Alternative, privacy focused email providers similar to Gmail and 'promotional' mail

Stadtaffe

Woodpecker
Gold Member
If you dig deaper one day with a search engine and appropriate search terms there are a number of good private email providers beyond protonmail. Will not list them all here, some examples are runbox and topmail but there are a lot more.
 

TheBMan

Pelican
Was having this discussion w/a buddy yesterday - if you wanted to send an email that was untraceable and anonymous and you used Opera as the browser and protonmail as the email account would that work?
 
Was having this discussion w/a buddy yesterday - if you wanted to send an email that was untraceable and anonymous and you used Opera as the browser and protonmail as the email account would that work?


VPN too, running through tor tunnel, get brave browser though instead.... they have a tor mode :)
 

M'bare

Woodpecker
Gold Member
Any other options that anyone recommends? There seems to be conflicting points about Proton mail. Just trying to ween off of anything Google related at this point. I think it's a must as two different societies rise inside the US.
 

Max Roscoe

Kingfisher
Proton mail and tutanota, among some others, are well regarded, or at least popular.
I would check those out, but also keep in mind two things:

(1) Avoid services from "Five Eyes" countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, USA). Consider them the same as using a domestic provider, even more dangerous really because whatever paltry legal protections you have domestically don't apply when they just use a foreign partner to spy on you. Five eyes is an arrangement where each of these nations cooperate and typically laws don't apply because there is no jurisdiction. IE It may be illegal for the US police to listen in to your conversations but nothing is illegal about an Aussie doing so (both Aussie and US courts likely lack jurisdiction to prosecute), so they US asks the Aussies to spy on you and in return they spy on Aussie citizens and the result is everyone is being spied on by the government.

(2) Look for small, independent services. As we saw from the Snowden revelations, spy agencies target large companies (Apple, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc.) as they can quickly and easily grab 90% of the traffic by compromising those services. If you stay off those companies services, you are likely to stay off the radar. They don't have enough resources to break and spy on every single internet service.
 

Forester

Sparrow
I found this site to be helpful when exploring better email options: https://restoreprivacy.com/email/secure/
Seems like they all have their pros and cons, but any move away from Gmail, Outlook, etc. is a step in the right direction.

I switched over to Protonmail earlier this year and it has suited my needs so far. The interface could use some updating IMO, but sometimes keeping it plain and simple is a plus. As a bonus, coming from using Outlook for many years, it's sure nice to no longer deal with ads in a sidebar, or that annoying redirect to MSN news upon signing out.
 

AntoniusofEfa

Kingfisher
Companies like Proton will indeed work together with law agencies if there is a good reason to do so. At least for me personally, the reason to pay for an email service, is to know that the company is selling my data and keywords to generate relevant ads. It is also a part of my push to degoogle my life.
 

Grow Bag

Kingfisher
Proton mail and tutanota, among some others, are well regarded, or at least popular.
I would check those out, but also keep in mind two things:

(1) Avoid services from "Five Eyes" countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, USA). Consider them the same as using a domestic provider, even more dangerous really because whatever paltry legal protections you have domestically don't apply when they just use a foreign partner to spy on you. Five eyes is an arrangement where each of these nations cooperate and typically laws don't apply because there is no jurisdiction. IE It may be illegal for the US police to listen in to your conversations but nothing is illegal about an Aussie doing so (both Aussie and US courts likely lack jurisdiction to prosecute), so they US asks the Aussies to spy on you and in return they spy on Aussie citizens and the result is everyone is being spied on by the government.

(2) Look for small, independent services. As we saw from the Snowden revelations, spy agencies target large companies (Apple, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc.) as they can quickly and easily grab 90% of the traffic by compromising those services. If you stay off those companies services, you are likely to stay off the radar. They don't have enough resources to break and spy on every single internet service.
Living in a 5 Eyes country I don't expect to have complete privacy or to evade government spying apparatus. I just do my best to stay off the radar of the police (don't use social media) and make Leftist doxxing as difficult as possible. In the UK if we wanted complete messaging privacy we'd probably need to use carrier pigeons.
 

TheFinalEpic

Pelican
Gold Member
Email should be hosted by you, for you. Get a $3/month VPS and deal with it there.

Because nobody is willing to deal with this service themself, it created the rise of the gmails, yahoo mails, etc. that have been harvesting data and infringing upon our privacy for close to two decades.
 

Glaucon

Ostrich
Gold Member
Email should be hosted by you, for you. Get a $3/month VPS and deal with it there.

Because nobody is willing to deal with this service themself, it created the rise of the gmails, yahoo mails, etc. that have been harvesting data and infringing upon our privacy for close to two decades.
Same. It was surprisingly easy to setup my own email server, you need IT knowledge for it of course.

I do not trust any of the email providers. There is no reason for the not to sell your data.
 

redbeard

Hummingbird
Moderator
Same. It was surprisingly easy to setup my own email server, you need IT knowledge for it of course.

I do not trust any of the email providers. There is no reason for the not to sell your data.
My only qualm with this is backup. Are you guys concerned at all of power going out, hard drives failing, and losing all of your email? Or do you know this is a risk, and store as little as possible in email?
 

Glaucon

Ostrich
Gold Member
My only qualm with this is backup. Are you guys concerned at all of power going out, hard drives failing, and losing all of your email? Or do you know this is a risk, and store as little as possible in email?
using a VPN provider, they make sure the hardware is redundant.

Also, make a backup of your emails on your local machine.

You can setup two VPNs from different providers, and they can act as a two server email cluster, so even if one goes down the other is working
 

redbeard

Hummingbird
Moderator
using a VPN provider, they make sure the hardware is redundant.

Also, make a backup of your emails on your local machine.

You can setup two VPNs from different providers, and they can act as a two server email cluster, so even if one goes down the other is working
Do you mean VPS?

Don't VPS suffer the same esponionage risk as well, in that the VPS company can access your data as well?
 

TheFinalEpic

Pelican
Gold Member
My only qualm with this is backup. Are you guys concerned at all of power going out, hard drives failing, and losing all of your email? Or do you know this is a risk, and store as little as possible in email?
If you use certain programs to locally manage your email, something such as Mutt or mu4e, you have a local store of mail on your computer at all times. This alleviates this problem, and you just manage the storage as you would with any other of your files with some sort of cronjob that auto backs up to a drive you've set.
 

Max Roscoe

Kingfisher
Running your own email server is not a bad idea. I use gmail under the assumption that anyone can read my mail (and probably Google is harvesting the financial data I do for work), but running your own email server is a good idea, particularly if you are running it for more than one person (ie your family, small business, etc.)

If you want to run your own email server instead of paying to use someone else's server (expensive, and not secure), or having your own dedicated machine (costly, takes up space, noisy, etc.) I would look in to running a mail server on Raspberry Pi. I use one for ad blocking (my Domain Name Server is a Pi Hole, instead of my ISP) and it is great. The devices are the size of a wallet and cost maybe $30 for the newer ones. I would want some sort of storage backup though for protection against data loss.

I strongly recommend anyone interested in this thread at all should set up Pi Hole for their DNS, or run ad blocking software on an open source router like Advanced Tomato (I do both). This will block ads on a hardware level from ever coming in to your home. It works on everything but youtube ads (I purchased a $3 program called Wipe to do that on MacOS). You can view the stats and sometimes up to 80% of my traffic is ads that are blocked. A nice side effect is your internet runs 5x faster, and you don't need to purchase the super fast speeds from your ISP. You could easily use the same device to also run a mail server, web server, etc. The only additional cost would be the domain fee (ie to reserve the @_mailserver.name_ part of your your email address) which is I think around $10 a year.
 

joost

Kingfisher
Emails are far from private and leak a lot of metadata. You can expect some privacy if both sides use Protonmail but if the company get a subpoena they will cooperate with authorities to access your account. Protonmail is the best privacy-focused free email service available. Gmail is great but I don't use it anymore.

As far as an alternative email, you can create one from another service like Tutanota. Not as good as Protonmail but gets the job done. Remember to unsubscribe from the marketing emails.

And for registering in websites you know you won't be bothering with emails, use Mailinator.com to create a disposable email.
 

redbeard

Hummingbird
Moderator
Running your own email server is not a bad idea. I use gmail under the assumption that anyone can read my mail (and probably Google is harvesting the financial data I do for work), but running your own email server is a good idea, particularly if you are running it for more than one person (ie your family, small business, etc.)

If you want to run your own email server instead of paying to use someone else's server (expensive, and not secure), or having your own dedicated machine (costly, takes up space, noisy, etc.) I would look in to running a mail server on Raspberry Pi. I use one for ad blocking (my Domain Name Server is a Pi Hole, instead of my ISP) and it is great. The devices are the size of a wallet and cost maybe $30 for the newer ones. I would want some sort of storage backup though for protection against data loss.

I strongly recommend anyone interested in this thread at all should set up Pi Hole for their DNS, or run ad blocking software on an open source router like Advanced Tomato (I do both). This will block ads on a hardware level from ever coming in to your home. It works on everything but youtube ads (I purchased a $3 program called Wipe to do that on MacOS). You can view the stats and sometimes up to 80% of my traffic is ads that are blocked. A nice side effect is your internet runs 5x faster, and you don't need to purchase the super fast speeds from your ISP. You could easily use the same device to also run a mail server, web server, etc. The only additional cost would be the domain fee (ie to reserve the @_mailserver.name_ part of your your email address) which is I think around $10 a year.
Related but unrelated - uBlock Origin blocks most if not all YouTube ads.
 
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