If you need a long term paid encrypted email service that doesn’t get filtered we’ve got you covered. Today we’ll give you a run down on the two leaders in the encrypted email space: Tutanota vs. ProtonMail
- Based in Germany, protected by the German Federal Data Protection Act.
- Offers end-to-end encryption for email subject, body, and attachments.
- Tutanota encrypts the email subject, body, and all attachments.
- Offers zero-knowledge text search.
- Requires password exchange for end-to-end encryption with non-Tutanota users.
- No IP tracing for messages.
- Based in Switzerland, takes advantage of DPA and DPO acts.
- Offers nearly the same level of end-to-end encryption as Tutanota.
- Does not encrypt subject lines of emails.
- Offers “self-destructing messages,” which are automatically deleted at a set time.
- Full-text searches are not encrypted.
- Offers self-destructing emails.
- No IP tracing for messages.
The clear leaders in the encrypted email race are Tutanota and ProtonMail. In this comparison, we will analyze and compare these two services across privacy, encryption, Tor accessibility, open source, sending emails to non-users, device support, and storage and pricing. By examining these factors, we aim to provide an informed decision for users who are looking to choose between Tutanota and ProtonMail for their email security needs.
Privacy Privacy is a critical factor to consider when choosing an encrypted email service. Tutanota is based in Germany, which is one of the Fourteen Eyes countries, a group of countries that share intelligence information with each other. However, Germany has its own data protection laws, including the German Federal Data Protection Act, which is a modification of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This law prohibits the collection and use of personal data unless it is explicitly permitted by law or with the informed consent of the user.
On the other hand, ProtonMail is based in Switzerland, a country known for its neutrality and strong privacy protection laws. Switzerland has the Federal Act on Data Protection, which strictly prohibits the processing of personal data without explicit consent. This makes ProtonMail a favorable choice for users who prioritize privacy.
However, it’s worth noting that ProtonMail was forced by the Swiss government to hand over IP addresses of French activists charged with theft and destruction of property in September 2021. This incident raised concerns about the extent to which ProtonMail’s privacy protection can be compromised under certain circumstances.
For the hashing enthusiasts that need the fine details about encryption. Tutanota uses a combination of AES 128-bit and RSA 2048-bit protocols for end-to-end encryption of emails, attachments, address book, and calendar. It also uses bcrypt and SHA256 for password hashing and TLS for securing connections to its servers.
ProtonMail, on the other hand, uses AES 256-bit encryption, which is considered the gold standard of cryptography, for end-to-end encryption of emails and attachments. However, ProtonMail does not encrypt subject lines, and full-text searches are also not encrypted. ProtonMail offers additional security features such as conversation views, group sending, and self-destructing emails, which provide added convenience and security for users.
Tutanota vs. ProtonMail: Which Is Easier to Use?
Both Tutanota and ProtonMail are designed to be user-friendly and easy to set up. They provide straightforward instructions during installation, making it easy for users to start using their services.
Tutanota offers a web-based version, as well as desktop options for macOS, Windows, and Linux, and apps for Android and iOS. The interface is intuitive and easy to navigate, with clear features and functionalities. Tutanota also offers a smooth full-text search capability, allowing users to search the body of emails, which can be a convenient feature for finding specific information within emails.
ProtonMail also offers a web-based version and apps for iOS and Android. In addition, paid ProtonMail users have access to ProtonMail
Sending encrypted emails to non-users
Tutanota takes a cautious approach when it comes to sending emails to non-users. In order to achieve end-to-end encryption between Tutanota users and non-users, both parties must securely exchange a password beforehand. This ensures that the message can only be accessed by the intended recipient who has been verified through the password exchange process. While this additional password step may add some hassle, it provides an extra layer of security along with options for U2F authentication and a zero-knowledge full-text search feature.
On the other hand, ProtonMail offers an “Encrypt for Outside” option that allows for end-to-end encryption between ProtonMail users and non-ProtonMail users. This means that even the creators of ProtonMail cannot read the messages exchanged between users. However, if this option is not selected, messages are encrypted with TLS, which is supported by most email providers. It’s important to note that these encrypted messages are not end-to-end secured, meaning that the provider can potentially read and hand over the messages if required.
Additionally, ProtonMail does not provide end-to-end encryption for subject lines or recipient/sender email addresses. As a result, when sending emails to popular providers that do not offer end-to-end encryption, copies of the emails may be retained by those providers. This is a trade-off to consider when choosing between ProtonMail and Tutanota, as Tutanota requires an additional password step for non-user encryption, while ProtonMail offers options for zero-knowledge calendar and end-to-end encrypted address book features.
Storage and pricing
Tutanota’s free account provides double the storage compared to ProtonMail’s free account, making it a good choice for those who require ample storage for keeping a backlog of emails. Tutanota’s free account comes with 1GB of storage, which is equivalent to about 300 emails a day. They also offer a premium account for €1 per month or €12 annually, with options to add additional users for an extra fee of €1.
For businesses, Tutanota offers premium and pro accounts, priced at €24 and €84 per year respectively (excluding tax). The pro account comes with ten times more storage, custom branding, and up to 20 aliases, along with custom domains and customer support. Tutanota also allows users to build their own plan with the desired features using their pricing calculator on their website.
ProtonMail’s free account provides 500MB of storage, which is equivalent to up to 150 messages a day, and supports third-party clients. ProtonMail offers professional and visionary accounts, priced between €7.99 to €12.99 per month, with options for add-ons such as extra storage and aliases, starting at €1 per GB per month. ProtonMail also allows users to create up to three separate folders within their mailbox for organization.
It’s important to note that both Tutanota and ProtonMail are ad-free, ensuring a clean and private email experience. Users can compare and choose the plans that best suit their needs and budget from the options provided by Tutanota and ProtonMail, using the information available on their respective websites.
Conclusion: Tutanota or ProtonMail?
In conclusion, both Tutanota and ProtonMail are secure email services that prioritize user privacy and offer end-to-end encryption with zero-knowledge infrastructure. Tutanota utilizes its proprietary encryption standard, whereas ProtonMail employs OpenPGP. However, in certain cases, Tutanota may prioritize anonymity over convenience.
Tutanota grants more storage capacity, with their free 1GB of storage, which is equivalent to about 300 emails a day. On the other hand, ProtonMail’s free account offers 500MB of storage, which is equivalent to up to 150 messages a day, but ProtonMail allows for additional storage and aliases as add-ons for a fee.
Both Tutanota and ProtonMail have their own approach to encryption. Tutanota requires an additional password step for encryption, which provides an extra layer of security but may be cumbersome for some users. ProtonMail offers “Encrypt for Outside” option, which enables end-to-end encryption between ProtonMail users and non-ProtonMail users, making it more convenient for communication with non-ProtonMail users. However, it’s important to note that these encrypted messages are not end-to-end secured, which means that the provider may have the ability to read and hand over messages if required.
Both services offer strong security features with end-to-end encryption and zero-knowledge infrastructure. But keep in mind each have their set backs and make sure to maximize your security coverage when login into an email service by using either a VPN or Tor browser
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