I signed up for a free personal email account at privacy focused email service Tutanota.com and have been using it for some time now. Here is a balanced review of the free version of Tutanota email.
My main two reasons for getting an email account at Tutanota were:
- I wanted to get an email address related to my name that hasn't already been taken. Most of the other big email providers out there have most names taken, and I didn't want to resort to adding numbers to my name to make it different.
- Wanted to gradually move away from Gmail due to privacy concerns. Although I don't plan on ditching my Gmail account, I'm trying to switch most things to my new Tutanota account. In particular, any shopping accounts I use I've moved to Tutanota so that Google doesn't know my shopping habits. Tutanota is privacy-oriented from the ground up.
Rest assured that unlike some other privacy-oriented email services, Tutanota is super-easy to use and does not require you to install any software, browser extensions, etc on your computer. Their phone app is similarly easy to use. If you've used any other email service, you can easily use Tutanota, it's well-designed and very intuitive.
- The most basic level of service at Tutanota is free.
- Very privacy-oriented.
- You can pick from a choice of different domains for your email, not just tutanota.com. Therefore you can personalize your address even more. This means that as an added bonus, you have chances of the username you want being available in one of the other domains even if it's not available in your preferred one.
- Nice modern clean layout both on desktop and on mobile. None of that spammy look that you get on AOL, Yahoo, and others.
- The Tutanota mobile app makes it easy to check your email conveniently.
- Comes with a calendar service in it, like Google Calendar (but private!)
- Besides the free level of service you can add other features or more storage with one of the paid Tutanota plans. Some of these features include: use of custom domains, allowing additional users, inbox rules, and customer support.
- The search feature in the free version is restricted only to emails in the past 30 days. This is more than a little frustrating if you plan to make Tutanota your primary email, but is less of an issue if you're using it as a secondary email. And of course, if you upgrade to the paid version you can get around that and use the full search ability, but be aware the free version is limited in how much searching you can do of your emails.
- The free level of service only allows 1GB of storage. It's pretty decent for a free account, but you have to pay a higher dollar amount than I would have expected if you desire extra storage. This is not a big drawback, since after all the free service is, well, free!
- No option for email recovery if you lock yourself out besides a special unlock code they give you at the start (it has lots and lots of digits, so keep it safely written down because you'll never remember it). So you can't nominate, for example, a trusted relative's email as the recovery email address where they can send you a password reset code. Therefore if you lose your Tutanota password AND lose your unlock code you were given at the beginning, you're hosed. I don't call it a big disadvantage though, since the point of it is to be privacy-oriented.
- In certain situations, the Android app does not scale the content readably. This typically happens when someone sends you a large photo along with the text of their email. In these situations, the photo will be large and the text of the email will be unreadably tiny. This is a very minor issue but I think it should be noted. This does not affect the web version of Tutanota so you can always read your email there.
Based on my experiences using it, Tutanota is a reliable and legitimate privacy-oriented email provider. Their free email is a great way to get started, and has the bonus that being a newer provider, you have more chances of your desired username being available. Tutanota has a few disadvantages, but for me these are outweighed by the advantages. I've also noticed that Tutanota is often rolling out new features or improvements.
You may also like to take a look at these easy online privacy tips to incorporate into your daily online life - they're simple yet make all the difference. Also, if you tend to spend a lot of time at the computer, you may like these tips for finding a screen background that decreases eye strain.