COOL TIP: Email Alternatives to Google & Apple

Worried that your email is going to be used for all of the wrong reasons — to spy on or sell to you?  For many, email is the lifeblood of their livelihoods and professions.  Academics, businesspersons and government workers all risk a lot if their emails are hacked, destroyed or used in some fashion without their authorization.   Many of these email users are increasingly feeling like guinea pigs in a highly insecure electronic cage.   You might want to join the growing crowd of professionals who are turning to private secure email companies to provide a higher level of quality and security for their electronic correspondences.

Sure, Gmail, Microsoft and Apple Mail offer decent email service at a price that is hard to beat:  $0.   They offer reliable service with excellent spam screening.   But for a few dollars a month, you can get even better email service with a higher level of security.   Pricing is usually based upon number of users and storage size and ranges between $3-$10 per month.  Interested?  Read on.

Fast Mail –  A fairly popular Gmail alternative, Australia-based Fast Mail provides mobile sync for push notifications and contacts, plus live tech support.  It is one of the lowest cost providers, starting at $3 per month or $30 annually, per user.   Fast Mail has 24/7 customer support services and offers three pricing plans. However, at the lowest price, you are obligated to use an @freemail address.  FastMail allows users to pin important Emails to the top of the pile and to define a customizable anti-spam filter. Added plus: it offers syncing for contacts and calendar and can be installed easily on mobile devices.

Proton Mail –   A Swiss company offers secure email….and little else.  Users can sign up entirely anonymously, all email is fully encrypted end-to-end, and no IP information is tracked by the service  Because its hosted in Switzerland, your email server is off-limits from government snoops.  Proton is one of the largest secure email services and touts its proximity to CERN.    It will keep your mailing account anonymous if you choose to, and doesn’t store your IP logs as Gmail does.  With the paid tiers, $4.95 to $7.70 per-month, you’ll see an increase in usability with 5GBs of storage and an allowance of 1,000 daily messages. However, it is not fully open source.

Kolab Now –  Another Swiss-based company offers users access to not just an email service, but a whole package of ad-free online applications like calendars, file editors, and more, which can be synced with all your devices and accessed collaboratively like in Google Docs.

Tutanota –  more than the other providers mentioned,  the focus here is the security. Like Proton Mail, Tutanota provides end-to-end encryption on your emails. It is located in Germany, which is protected from the EU’s tighter data laws than the wild west of the U.S.  Tutanota is primarily for individuals or smaller groups, as reflected in its low pricing. Users start out by creating a free account, which includes 1GB of mailbox storage and a Tutanota domain address. From there, you can upgrade your account to either Premium (about $1.20 to $1.40 per month).

Hushmail –  provides built-in encryption for a top-level security protocol. Users are provided with a wide range of domain option and offers are more extensions to use with its fairly priced premium version. The catch is you must sign in on your Hushmail account at least once every three weeks to keep it active, . It features a generous 25 GB storage to its basic users.

Zoho –   This ad-free email hosting service is available in both free and paid versions: a free personal email client which is entirely ad-free, and business edition for users that start at $3 per user per month.  Businesspeople like its collaboration options, including a document add-on which, like Google Docs, can be shared and collaborated.  There are free Email-only accounts available as well, which support up to five users restrict users to a single domain address, a 25MB limit to attachment sizes, a stingy 5GB of storage per user and can only be accessed via the web client.   This free offer isn’t as attractive as its paid options.

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