Founded at the end of 2011, Tutanota has since then grown to become one of the most popular secure email services and one of the best alternative to the world famous Gmail.
Behind Tutanota there is a team of guys that has set themselves as untiring advocates of privacy and Internet security. The company is based in Germany.
In the past, when Gestapo and Stasi were in charge, Germany has learned a big lesson on how dangerous mass-surveillance can be. These memories are still vivid in the mind of Tutanota team and are to them a great motivator to provide Internet users with advanced tools to protect their own privacy.
To control any single user on the Internet has become now easier than ever before. The methods employed by governments and surveillance agencies to control people are far more subtle and invasive than any one used by the Gestapo or Stasi back then.
To protect your digital identity and privacy must be nowadays a major concern that cannot be neglected
Tutanota is an excellent tool in this regard since it encrypts all your emails making them inaccessible to unauthorized people or prying eyes.
With Tutanota you can keep all your email secure.
You can send encrypted messages even to users that do not have a Tutanota account.
We’ve found this secure mail service provider to be a valid alternative to famous webmails like Gmail, Yahoo!Mail or Hotmail. Even though popular, these webmail services are widely known for their extreme lack of privacy.
Google and ISPs can and actually do scan all your emails and store your data into their database.
This is unacceptable. Tutanota has made its mission to bypass this surveillance and make your online privacy secure and protected.
Tutanota Secure Mail Service Features
- Encryption Algorithm: AES with a length of 128 bit and RSA with 2048 bit
- PGP: No
- Password hashing: Bcrypt on the device
- Password recovery: No
- Supported browsers: Firefox (desktop), Opera (desktop, Android), Chrome (desktop, Android), Safari from version 6.1 (desktop, iOS), Internet Explorer from version 10 (Desktop), Blackberry 10
- App: iOS, Android
- Attachment size: max 25MB
- Storage: 1GB (free account)
- Price: Free or Premium account
Tutanota has significantly improved its service and software since its launch in 2011.
Today you can count on a friendly and intuitive interface. The look is very similar to the most famous webmail services so we believe nobody should have any problem using Tutanota even if they use it for the very first time.
We like the fact that Tutanota committed itself to provide a free account forever even though with some limitations like:
- Only 1GB storage
- No alias available
- No inbox rules
- No personal domain
- No personal logo
That shouldn’t be a problem for the majority of users. In any case, if you need these additional features or use Tutanota for business, you can upgrade to the Premium version starting from as little as $1 per year.
All the Tutanota storage and alias packages prices are per year.
Premium accounts come with additional features. Plus it is even possible to pay an extra fee to add alias to the account.
We are pleased to see that Tutanota has integrated some interesting features that were missing before.
You can now save your drafts and have your Contact Book stored directly on your account. These two simple features make a lot easier to use Tutanota as your daily mail client.
Tutanota encrypts your emails using AES-128. This is enough to guarantee enough security even though we wonder why they didn’t upgrade to the more secure AES-256.
Tutanota doesn’t use PGP encryption, by far the most secure system available at the moment. As stated on their website, they are now working to create an API to communicate with PGP users confidentially in the future.
In any case, we’ve found Tutanota to be secure enough to guarantee a high level of privacy.
In 2013 Tutanota underwent an extensive penetration test by the SySS Gmbh. During the trial, they were not able to access the system or to retrieve any confidential data.
When you send an email through Tutanota, your message is automatically encrypted on your device since it uses end-to-end encryption. Along with the message even the subject and attachments are encrypted.
The only fields that Tutanota can read are the metadata, which is the sender, recipient, and date of the email.
As a future development, they are studying how to make even the metadata hidden.
Tutanota allows you to send encrypted email even to external users and they can reply with an encrypted message as well. Later on, in this review, we will explain in details how that works.
IMPORTANT: A word of caution about the password
When you signup to Tutanota you are requested to choose your password. Beware you write it down and store it in a secure place. If you lose it, the Tutanota team cannot recover it since they do not have access to it. If this is the case, your account will be lost.
Instead, if you are using a premium account, the password of both additional users and administrators can be reset by the account administrator itself. We suggest you to always set at least two users as administrators so to minimize the chances of losing your premium account by accident.
Using Tutanota is relatively easy.
For our review, we opened an account and tested some of the functionalities.
This is a step by step report on how we activated our account and how to use Tutanota.
The open your account you just need to click the big button Signup on the Homepage (you cannot miss it!!)
You will be redirected to a page where you have to choose your email name and the domain. You can make a choice between several domains like tutanota.com, tutanota.de, tutamail.com, tuta.io and camel.me.
As you type the email name you would like to have, the system will take a few seconds to check if it is available. If not, you’ll be forced to pick a new one.
After that, you have to create your password. Go for a strong one. The colored bar below the field will help you in assessing how secure your chosen password is.
After this step is done, tick the box to accept terms & condition and then click on “create account”. You are now ready to go.
IMPORTANT: As highlighted on the note close to the password field, make sure you store your chosen password in a safe place. If you lose it, Tutanota cannot recover it because they do not have access to it. If you lose your password, your account is gone. So make sure you take good care of this step.
The Main Page
As you enter Tutanota, you will see that the interface is entirely similar to webmail services you may use daily.
from here you can check your inbox, your settings, your drafts and whatever you usually manage in any email account.
Sending New Emails
To send a new email you just need to click on the button “New Mail” on the top right. You can now edit your message, attach documents, save the draft or send the message right away.
As you click on “send” the message will be encrypted and forwarded to the recipient.
Sending Emails To External Users
With Tutanota you can send encrypted messages even to users that do not have a Tutanota account.
As you digit a recipient address that is not connected to Tutanota, you will see a new field where you can decide if to send an encrypted message or not. You just need to click on the big button “Confidential/Not Confidential’.
If you choose the “Confidential” option, you will see on the right a “Password” button. Here is where you create the password your recipient has to use to open the email. Once you set a password for one of your recipients, it will stay the same for every future message you will send to him. Alternatively, you may even decide to set a new password for the same user.
IMPORTANT: Obviously the recipient will not receive the password through the email. You have to provide the password through a different channel, possibly in person if at all possible. In any case, use a channel that is secure enough so that the password cannot be intercepted.
This is what happen when your recipient receives the email. For a try, we sent an email from Tutanota to our Gmail account. As we received the email, we could see this message.
Clicking on the link “Show encrypted email” the recipient is redirected to a page where he has to digit the agreed password to read the message.
From the Tutanota interface, he will then have a chance even to reply to the message using the same encryption.
You may want to note that if you keep using the same password with a recipient, he will not need to digit it every time, but he will automatically be redirected to the message.
The Tutanota software gives you the possibility to customize your account and organize it as you like. You will access the settings page from the top left menu “Settings”.
The menu “Edit” is where you can create your personalized inbox. From the drop-down menu click “Add” and then name your new inbox as you like. The new inbox will now appear on the list on the left sidebar.
From this menu there are a few important settings you can modify.
For instance, you may decide if the emails sent to external recipients have to be encrypted by default. If you prefer them to be set as not confidential by default, just untick the “confidential” field.
If the “Create Contacts” is ticked, Tutanota will automatically add all the recipients to your Contacts Book. This is a pretty handy feature because in this way when you send an email you don’t need to look for the recipient’s address, but it will autofill instead.
From here you can even customize your email signature and edit your personal message.
Using this function, you can create your own email filter. You need to write down the email address you want to filter, decide what filter to apply and click on the green tick on the right.
Your spam filter is now set.
This feature is available only for Premium accounts. It is excellent to keep your accounts well organized and redirect each email to the right folder.
If you use Tutanota for work, this is a feature you may well need and it will be available for only $1.00 per month.
Here is another feature available only for Premium accounts. It gives you the possibility to upload your own logo instead of Tutanota logo. You may need this feature only if you have a business. Otherwise, there is really no reason to use it.
Tutanota Review Conclusions
Overall, Tutanota provides its users with great features and high-security level.
The encryption algorithm could be updated to AES-256 or even better PGP. In any case, Tutanota is in our opinion a very secure provider.
Compared to a few years ago, Tutanota has implemented several features to its software. Nowadays to use Tutanota is as easy and comfortable as using Gmail or any other famous webmail service.
Of course, keep in mind that nothing online is 100% safe. There is always the danger of somebody prying into your data. To use a secure mail service like Tutanota is anyway a great step ahead to protect an important part of your digital life.
To take your security to the maximum level, we suggest you implement your devices with one of the best VPN on the market.