Hi, guys. Today’s post is going to look at some of the best free email encryption services currently available on the web. You might ask yourself, why can’t I just use regular email? Of course, you can. However you should always bear in mind with regular email, a third party will be easily able to intercept and read the contents of your message without your knowledge. For most people, this should not be a big issue. However, it becomes a problem if you need to share sensitive information such as financial details or any details about yourself or others that you would not want a wider audience to know about. A rule of thumb is that you should never send sensitive information by regular email. Instead, you ought to use an email encryption service.
A lot of secure email providers will cost you. Protonmail, for example, is an excellent Swiss encrypted email service. However, they charge around $10 per month for the privilege.
For those of you on a budget but who also want secure encrypted communications, then today’s post will be very interesting. Read on to find out about some of the best free email encryption services available now.
Sendinc provides a fast, free and simple way to send secure emails. They have a number of plans available. With the free plan you get the following:
- Military grade encryption of your emails.
- Retention of messages for a 7 day period.
- 100 mb storage.
- 10 mb maximum size for one message.
- You can have up to 20 recipients every day.
If this is a little limited for your needs, then they have a “Pro” service that included unlimited message retention, and expanded features such as 10GB message storage, 200 mb maximum message size and up to 200 recipients per day. With the pro version you also have a number of other interesting features such as custom message expiration and message retraction.
Another nice feature with sendinc is their Outlook add-in. With this enabled, you can continue using Outlook for emails – however you will have an additional “send secure” button that you can use before sending. The recipient of your email will be able to view it as normal, with no software required other than their browser. It simply means that the email is encrypted and unable to be read by unauthorized third parties.
Sendinc is certainly a robust email encryption service. However, the limits that are placed on the free version of their service prevents it being the best free email encryption option at the moment.
With Lockbin, your email is not stored on their email server or stored in a backup location. They work with encrypted emails that go directly from one person to another and the email does not persist. Using Lockbin will also thwart so called “network sniffers” – programs that spy on email traffic while it is in transit across the internet. This is all great news if you want a secure and private communication line via email. Best of all, the services is completely free, with no catches.
People can use Lockbin to send information like credit card numbers or other personal information with piece of mind.
How does this work?
First of all the email and file attachments are are encrypted with AES-256 bit encryption. This is a highly robust encryption standard used by the United States government. Once the email is encrypted, you created a password, which acts as the “key” to unlock the encryption. You have to then give the recipient this password. Lockbin says the best way to do this is by phone, and not using the internet.
Bear in mind, that these guys are hosted in the USA. This is still an issue for some due to the recent NSA revelations. If the recipient does not delete the incoming email after viewing it, then Lockbin stores it for 24 hours.
Overall, this is certainly one of the best free email encryption services available at this time.
The free version of Virtru or “Basic” is an add-on to your regular email with Gmail or Outlook. It has the following features:
- Client side email encryption.
- Attachment encyption.
However the free version lacks regulatory compliance, which is available with the free version of sendinc.
Overall the free version of virtu is a little lacking compared to some of the other services are out there. This is an OK service that integrates nicely with your regular email, however I wouldn’t consider it the best free email encryption available.
Tutanota is an email encryption service that we have covered on this website before, and it is one that I can personally vouch for.
They are a Germany company that provides an open-source end-to-end encrypted email service for free. The name comes from the Latin “tuta nota” which means “secure message”.
The encryption they provide tends to be more secure if both parties are using an encrypted email address. So ideally, if you are transferring sensitive information, make sure the person you are sending it to also has an encrypted email address, for instance with Tutanota.
They have a focus on usability and good design. This means you won’t have to compromise on the features you are used to say with Outlook or Gmail. The Tutanota email is nice to use, and also secure.
In my opinion, this is one of the best free email encryption services available and is just as good as premium services like Proton Mail.
Personally, out of the services covered today, my choice for the best free email encryption service has to be Tutanota. I personally prefer open source projects – I like the community spirit they have, where people contribute their talents for the right reasons in order to create something truly valuable.
However, if you do not want a whole new email address just for secure communications then consider using Sendinc or Virtru which integrates nicely with your existing email.
Realistically, it is going to be more air tight if your use a separate email address like Tutanota, and ensure that your recipient has an encrypted email address too.