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Posteo is a privacy and security focused email service from Germany

Unless you are making sure that you are using encryption when using email, chance is that your emails get read by machines and maybe also individuals as they are not protected by any means.

German email service Posteo just announced an addition to the service's privacy-focused email offering that allows all users to encrypt their mail data with the click of a button.

Posteo is not free but affordable at $1 per month or $12 per year. Users get 2 Gigabyte of free storage for that with options to increase storage for $0.25 per Gigabyte per month.

What sets Posteo apart from the majority of other email services out there is its focus on privacy and security.

Privacy begins when you sign up. While you can use your credit card or PayPal to subscribe, Posteo supports cash as well which ensures your anonymity. The sign-up form itself requests no personal information and Posteo promises that they don't save IP addresses and replace user IP addresses when sending emails with that of the Posteo server.

Posteo supports TLS-encrypted access and transmissions, encrypts all data on AES encrypted hard drives, and supports the previously mentioned crypto mail storage.

To use it, select Settings > Encryption from the menu, enter your account password again to verify that you have access to it and then the "activate crypto mail storage now" button.

posteo encryption

Once you hit the button, all emails of the account are encrypted using the password. This includes not only the email body but also attachments and metadata. In addition, all future emails that arrive are encrypted as well.

Posteo notes that encryption blocks them from accessing the contents of user emails and that users will lose access to all emails if they forget the account password.

Encryption does not prevent the use of IMAP or POP3 so that you can access your account using local email programs and mobile devices.

Crypto storage is not the only protective feature that Posteo offers. Users may enable inbound encryption  and end-to end encryption of individual emails using S/MIME or OpenPGP. In addition, address book and calendar can be encrypted directly on the web interface to protect the data using the account password.

Additional information about security and privacy are available on the site's encryption help page.

posteo interface

Posteo is a subscription-based email provider. One benefit of paying money for email is that you get an ad-free tracker-free environment. The service, including its webmail interface and newsletter, is completely ad-free and uses no tracking tools on the web either. Since it is not financed by advertising, it has no advertising partners or parses emails to deliver targeted advertisement to users of its service.

As far as additional features are concerned, you may configure aliases (two are free, more for $0.10 per alias) which you can use instead of the primary email address. Aliases support a variety of localized Posteo domains but no custom domains at the time of writing.

What else? The service ships with its own spam and virus filter, supports custom filters to sort emails by content or sender automatically, folders, a pop3 migration service to migrate from another service, forwarding and auto-reply, and support for IMAP and POP3 connections.

You may also use signatures and HTML emails, receive attachments of up to 50 Megabyte in size, or switch between different view modes for emails.

Address book and calendar support import and export operations. It is for instance possible to import CardDAV contacts to the address book or export calendar data as ics files. In fact, data exports are one of the key features of Posteo as it gives users full control over their data at any time.

POP3/IMAP information

Server name: posteo.de
Username: [email protected]
Password: Your personal password

Outgoing mail server (SMTP):

  • With STARTTLS using port 587, or
  • with SSL/TLS encryption using port 465

Incoming mail server (IMAP):

  • With STARTTLS using port 143, or
  • with SSL/TLS encryption using port 993

Incoming mail server (POP3):

  • With STARTTLS using port 110, or
  • with SSL/TLS encryption using port 995

Closing Words

Posteo is not free but the base service is reasonably priced at €1 per month especially if you consider that it supports anonymous payments and several options and features that protect user identities, emails and other data. All in all an interesting email service for privacy and security conscious Internet users.

This article was first seen on ComTek's "TekBits" Technology News

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