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Privatemail review

Can this encrypted email service replace your current provider?

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(Image: © Privatemail)

Our Verdict

Privatemail isn’t exactly a bad option if you’re looking for a secure email service provider, but it’s tough to recommend it over ProtonMail, Zoho Mail, or other top competitors.

For

  • No-logs policy
  • Integrates with calendar apps
  • Cloud storage included

Against

  • Dated interface
  • Expensive

Gmail and other email clients are incredibly popular, but users who take their security seriously may want to look for a more secure email provider. Even though it’s unlikely that an individual Google employee would read your personal emails, data from Gmail and other applications are used by Google and sometimes accessible for third parties.

With that in mind, more and more users are looking for private ways to send and receive secure emails. In our Privatemail review, we’ll take a look at the platform’s security and overall value to help you determine whether it’s the right email client for you or your business.

Privatemail review

Privatemail offers separate subscriptions for individuals and businesses. For personal use, the Standard plan costs $8.95 per month, while Privatemail Pro costs $15.95 per month (Image credit: Privatemail)

Standard comes with five aliases, 10GB each of email and cloud storage, and other helpful features. Upgrading to Pro will give you access to 20 aliases and 20GB of storage for email and cloud files. Unfortunately, the platform doesn’t appear to provide a free trial, so you’ll need to commit before testing it out.

Both Business Pro and Business GroupShare cost $64.95 per month. Business subscribers get a handful of additional perks, including 100GB of storage for cloud documents and emails, as well as a custom domain and logo. GroupShare subscribers can collaborate and share information across accounts within the organization.

Privatemail review

Aside from pricing, the limits on aliases and email/cloud storage are the only difference between the Standard and Pro tiers (Image credit: Privatemail)

Features

Privatemail differentiates itself from other private email service providers by also offering cloud storage. As mentioned, users get 10GB of storage for the Standard tier, 20GB for Pro, and 100GB for Business subscriptions. You can also add events to the Privatemail calendar or connect the platform to your smartphone’s native calendar app.

Besides making it easy to sync files across devices, Privatemail also provides a convenient desktop sync application that automatically updates local folders with any changes made to files in cloud storage. All things considered, Privatemail is an easy way to keep your data safe and accessible from all your devices.

Privatemail review

Privatemail integrates with the native iOS and Android calendar apps (Image credit: Privatemail)

Interface and in use

Privatemail has a decent range of features, but its interface isn’t all that professional. Even the website itself has basic design flaws: text isn’t always spaced evenly, and we noticed multiple typos during a relatively short visit. The client and mobile app look slightly more modern, but the interface is still somewhat generic.

Privatemail review

Privatemail doesn’t have the sleek, minimalist feel of some other top email service providers (Image credit: Privatemail)

Overall, Privatemail is a decent option for sending and receiving emails, but it’s a little dated compared to the competition. Of course, if security is your top priority, you may not be as concerned with the client’s design.

Privatemail review

Privatemail has both a FAQ and a knowledge base, and it isn’t clear how articles are divided between the two. (Image credit: Privatemail)

Support

If you run into any issues while using Privatemail, you can look for solutions by accessing the FAQ or Knowledge Base. Oddly, some answers are listed in the FAQ, while others are only available in the Knowledge Base. They don’t appear to be organized in any intuitive way.

You can also contact the Privatemail support team directly if the FAQ and Knowledge Base don’t have the answers you’re looking for. Unfortunately, help is only available via email, and there aren’t any listed support hours or estimated turnaround times.

Privatemail review

Your decryption keys are stored locally, so there’s no way for Privatemail to view your emails or files (Image credit: Privatemail)

Security

Privatemail is based in the United States, which means it’s technically subject to security agreements like Five Eyes and Fourteen Eyes. Even though the risk of law enforcement activity may be low for most users, this is still a notable disadvantage for a platform called “Privatemail.”

That said, the provider has strong security policies. Your decryption key is stored locally, so Privatemail doesn’t have any way to access the content of your messages. All documents will be secured with AES 256-bit encryption if you use the cloud storage. Similarly, encrypted file sharing allows users to send sensitive information without giving Privatemail access to the document.

The competition

Privatemail isn’t the only privacy-focused email service provider available in 2020, and a few of the alternatives offer enticing benefits. ProtonMail, a popular secure email platform, offers a free plan, along with premium subscriptions for as little as $5 per month.

Additionally, Zoho Mail starts at just $1 per user per month for Mail Lite, while Mail Premium costs $4 per user per month and comes with attachments of up to 1GB, 50GB of storage per user, and customizable archiving and deleted email recovery policies. Emails are encrypted when in storage and during transit, and Zoho Mail automatically notifies users when the other party (sender/recipient) doesn’t support TLS encryption.

Final verdict

Overall, Privatemail appears to have decent security, but it doesn’t offer enough notable features or perks to justify its steep price tag. This is especially inconvenient because there’s no free trial or any kind of free access. Zoho Mail is just one example of a secure email provider with better prices, more comprehensive features, and a sleeker interface.