- What is an anonymous email?
- Why do you need an anonymous email?
- What is a burner email service?
- Is there such a thing as an untraceable email?
- What should you consider when choosing an anonymous email account?
- Best anonymous email providers
- Best paid anonymous email providers
- Free vs. paid options
- Other ways to use anonymous email accounts
- Protect your identity with a VPN
What is an anonymous email?
Anonymous email services encrypt your messages, so, even if they were intercepted in transit, nobody could see their contents. Your email address, the time when the message was sent, your device’s name, and even your IP address will also be hidden from the recipient.
Why do you need an anonymous email?
There are lots of reasons why you might want to send and receive anonymous emails:
- You might be a journalist writing about sensitive topics like riots or civil war.
- You could be an activist fighting for freedom of speech or other human rights.
- You might need to blow the whistle on an unethical company or a government.
- You might live in a country with an oppressive regime where your emails and everything you do online is monitored.
- You don’t want tech giants like Google to read your email and track your online behavior.
- You care about privacy and security, and don’t want your emails to be personally identifiable in case of a breach.
A lot of email providers offer secure email services but 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.
What is a burner email service?
Burner email services recall disposable prepaid phones — they are temporarily used and then disposed of. They provide you with a temporary email address. While anonymous email services still require you to sign up, you can usually use burners immediately without any commitment. Burner email services usually don’t require an account, and their messages usually expire after a certain period. So they can’t be traced back to you.
They can be useful to avoid spam when you visit unreliable websites, to stay anonymous, or to prevent your email correspondence from being read by a third party. You can use such temporary email addresses to communicate with someone and leave no trace of that communication.
Is there such a thing as an untraceable email?
While no one can guarantee you 100% intractability, you can significantly improve your privacy by using anonymous email accounts. They keep your address anonymous and encrypt your connections, and you can also use an alias system to create several profiles, thus protecting your identity.
PRO TIP: Even the most robust security tool won’t protect you if you don’t protect yourself. So remember to use strong passwords, never click on suspicious links, and use NordVPN to protect your traffic everywhere. Common sense and awareness will make you much more untraceable.
What should you consider when choosing an anonymous email account?
Here are some aspects you should consider when choosing an anonymous email account:
- The reliability of the provider. Always do some research to see whether the provider is trustworthy. Check out its security policies and whether it collects any data.
- Jurisdiction. Make sure the provider belongs to a jurisdiction that doesn’t have laws requiring service providers to store and pass user data to government institutions.
- Encryption. Make sure your chosen service has end-to-end encryption and encrypts your emails in transit. It’s also a great advantage if emails and attachments are encrypted at endpoints.
- Additional features. Check if a service has additional features such as file storage, a contact list, calendars, collaboration tools, or other features.
Best anonymous email providers
To help you stay secure, we reviewed the best anonymous email providers that offer free encrypted email accounts and provide you with full anonymity.
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. ProtonMail 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 determine 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. However, ProtonMail may ask you to enter your phone number to receive an SMS message to create or confirm your account. This may not be relevant for most users, but depending on your potential vulnerability, a free email that doesn’t require a phone number might be a safer option.
Tutanota is another popular choice amongst online security and privacy experts. They use their own encryption standard to encrypt your entire inbox, including your emails’ subject lines and your contacts list. Tutanota provides end-to-end encryption between users but you can also send encrypted messages to non-users, all they’ll need is 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, which means that anyone can look into its code to confirm its security.
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 even 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’re still worried about it being traced back to you, Guerilla Mail will let you send anonymous messages without an email account. Another great feature is their self-timing messages, which means that any messages you receive last an hour, for extra protection against breaches.
AnonAddy stands for “Anonymous Email Address”, and this pretty much describes what it does. It’s a transparent and open-source email-forwarding service that encrypts your emails and doesn’t track you. It also doesn’t use ad targeting.
AnonAddy uses an aliases system to allow you to host multiple emails and thus protects your privacy. It also has tons of useful functions, including protecting your email address from unsolicited spam by deactivating aliases and identifying who sold your data by using different email addresses for every site.
AnonAddy can also protect you from cross-referencing, which may reveal your identity in case of a data breach. You can also reply to emails without revealing your true address.
PrivateMail offers an anonymous encrypted email service. It uses end-to-end OpenPGP encryption, encrypts your stored files, and allows you to enable the self-destruction of emails and contacts. The service is also convenient for secure file sharing. It doesn’t encrypt data on its servers, so personal info never gets into employees’ hands. PrivateMail boasts extensive functionality and multi-platform support, so it is an email service definitely worth checking out.
Mailfence is another email system offering OpenPGP based on end-to-end encryption. It provides secure email services but also offers other email features such as calendar, contacts, documents, etc. You can also use aliases for managing your different identities and filter your incoming emails to protect privacy and avoid spam.
Mailfence also maintains transparency reports and warrant canaries. Its servers are located in Belgium, so it doesn’t have to adhere to US gag orders, extradition treaties, or national security letters.
To keep your internet activity private use the NordVPN app. It’ll add an extra layer of identity protection and security, by encrypting your traffic.
Best paid anonymous email providers
It’s very simple and easy to use. However, CounterMail is not free and is an invitation-only service.
StartMail is a web-only privacy-focused email service. It also supports the burner function, so you can easily get rid of your email address if it ends up on a spam address list. StartMail handles encryption server-side rather than in the browser.
You can use PGP encryption with StartMail, and your emails are encrypted at rest in their Dutch servers. StartMail also has the burner function that allows you to create temporary and disposable emails. It strips headers and IP addresses from your emails.
ZohoMail is a B2B secure email service provider. ZohoMail uses SSL for transport-level encryption between the device and the server. All your messages are also encrypted at endpoints in servers in undisclosed locations.
ZohoMail has a well-defined and user-friendly interface. It has useful extra features like malware detection, spam filtering, and two-factor authentication (2FA).
Posteo is a German secure email service provider that resembles Mailbox.org because it is a full-featured service with PGP encryption. However, Posteo doesn’t support custom domains, has no spam folder, and doesn’t offer a free trial.
Posteo is a good option privacy-wise — it offers strong encryption, strips IP addresses from emails, and doesn’t keep logs. You can also register completely anonymously and send emails without leaving digital traces. Posteo doesn’t serve you ads, offers 2FA, and has daily information backups.
A nice plus is that the company is 100% powered by Greenpeace Energy’s green electricity, and it serves vegetarian food to its employees.
Free vs. paid options
Because there are few good free services, we recommend spending a few bucks and opting for a paid service for the following reasons:
- More features. Paid services usually offer more features.
- Transparency. Paid anonymous email accounts tend to be more transparent. Some of them also have customer support services if you encounter a problem.
- Unreliable free services. Some free anonymous email accounts can be unreliable — they can log your data or flood you with ads, or they simply don’t function properly.
- Value for money. Many anonymous email accounts are inexpensive, so it is worth spending an extra dollar for better security.
Check out our brief video on the most secure email providers below.
Other ways to use anonymous email accounts
1. If you only need to send emails
If you only need to send an anonymous email but don’t need to receive a response, consider using a one-way anonymous email platform like, AnonymouseMail, CyberAtlantis, 5ymail, and W3 Anonymous Remailer. 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.
2. If you only need to receive emails
TrashMail is one of the most popular inbox-only email providers out there, and is highly recommended by privacy experts.
TrashMail is an untraceable email provider that offers free account holders up to 25 disposable emails from 16 different domains. It 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 email account will be deleted automatically once it reaches the end of its lifespan. You can also set how many times each of your email 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 secure email services.
3. If you can’t say goodbye to Google
If you still prefer to use a mainstream email service, here are a few additional tips for more private email communication:
- Create a fake account. If you aren’t ready to leave Gmail altogether but still want to send anonymous emails, you could create an email account with fake information. However, Google will still ask you to provide your phone number to confirm your account.
- Set up PGP encryption so that neither Google nor anyone else will be able to snoop on your emails. However, even with PGP encryption, Google and snoopers can still see your IP and your location.
- Use a VPN. Sending emails while connected to a VPN server enhances your privacy and hides your location. By using a VPN, your email won’t be linked to your own IP address, making it harder for the recipient to identify you. For that reason, it’s best to use the NordVPN app alongside PGP. A VPN also protects you on Wi-Fi — no third party will be able to see what you do online.
- Erase the metadata from your files. Files’ metadata can give away your full name and other personal information. For text documents, you can just delete their EXIF data. You can find the option in the “Details” (or similarly named) section. For other cases, you can employ various third-party metadata removal tools. Just make sure to choose those that are safe.
- Don’t give access to your cloud documents to people you don’t know. Your documents can be a potential gateway to wrongdoers, so provide access to them only to people you trust.
Protect your identity with a VPN
A VPN hides everything you do online from ISP trackers and remote hackers by encrypting all of your traffic and data while it’s in transit. It also protects your identity and hides your location by masking your IP address, so if you’re looking for overall privacy protection alongside anonymous emails, using a VPN is a no-brainer.
For instance, if you’re sending emails or doing online banking while using public Wi-Fi or any other unencrypted connection, your information could be stolen by hackers. If they discover your IP address, you might get exposed to potential cyber attacks and get your information stolen. The NordVPN app secures you instantly with AES 256-bit encryption. For extra backup, it also includes the Kill Switch function that automatically cuts your device from the internet if you ever lose VPN connection.
Need more? NordVPN’s Threat Protection feature will take your online privacy and security even further. It blocks third party trackers so you can browse without a trace and keeps you away from malicious websites and intrusive ads. Threat Protection also scans the files you’re downloading so you don’t have to worry about accidentally downloading malware.