except Business subscriptions) by using our exclusive coupon.
There are plenty of payment methods you can use, cryptocurrency being one of them. Besides that, you can pay with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or PayPal.
Private-Mail offers a wider variety of channels than most for getting in touch. It has 24/7 customer support through live chat and telephone, can be contacted through social media (Facebook as well as Twitter) and offers good old email support. Furthermore, paid users receive priority support.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the website itself. Probably because it's brand new, we found a few dead links, and the FAQ doesn’t provide all the necessary information. Basically, to fully understand what Private-Mail has to offer, you'll have to speak with customer service. The experience we had with the live chat support was not perfect, though. Instead of answering our questions right away, the agent sent us to the pages that explained the topic we were asking about, but then cut the connection without even asking if we needed further assistance – which we did.
Private-Mail does offer some neat features and has a user-friendly interface. However, when it comes to email encryption, it's not as easy as it claims. When compared to other email providers that offer automatic end-to-end encryption, Private-Mail is just not able to compete. Pricing-wise, it’s not the cheapest out there, but it's nice to see that there is at least a free plan to try the service as well as the possibility of paying with cryptocurrency. Nevertheless, it's true that if you use Private-Mail to its full potential, all of your information is secured. In the end, there are email services with more straightforward end-to-end encryption, but not all offer the vast number of features that Private-Mail does. Users that decide to get a Private-Mail personal plan can use our exclusive coupon to get 50% off.