Tutanota vs. ProtonMail—objective comparison by experts

Privacy-first email services are in a league of their own! We’ve sorted out the Tutanota vs. ProtonMail dilemma—find out which service offers better protection.
Making the switch from a regular email service to a privacy-oriented one is challenging. You need to look at providers with the best combination of features and security standards within your budget, but exploring each service individually can be frustrating and time-consuming.Users looking for a safety-first alternative to Big Tech services like Gmail and Outlook typically get into the Tutanota vs. ProtonMail debate. We’ll make the choice easier for you by offering an objective and comprehensive review of the two providers across the following five categories:
  1. Security and end-to-end encryption standards
  2. Privacy and data protection
  3. Features for personal and business use
  4. User interface (UI), ease of migration, and design
  5. Pricing and storage availability
You will also learn about Skiff, another feature-rich, affordable, and security-first alternative worth considering.
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ProtonMail vs. Tutanota—Security and end-to-end encryption standards

Both Tutanota and ProtonMail are open source, privacy-centric services relying on end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to deliver top-tier security.E2EE entails converting emails into ciphertext illegible to anyone besides the designated recipient with the decryption key. This means no third party—including hackers, cybercriminals, and email and cloud service providers—has access to the content. It’s a significant improvement over the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol used by most email service providers that only encrypts data in transit but not while they're resting on servers.The quality of E2EE varies for Tutanota and ProtonMail. ProtonMail uses the somewhat outdated Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) encryption protocol that has demonstrated significant vulnerabilities. ProtonMail also fails to lock the subject line and metadata of your emails.
Tutanota, on the other hand, encrypts the entire mailbox, including your messages, subject lines, and contacts, using solid AES 128 and RSA 2048 encryption. It also relies on PFS (Perfect Forward Secrecy) to ensure your messages are secure regardless of whether the reci[ient is a Tutanota user.Still, Tutanota keeps mail server logs for emails sent in the last seven days, which is not a major issue but might bother some privacy-focused users.
Source: Tutanota
Tutanota’s advanced encryption might be more robust, but both services have other key differences that may influence your choice.

ProtonMail vs. Tutanota—Privacy and data protection

Both services are ad-free and maintain a zero-knowledge login setup, which implies that users' personal data is not stored on the provider's server, providing true privacy.Tutanota and ProtonMail follow pro-privacy German and Swiss laws, respectively, based on the location of their servers.ProtonMail may not be able to guarantee complete anonymity. Being a Swiss company, it has to oblige if a local court demands logging IP address and browser fingerprint information for a particular account. ProtonMail recently had to turn over the metadata of a climate activist upon court orders, and the news did not go down well with many users.As for Tutanota, some users might have issues with the service because it is based in a 14-eyes country with stronger surveillance laws. The service provider temporarily stores IP addresses, although they’re anonymized first to protect the users.

ProtonMail vs. Tutanota—Features for personal and business use

The preference for features is not standardized as users seek different functionalities for personal and professional use. Tutanota and ProtonMail share many common specs that appeal to advanced users, such as:The following table outlines the unique aspects of each service:
Self-destructing email.
Unlimited domains.
Encrypted contact form.
Group send.
Conversation view.
VPN subscription.
Tutanota and ProtonMail have odds evenly stacked against each other as far as features are concerned, but we must also look at the unique text search feature of both services. While full-text search is a basic feature for Gmail or Office 365, most E2EE encrypted services don't provide it.Tutanota offers zero-knowledge full-text search to all users, but ProtonMail does not—this feature is currently only available to paid users.

ProtonMail vs. Tutanota—User interface and functionality

Privacy-first email users often notice a clear trade-off between security and functionality. Tutanota and ProtonMail might be designed to meet the technological skills of an average user, but you may not get the same versatility, ease of use, and integrations as found with the likes of Gmail or Apple Mail.Refer to the table below for a usability comparison between Tutanota and ProtonMail:
AvailabilityBrowser, Android and iOS, Linux, Windows, and macOSBrowsers, along with Android and iOS apps
Setup timeLonger, requires approval (48-hour verification process)Relatively quick
MigrationNot migration-friendlyImport options for mail, calendar, and contacts
IntegrationNot integration-friendlyPopular integrations available
PerformanceHigh-speed deliveryUsually solid speed, but with occasional lags

ProtonMail vs. Tutanota—Pricing and storage availability

Both ProtonMail and Tutanota have paid and free tiers, but the latter has more affordable plans.The free tiers have a similar offer—here’s a summary:
Tutanota free tierProtonMail free tier
Storage up to 1 GBStorage up to 1 GB
1 email address1 email address
Full-text search (for emails exchanged in the past 40 days)3 folders and labels
One calendarOne calendar
No per-day messaging limit specified150 messages per day
The free tiers for both services are quite limiting, even for an average user. The paid plans offer more advanced features, as presented in the table:
Tutanota paid tiersProtonMail paid tiers
Storage up to 10 GBStorage up to 500 GB
Up to 5 email addresses (aliases)Up to 15 email addresses
Scalable custom domainsUp to 3 custom domains
Unlimited calendarsUp to 20 calendars
No per-day messaging limit specifiedUnlimited messages
.Up to 10 VPN connections
Tutanota might be more affordable, but ProtonMail offers a richer feature profile and higher storage capacity. Tutanota also offers scalable storage, although the provider’s add-ons can be expensive.

The final verdict—should you make compromises or find a better service?

When it comes to choosing email service providers, it pays to stay up to date with the latest developments as privacy-focused services have evolved drastically.Tutanota and ProtonMail are both solid solutions but might compromise on features for security. You don't have to settle for less as there are other email services on the market offering advanced features paired with superior security standards.Skiff is an end-to-end encrypted email service and productivity suite with the most attractive offer on the market. You get superior features and collaboration tools combined with a well-crafted user interface, making it the perfect alternative to ProtonMail and Tutanota.
Get the superior email serviceSkiff's free account provides advanced security features, E2E-encrypted tools, and a carefully designed interface
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Here's why Skiff is the superior email service provider

Skiff fulfills the contemporary messaging and productivity needs of privacy-conscious users. The open source platform builds on the privacy standards laid down by older services to offer the complete E2EE ecosystem, containing:
  1. Skiff Mail—a feature-loaded inbox offering automated end-to-end encrypted communication to all users
  2. Skiff Pages—for creating and editing documents and real-time collaboration
  3. Skiff Calendar—an end-to-end encrypted calendar that auto-syncs with Skiff Mail and helps you manage personal and workspace events
  4. Skiff Drivesecure cloud storage with up to 1 TB capacity (10 GB free)
Source: SkiffThese services are available by default to any user setting up a free Skiff account.

Security—Skiff vs. Tutanota and ProtonMail

Let’s take a quick look at how Skiff fares in core security areas:
  • End-to-end encryption—Skiff implements an advanced security design where each user gets encryption keypairs—a public and a private key—for sending secure messages to other users. The public key is used for encryption and is shared with the intended recipients, while the private key remains securely stored on the user’s device and is used for decryption. Skiff is open source, and you can review the platform's public whitepaper to confirm its advanced security practices
  • Privacy and data collection—Skiff has established a zero-trust policy and collects no information on users’ backgrounds or activities
  • Login safety—Skiff has zero-knowledge, anonymity-friendly logins, so its servers are free from any data that can be traced back to users. You can also strengthen the security of your email password with Two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Spam protection—Users get advanced protection from spam, phishing, malware, man-in-the-middle, and deanonymization attacks

Skiff—user interface, features, and pricing

Skiff has a minimalistic and straightforward user interface. It is available on browsers, Android, iOS, and macOS devices.Skiff also offers the most generous free tier in the E2EE email service field, providing features that other services hide behind a paywall for free. Check them out:
  • Full-text email search
  • 10 GB free storage
  • Unlimited pages and wikis
  • Multiple aliases
  • Custom signatures
  • Folders and labels
  • Schedule send
  • Undo send
  • Multiple work collaborators
  • Shared calendars
  • Secure video calls
  • IPFS storage (optional)
Custom domains and priority support features are available within affordable paid plans, starting from $3/month. The priciest Skiff plan is $12/month and comes with features like 1 TB storage, unlimited collaborators and folders, 15 custom domains, and a per-file upload limit of 10 GB.Another unique benefit of Skiff is the option to integrate with multiple crypto wallets, including MetaMask, Brave Wallet, Coinbase, and Phantom. You can use your crypto wallet as login credentials and communicate and collaborate anonymously on the web.

Skiff—account setup and migration

Skiff enables one-click migration to import all data, contacts, and drive content from your existing service. New users can sign up instantly in three steps:
  1. Access the Skiff signup page
  2. Create a username and password (no card number, phone number, or other personal info is requested)
  3. Explore Skiff Mail and other products

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