Internet privacy has increasingly become a significant concern in the past few years and, even though instant messaging is the most popular way of communication, the good old-fashioned email isn’t going anywhere. However, created in the beginnings of the internet, email was not designed to be private and it's tremendously difficult for regular internet users to encrypt their own emails. Luckily for us, two companies took a step forward and made exchanging emails with end-to-end encryption as easy as pressing the ‘send’ button. Those companies are ProtonMail and Tutanota and, although the former is based in Switzerland and the latter in Germany, both seem to present a very similar email client. However, when examined carefully, both have fundamental differences, and only one will work best for you.
|Unified Email Inbox|
|Privacy and Security|
|# Email Addresses||1||1|
|# Email Aliases||5||5|
|Yearly Subscription||$4/mo ($48.00)||$1.10/mo ($13.20)|
In its early ages, ProtonMail was used by a handful of CERN scientists; now it has more than ten million users. ProtonMail offers a simple way to send end-to-end encrypted emails for both users inside and outside of its domain. Moreover, it has a zero-access architecture, meaning that any unencrypted emails received will be encrypted immediately and only then saved in ProtonMail's servers. In other words, ProtonMail does not have access to any of its users' information to the point it isn't able to help you if you lose your password. However, ProtonMail does not encrypt the email subject which, unfortunately, will be able to be read by any malicious third parties.
Due to ProtonMail's focus on security, there are various features that modern email clients normally have that are currently absent from ProtonMail. The biggest omission is the lack of a built-in calendar and, although it does have an email filter, it isn't able to find words within the body of your emails. On the other hand, even with a free account, you can create email rules, and it's possible to have multiple accounts working in the same inbox.
ProtonMail is available on both iOS and Android but doesn’t have a desktop app. While free users are stuck with the web version, paid users can utilize the ProtonMail Bridge that allows full integration of its accounts with any program that supports IMAP and SMTP.
Tutanota is the combination of the Latin words ‘tuta' and ‘nota', which means ‘secure message'. With such a name, it's evident that this email client's primary focus is on email privacy. Like ProtonMail, Tutanota also offers end-to-end encryption on all emails sent from this email provider to Tutanota's users as well as outside providers, and automatically encrypts any email coming from unsecured email services. With Tutanota, almost every bit of information is encrypted, including the subject, and the only readable data is the sender, receiver, and date of the email.
Though still a small company, Tutanota is constantly improving and always tries to answer its users’ feature requests as fast as it can. However, it still lacks some significant features for frequent email users. Tutanota provides a built-in encrypted calendar and a filter that finds emails through words within the body of the message. Paid users get even more useful features such as the creation of email rules and a unified inbox.
Tutanota is available for both iOS and Android, and it has a beta version for desktop – Windows, macOS, and Linux. Moreover, it's always possible to reach your Tutanota inbox through any browser.
Security-wise, ProtonMail, and Tutanota are very similar. Both offer end-to-end encryption for internal and external communications and inbox encryption. However, while Tutanota hides the subject of emails, ProtonMail does not. The difference of features diminishes when comparing paid accounts, but Tutanota offers a better search system and encrypted calendars, while ProtonMail provides a more conversational view.
Tutanota's price for a premium account is lower than ProtonMail's – $1.10 vs $4 per month. Although the ProtonMail premium account gives more storage space than Tutanota, you can add 10GB extra to Tutanota's Pro account, and it still works out cheaper at just $3.30 per month. In the end, the best email client will depend on what features are more relevant to you, and we invite you to read our reviews to get the full scope of what these two email services can do.
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