- End-to-end encryption
- Open source
- Available on mobile
- Free plan
- Built-in encrypted calendar
- No conversation view
- Premium plan only offers 1GB of storage
What do you get when you combine the Latin words ‘tuta' (safety) and ‘nota' (message)? You get one of the most secure email services on the market, Tutanota. Based in Germany, one of the strictest countries when it comes to data protection laws, this email client makes sure that all your emails are ‘tutanota' (safe messages) by applying end-to-end encryption on all your messages. Moreover, even your inbox is fully encrypted, ensuring that nobody can see your contact list and calendar. In other words, nobody (not even Tutanota itself) can get access to your communications, contacts, or saved appointments. Tutanota is available for both desktop and mobile, and it's completely free for as long as you want. However, taking into account the perks and the low price of $1.10 per month, going premium is certainly worth considering.
Tutanota is always evolving, letting paid users choose what is the most important feature to come next through a voting system. That said, although there are some must-have features still in the pipeline, Tutanota already brings a lot to the table, especially for a private email client where the primary concern is encryption.
Contrary to other email services that offer end-to-end encryption, Tutanota also comes with a user-friendly encrypted calendar that lets you organize your appointments easily. It's possible to get a monthly and weekly overview of your schedule, or you can also look at your agenda to see the most urgent matters happening in the next couple of days. Moreover, paid users can also have multiple calendars, as well as the ability to import and export them.
Other crucial features important to heavy email users are also integrated and work better than many other secure email providers in the industry. The search feature, for example, can find words within the body of the email and works well, although, for free users, it can only search through emails received within the last month. Free users can also change their signature so you’re not forced to have Tutanota's branding. There’s also the option to add spam rules and create inbox folders. However, premium users receive more thorough features, such as the possibility to create email rules and have more than one account working in the same inbox.
Privacy & Security
Since Tutanota is based in Germany, it has to follow strict privacy laws that forbid it from storing and using any data without the user's knowledge and consent, unless there is a valid German court order. Even then, since Tutanota uses end-to-end encryption, it does not have access to its users' data, and, therefore, will only be able to deliver the encrypted information.
Exchanging encrypted emails between Tutanota users is automatic and sending emails to external providers is an easy process. When contacting someone outside Tutanota's domain, you have to create a password that the receiver will input to decrypt the message. To do so, when you are writing an email to someone outside Tutanota's domain, a new field will appear in the email draft window to write the password. After you do this, the key will be stored locally and attached to the contact, ensuring that all the following messages are encrypted automatically with that password. However, what if you get a message from someone using an insecure email provider? In this case, the moment Tutanota receives the email it will immediately encrypt it, and only then will it store it in its servers.
Nevertheless, nothing will protect you if someone steals your computer or your mobile phone with the app logged in. That's why Tutanota provides a session manager where you can see the devices and IP addresses of the sessions from the last week and close any login remotely. Of course, this data is encrypted as well, and only you have access to it.
Tutanota is available for both Android and iOS, and it has a beta version for the three most popular operating systems – Windows, macOS, and Linux. However, it's not necessary to install the software to use Tutanota since it's possible to access it through the browser version. In fact, the apps are a replica of the browser version.
Though it only offers the option between a dark and light theme, and there is not much customization you can do, Tutanota's layout is simple and straightforward across all devices. For the desktop version, Tutanota has a top bar where it's possible to access the email, contacts, and calendar, making everything one click away while maintaining a clean interface. On mobile, because of the screen size, this is not possible. Instead, Tutanota only shows the emails on the main page, and you’ll then have to go through the menus to find email folders and other features. Nevertheless, though the layout is a bit different, it's still pretty simple and user-friendly.
The only small negative we have to say is that Tutanota doesn't support group emails, which makes it hard to follow long conversations.
Tutanota offers a free service for everyone who is looking for email privacy. However, if you are a heavy email user, and prefer to separate your calendar by categories and to manage several accounts in one place, the paid versions are the best option.
Tutanota has two different tiers – premium and pro – and, although both offer the same email features, there are some differences. While the former only gives 1GB storage, five aliases, and support via email; the latter offers 10GB storage, 20 aliases, priority support, as well as the possibility to have a custom domain, logo, and colors. In other words, the pro version is more directed to business, while the premium is better for private users.
The best prices come with the yearly subscription where the premium version costs $1.10 per month, and the pro is around $5.50. On top of that, it's also possible to increase storage space and the number of email aliases, meaning that instead of upgrading to pro, buying a premium account and adding more storage space is an option. For example, for one premium account with 10GB of storage price, the price will be roughly $3.30 per month in total.
For now, Tutanota only accepts credit card and PayPal, but it's testing cryptocurrency to add it as a possible payment option in the future.
Tutanota offers different customer support for free and paid users. That said, as a free user, there are still various channels to find the necessary information. On the website, you’ll be able to read the FAQ section that contains general information about Tutanota's features, service, and company. Moreover, it also provides a ‘how-to' page that gives detailed information about how to set up its features, such as implementing two-factor authentication, adding custom email domains, among others. On both pages, it's possible to insert a search query, or you can scroll through the table of contents where all entries are categorized by topic.
Though it’s not possible to contact through email as a free user, it's possible to visit Tutanota's forum on Reddit, send a tweet, or contact through Facebook. Besides directly contacting the company through email, paying users also get access to Tutanota's own forum where they can vote on what features developers should focus on next, and, therefore, they’ll have a say in Tutanota's future development.
If you’re looking for a secure email service then Tutanota is, without a doubt, an excellent option. Not only does it encrypt the full content of emails end-to-end, but it also encrypts the information within the contact list and calendar. Moreover, the company is GDPR compliant, and, therefore, the small pieces of personal information Tutanota stores cannot be used without your knowledge and consent. However, there are some features that Tutanota lacks that would make the heavy use of email more manageable. Still, it has a proven record of listening to its consumers and develop as fast as it can to answer their needs. On top of all that, Tutanota offers a free version without ads containing all privacy features, and, compared to other secure email clients, is not too expensive to upgrade for the premium version.