Using an Email Encryption Service Amidst Growing Digital Threats

There’s rarely a day where the international news cycle isn’t talking about something involving the ever-increasing digital threats we all face.

From the email accounts of high-ranking political figures to small business owners, no one isn’t at risk for a potential digital threat, and one of the primary points of vulnerability is often email.

With email encryption, people can protect their personal information as well as their business information from hackers and cyber criminals.

Best Encrypted Email Services Red Emblem

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Encrypted Email Services

Without using email encryption software or an email encryption service, when you send emails, particularly over unsecured or public Wi-Fi networks, they can be intercepted easily.

So why send encrypted email?

Essentially when you rely on an email encryption service for email encryption, the content of emails isn’t readable from the time it leaves your mailbox to the time it reaches the recipients. So, even if you were to be the victim of a breach, your encrypted email wouldn’t be readable.

The following ranking of email encryption software and email encryption service highlights some of the best resources you can rely on for end-to-end email encryption, including free email encryption options.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Encrypted Email Service Providers

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the email service providers below to go directly to the detailed review section for that email encryption service):

Top 6 Best Encrypted Email Service Providers | Brief Comparison

Email Encryption Service Providers

Type of Encryption

Key Feature/Benefit



Protects against Man-in-the-Middle attacks as well as email contents

ES, RSA, and OpenPGP

Hardware-level security so data doesn’t go to the cloud


Free individual encrypted email service is available


Offers both free and premium email encryption options


Integrates with popular platforms like Google and Gmail


Focuses on BYOD security solutions for businesses
Table: Top 6 Best Encrypted Email Service Providers | Above list is sorted alphabetically

What Should You Know About Email Encryption Service?

Before choosing a specific email encryption software or email encryption service, there are some essentials you should know. First, you should send encrypted email, but you should also encrypt the connection from your email provider, as well as your stored and archived emails.

Some other important things to know about encrypted email and email encryption software include:

(1) It’s not just sensitive information that can be a concern when it comes to sending emails.

For example, you may want an encrypted email if you’re going to be sending something like bank information or social security numbers, but if a hacker gets access to your account, they can take not just that information, but also take control of your entire account.

(2) If you store your emails in a client like Outlook, hackers can gain access even if your account is password protected. When you send encyrpted email and use email encryption software or an email encryption service, it makes sure that even if your account is compromised, your emails are unreadable to hackers.

(3) Most email encryption service options work through the use of a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), which combines a private and public key. You can then send encrypted emails with the public key, and the recipient would decrypt them using the private key.

(4) Internet security professionals recommend using an encrypted email service for all messages that are sent and received. If you encrypt only emails that you send, this can actually serve as a type of map for hackers to know where to look for sensitive information, which is why relying on email encryption should be a standard, across-the-board practice.

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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Encrypted Email Service Options

Below, please find the detailed review of each of the best encrypted email service options. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these encrypted email service options to score so well in our selection ranking.

CounterMail Review

CounterMail is an online-based encrypted email service that allows users to have the utmost in privacy and security in a way that’s simple and without too much complexity. Users can access their email account at any time, from anywhere, and it’s always encrypted and anonymous.

Key Factors That Led To Our Ranking of This As A Best Encrypted Email Service

Details of CounterMail, a pick for one of the best ways to send encrypted email, are below.

Web Servers

CounterMail is unique among tools to send an encrypted message because it’s not email encryption software. Instead, it’s a web-based email encryption service. Users log in to the web server and then send emails through the CounterMailEngine. It’s then turned into an encrypted message with Open PGP using the recipient’s public key.

The sender’s web browser then sends the email to the CounterMail server through the SSL protocol.

The CounterMail web server doesn’t log any IP address.


CounterMail uses strong encryption protection, called OpenPGP. This features 4096 bits encryption keys to protect data.

According to CounterMail, there is no known way to break the OpenPGP encryption using cryptographic or computer-based methods.

CounterMail also features what they call protection against Man-in-the-Middle attacks. It protects the contents of your email, but also your identity.

Other Features

Other features of CounterMail that led to its inclusion on this list of the best ways to send encrypted email and the leading encrypted email service options include:

  • End-to-end email encryption and security
  • Anonymous email headings
  • Easy installation
  • Secure email from any browser
  • Compatibility with Android phones
  • Dynamic aliases
  • IMAP server for people who want to use their own email client

ProtonMail Review

ProtonMail is a secure email service provider based in Switzerland. This secure email service features leading-edge security features, as well as end-to-end email encryption. The founding team met at CERN and went on to create ProtonMail, which has become one of the world’s leading companies in online security.

Key Factors That Led To Our Ranking of This As One of 2017’s Best Encrypted Email Service Providers

Reasons ProtonMail is included on this list of the best services to send encrypted email are below.

End-to-End Encryption

As mentioned, ProtonMail is an encrypted email service with end-to-end email encryption. With ProtonMail, users’ messages are stored on ProtonMail servers in an encrypted format. They’re transmitted from servers to other devices in an encrypted format, and messages between ProtonMail users are similarly transmitted in encrypted form.

Since data is encrypted every step of the way, the risk of interception of encrypted email is almost zero.

ProtonMail - send encrypted email

Image Source: ProtonMail

Hardware-Level Security

One of the ways ProtonMail is unique from other secure encrypted email services is because of their full-disk encryption and storage located in secure data centers. The ProtonMail company invests in owning and controlling their server hardware at locations throughout Switzerland, so data never goes to the cloud.

The primary ProtonMail data center is located in a guarded bunker, which provides an extra layer of protection to users’ encrypted email.

At the system level, the servers utilize fully encrypted hard disks with multiple password layers.


With ProtonMail, a leading way to send encrypted email and one of the world’s top encrypted email providers, there is no tracking or logging of personal identification information.

Many other encrypted email service options will save tracking information or metadata such as IP addresses.

ProtonMail doesn’t do that, and they don’t require any personally identifiable information to register for their email encryption services.

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Sendinc Review

Sendinc describes its encrypted email service as being the simple way to send a secure email, that’s also safe and free. It offers military-grade email encryption that is based on the highest available standards, and no software is required for anyone who uses this email encryption service.

Key Factors That Led To Our Ranking of This As A Best Encrypted Email Service

Specific offerings of this service to send encrypted email are highlighted below.

Outlook Add-In

Along with being a free email encryption service, Sendinc also offers an add-in for Microsoft Outlook, making this one of the easiest ways to send an encrypted message and receive encrypted email. To send a message, it’s as simple as writing an email as you typically would and then choosing the “Send Secure” option.

Recipients can view the encrypted email with no required software, beyond their web browser.

Sendinc - encrypted email service

Image Source: Sendinc


Sendinc is a great email encryption service for several reasons, including the fact that this free email encryption provider can help businesses and organizations remain compliant with particular standards.

For example, the Sendinc system meets and even exceeds the recommendations from the FTC GLBA Safeguards Rule.

Their technology is also HIPAA-compliant, and when you send an encrypted message with Sendinc, it will verify whether people seeking access to ePHI are actually who they say they are.

Free Plan

With Sendinc, you can choose from several different plan options that are scalable with the needs of your organization. If you’re an individual who wants a basic encrypted email service, there is the free option.

With the free option, you receive military-grade encryption, 7-day limited message retention, 100MB message storage, 20 recipients per day, and a max message size of 10MB.

There is also a Pro for Individuals option that is $5 per month per user, and it offers more storage and control over how messages are read, including options like message retraction and auditing.

There’s also the corporate option featuring the ability to send encrypted email, user management, co-branding options and volume discounts.

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Tutanota Review

Tutanota is unique on this list of the best encrypted email service options because they offer free email encryption. Tutanota is open source and will always be free, and is licensed under GPL v3, which is important for an email encryption service to have.

Key Factors That Led To Our Ranking of This As One of the Best Ways to Send Encrypted Email

Below are some of the key features of the Tutanota that led to its inclusion on this list of the best encrypted email service options to send secure encrypted email.


When you use encrypted email service from Tutanota to send encrypted email, it’s incredibly convenient. You can access your secure mailbox using your web browser from any device. You can also use Tutanota mobile apps for Android and iOS.

You have a password to unlock your private key and your encrypted information quickly. All you need to do is log into your Tutanota account.

Tutanota also offers a webmail service that’s uncluttered, and all encryption takes place automatically in Tutanota.

Business Accounts

For business clients who want to send encrypted email, this is a best encrypted email service as well. Tutanota makes it easy to manage business secure email accounts, and clients can have their own domain with the Tutanota Premium option.

Users can access encrypted email by web, Android or iOS app. As with any other email encryption service from Tutanota, the data is stored in highly secure German data centers.

Free and Premium Options

As mentioned, Tutanota is unique among many of the email encryption software and email encryption service options because they have a free service. With the free service, which is only for private use, users get 1 GB of storage space, a Tutanota domain, and community support.

Users can also upgrade to an inexpensive premium program option if they choose. They can add users and storage space, as well as up to five aliases, and they can use their own domain. Aliases can be added as needed also. Premium Tutanota options also include customizations and premium-level support.

Virtru Review

Virtru is email encryption software that’s easy to use and provides data protection to ensure emails are accessible only to the people they’re intended to go to. According to the company, more than 5,000 customers use email encryption software from Virtru, including companies like Whirlpool and HBO. Virtru is an email encryption software that encrypts content on a device and keeps it that way until an authenticated party receives the key that’s required to decrypt.

Key Factors That Led To Our Ranking of This As a Top Email Encryption Software

Below are specific reasons Virtru is included on this ranking of the best encrypted email providers and email encryption software.

Regulatory Compliance  

For many businesses, regulatory compliance might be a top concern as they research encrypted email providers to send secure encrypted email. Virtru excels in terms of regulatory compliance and a wide variety of data protection regulations. Compliance with this secure encrypted email software include:

  • CJIS
  • Sarbo-Ox
  • GLBA
  • PCI
  • Data residency requirements

Access Control

Access control options available with this secure encrypted email service provider include:

  • An encrypted message is protected from the time it’s created throughout its lifetime regardless of where they’re shared
  • Users and administrators can determine who can access content and how long they can access it.
  • Access can be audited in real time.
  • Access can be revoked at any time, even after emails have been opened or shared.
  • You can see when someone shares your content, and also customize settings to prevent forwarding.

Application Integration

One of the best features of Virtru and a key reason it’s included on this list of the best encrypted email providers is the fact that it’s designed to work with the applications you’re probably already using.

This includes Virtru for Google, Virtru for Microsoft and Virtru for Salesforce.

As an example, Virtru is the recommended encryption provider from Google. You can add controls directly to the G Suite you’re already using, so essentially, this email encryption software makes sending encrypted email as easy as using your regular Gmail account.

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Zix Review

Zix is an email security provider that is used by almost 15,000 businesses. Zix’s secure encrypted email options are specifically designed for the needs of businesses, and the objective is keeping communication safe but also convenient, so there’s no interruption to workflows and processes.

Key Factors That Led To Our Ranking of This As A Best Encrypted Email Service

Highlighted below are specific benefits of using Zix as an email encryption service to send encrypted email.


One of the product solutions available from this best encrypted email service is called ZixGateway. It’s one of the company’s most popular options, and all employees have to do is push the send button. ZixGateway takes care of the rest.

This option has filters that automatically identify possible sensitive information, leading to email encryption.

Emails are delivered to anyone with an email address, and ZixGateway integrates with hosted, on-premises and virtual email.


ZixMail is the end-to-end email encryption option from this leader among encrypted email providers. With ZixMail, there is easy integration with current email systems, including plug-ins for Outlook.

There is automatic key management through the ZixDirectory, recognized as the biggest encryption community in the world, and authentication is provided with time-stamping of delivery confirmation.


Another top option from Zix is ZixOne, which allows for bring-your-own-device policies to be enacted in workplaces, without the fear of compromised data security.

With ZixOne, there is access to work email through a secure, intuitive app, but email data is never on the device itself.

This provides more employee privacy paired with less liability.

In general, Zix services are backed by a data center featuring a $50 million infrastructure, redundant electrical feeds from independent power grids, and dual uninterruptible power supplies. It also includes a high availability IP connectivity architecture and a backup diesel generator.

Conclusion—Top 6 Best Encrypted Email Service Providers

Using an email encryption software or email encryption service to send secure encrypted email is becoming more of a priority for both individuals and businesses. For individuals, end-to-end email encryption is important because it protects your personal and financial information from potential breaches.

For businesses, it’s important to send encrypted email because it protects not only business information, but also customer data.

Conclusion - email encryption service

Image Source: Pexels

Each of the names on this ranking of the best encrypted email providers excels in unique ways, and this ranking combines email encryption software and encrypted email service for both individuals, as well as businesses of all sizes. Many of the encrypted email providers included in this ranking could be used by both.

Some of the key features that we considered in the creation of this ranking of the best encrypted email service options included innovation, advanced features, and control capabilities, reputation, and ease-of-use.

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