Best email provider
Last updated: August 4, 2022

Here's our favorite email provider: Fastmail.

Why: Fastmail provides email without engaging in tracking or surveillance of your private communications. Remember - if you're not paying for the product, you ARE the product (or as Shoshana Zuboff puts it, your behavioral data is being harvested as the product).

Business model: Paid monthly subscriptions. Not surveillance.

Whatever you do, don't use Gmail for email.

• Web: fastmail.com

• iOS app: Fastmail

• Android app: Fastmail (though we suggest avoiding Android if possible)

Other options

ProtonMail, an encryption-focused email provider based in Switzerland. Users particularly interested in encryption should try ProtonMail. Fastmail is somewhat easier to use, while Hey.com (listed below) has some unique email-filtering features.

    --> Update summer 2022: Proton CEO Andy Yen spoked to the U.S. Congress about Google’s monopolistic practices that try to shut down competitors like ProtonMail. Read interviews in Quartz (July 29, 2022) and the Washington Post (June 24, 2022): as Yen says, “we pay 30% of our revenue to our biggest competitors on mobile platforms—Google and Apple. I think it’s impossible to compete if you’re paying your biggest competitor nearly 30% of your revenue.”

    --> Note: ProtonMail issued this statement on Sept 6, 2021 explaining why the company shared identifying details about one of their users. BoingBoing reported (Sept 7) that ProtonMail quietly modified their stated privacy promise.

Hey, launched in 2020 by the founders of Basecamp. In February 2021, Hey launched Hey World, which allows users to email in blog posts.

Tutanota, privacy-focused email provider based in Germany

Unicycle, “the first inbox workflow tool made just for professors.” Filter email by classroom, send class announcements.

See also

• More email services are listed at switching.software, ethical.net, and Privacy Tools

• Still in development, the mnm project and its TMTP protocol offer a "far safer correspondence model" to fix the problems (like cybercrime) enabled by traditional email and SMTP. Try a demo, posted March 2021.

• Zak Doffman in Forbes (March 6, 2021): "You should delete the Gmail app from your phone today."