Strong encryption isn’t enough if you want to send truly anonymous emails. Your email service providers can still keep a record of your name, track your IP and your location, and see email subject lines and recipients. But what if you need to send and receive secret emails that cannot reveal your identity? Then you need a trustworthy anonymous email provider that won’t collect your data.
There are many legitimate reasons why ordinary people, including you, might want to send and receive anonymous emails:
There are many email providers that offer secure email services. However, not all of them shield your identity. Some will only encrypt the content of your emails, so be sure to check whether it hides your IP address, whether it asks for your personal information when signing up, and whether it offers extra security features like burner emails.
We reviewed the best anonymous email providers that offer free accounts and provide you full anonymity, so read on.
ProtonMail is one of the most popular secure email providers. It uses PGP encryption to encrypt your emails before they leave your device and at rest. This email provider also has a zero-knowledge policy, meaning that no one, not even ProtonMail employees, can snoop on your messages. Unfortunately, ProtonMail doesn’t encrypt your metadata, headers or subject lines.
You don’t need to enter any personally identifiable information to create an account either. However, you have the option to link a recovery email in case you forget your password. You can also send self-destructing messages and set up their lifespan.
A free account will give you 500MB of storage and you will be able to send up to 150 messages a day. For more storage and extra features, you can opt for a paid service. One drawback, however, is that Protonmail may ask you to enter your phone number and receive an SMS message to create or confirm your account. This may not be relevant for most users, but depending on your potential vulnerability, you may not want an email provider who has a phone number that could be used to potentially identify you.
Tutanota is another popular choice amongst online security and privacy experts. They use their own encryption standard and encrypts not just your emails but your whole inbox, including your emails’ subject lines and your contacts list. Tutanota provides end-to-end encryption between its users, but if you need to, you can also send encrypted messages to non-users. However, they will need a pre-shared password to decrypt them.
You don’t need to enter any personally identifiable information to create your account and the free plan gives you a generous 1GB of storage. Tutanota also strips your IP from your emails so that even if someone manages to snoop on your traffic they will not be able to locate you. Tutanota’s software is also open source, meaning that it’s free and anyone can look into its code.
Secure Email is a great anonymous email service provider that encrypts your emails with powerful 4096-bit key encryption and then uses SSL encryption to make sure that no one can snoop on them in transit. You don’t need to share any personal information to create your Secure Email account, either.
Guerilla Mail is another great encrypted email provider. It has been around for over a decade, providing users with free and disposable email address that can be used to send and receive anonymous emails. You can create your own email address or use their “scramble address” feature to create a randomized address.
No personal data is required to create an account, but if you are still worried that it can lead to you, Guerilla Mail lets you send anonymous messages without an account. Another great feature Guerilla Mail has is that all messages you receive only last for an hour, so you have to act quickly!
If you only need to send an anonymous email but don’t need to receive a response, the best choice is to use a one-way anonymous email platform. There are plenty to choose from: some of them will allow you to use the recipient’s public PGP key to encrypt your message while others will send you read and received receipts while keeping your identity completely hidden. Try AnonymouseMail, CyberAtlantis, 5ymail, or W3 Anonymous Remailer.
There are plenty of inbox-only email providers out there, but privacy experts recommend TrashMail.
This is an untraceable email provider that offers free account holders up to 25 disposable emails from 16 different domains. Trashmail filters through and rejects spam so you only get the messages you want to read while keeping your real address anonymous.
You can also set a lifespan for your TrashMail account, which can be anywhere from 1 day to a year. The account will be deleted automatically once it reaches the end of its lifespan. You can also set how many times each of your accounts will forward you emails to your original account. The free version only allows you to have up to 10 forwards.
Trashmail also has Google Chrome and Firefox extensions, which means that you don’t even need to visit the site to use their free services.
If you aren’t ready to depart with Gmail but you still want to send anonymous emails, you can create a Gmail account with fake information. However, Google will still ask you to provide your phone number to confirm your account. Once you have a fake account, you can set up PGP encryption so that neither Google nor anyone else will be able to snoop on your emails. However, even with encryption, Google and snoopers can see your IP and your location. To hide your IP address and add an extra layer of security, use a VPN as well.
Before you choose your anonymous email provider, familiarize yourself with their privacy policies. Some email providers might provide you with encryption and not require any personal information but will still log your IP address oreven scan your emails. If they notice any illegal activity or spam, they may pass your information onto law enforcement agencies.
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