Today’s world is full of scammers that are always out to make a quick buck at your expense. They come in the form of hackers.

Bad guys are always looking for ways to steal your personal information and data. This is where Mailfence comes in. So what is Mailfence? Well here is a quick Mailfence review that will inform you more.

Mailfence – secure email provider

In 2013, the Contact Office Group launched Mailfence as a secure email provider. What makes this software special is open-sourced based encryption.

This has made it very popular with security experts and users as it is always improving. However, it is good to mention that it has a proprietary content license. This means there are some closed sourced elements in their full range of services such as calendar, document storage, and much more.

Also, it has great interoperability with other OpenPGP compatible services. These are the reasons many consider it the best alternative to the completely featured G suite.

ContactOffice is a collaborative work suite based in Belgium. This means they are out of the scope of Five Eyes. On the flip side, authorities in Belgium still enforce little mandatory data retention directives that may apply to some email providers.

However, these directives are watched strictly and only permit them to gain access with a warrant. This makes them only accessible under much-specified circumstances. The fact is, they can protect you from the prying eyes of the Five Eyes.

Being based in Belgium has some demerits. For starters, data retention is useful if used in the right way and may even be good for their human rights. But this is still enough to put some people off. Also, Belgium is still part of the bigger 14 eyes surveillance agreement. This means you are simply running from one surveillance authority to another one.

However, this software has some merits for its use. They maintain good transparency report listing and warrant canary. These are useful to customers as it allows them to keep a watchful eye. This will allow them to know if the services have been compromised by the authorities.

How much does it cost?

Being partly open-sourced, it only makes sense that this software has a free subscription plan. For this plan, you get access to an account with storage of 500Mb.

However, the software also has some closed sourced elements. This means that the users of the free plan will encounter heavy restrictions on the use of contact and calendar features.  Consequently, this will not permit any synchronization across your various devices. Also, it restricts the email services to only one group with two members.

mailfence pricing plans
Mailfence pricing plans

The next most affordable option is the entry-level subscription. This one only costs $2.77 (€ 2.50) per month. If you are on a tight budget then this plan is the best for you.

However, if you compare this price with other competitors like Posteo’s $1.13 per month it will still seem a little pricy. This plan comes with full synchronization with calendars and contacts.

Also, users get 3 groups with 10 members. In terms of storage, users receive a total of 12 GB with 5 GB for messages and the rest allocated for document storage and other data.

Lastly, you can opt for the pro plan. This one will set you back $8.32 per month. in this plan, the storage capacity is extended to 20 GB for messaging and 24 GB for documents. Also, it lets the subscriber create 5 groups with up to 20 users. This makes the $8.32 fee a bargain for enterprise use.

Both the entry-level and pro plans have full support available. Users can pay with Visa or MasterCard. One may also use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Litecoin as a more anonymous method. Finally, they may also pay with PayPal. Mailfence is totally funded by these paid plans. Consequently, they can exist without advertising.

 Features overview

At just a starting price of $2.77 per month, users get access to:

Send end-to-end encrypted emails with OpenPGP

This software allows users to send secure PGP emails to a majority of email providers via both encrypted and signed messages. Also, they provide complete control over OpenPGP key management with an integrated key store.

Supports popular email protocols

It supports POPS, IMAPS, and SMTPS for easy communication with various providers.

Supports password encrypt emails

This makes for secure communication between a sender and receiver via encrypted emails. Passwords are used for the encryption and decryption of messages within their browser. Also, the key is never shared with the Mailfence back-end. The encryption is based on audited open cipher library and permits that allow you to even send messages to non-Mailfence users.

Offers full synchronization

This synchronizes accounts over various devices such as mobile and desktop devices.

Groups

It allows you to securely manage and share files, calendars, contacts and even mailboxes with other members.

Calendar, contacts, and documents storage

This allows people using other services such as Google’s suite to migrate with retaining most of their information. This will enable them to retain the functionality they are accustomed to.

Supports Custom domain  

Users can opt to add a unique domain email address without any setbacks.

Offers Two Factor Authentication (2FA)

This is just another step that users can take to ensure that their account is protected.

High Qualys SSL Labs rating

With an A+ rating, their website has a high independent rating.

Finally, they Strip IP address from sent emails

However, this still has to comply with Belgian laws.

Privacy and transparency

You do not need to use your real name to subscribe to this email provider. It is possible to set up a burner email address that you can pay for with cryptocurrencies.

This allows you to set up an account privately. However, this anonymity comes at a price. In accordance with to2016 Belgian data retention directives, they are required to collect IP addresses, message IDs, timestamps, countries, browser versions, and information from both ends.

This can be a turn off to some. Unlike the US and UK however, Belgium is a bit more lenient when it comes to enforcing gag orders. This means if data is ever required then the user will be notified. Finally, they state that their employees are all bound by a confidentiality agreement that forces them to protect data.

When it comes to transparency, the email providers publish transparency reports that work together with warrant canary reports to enable the user to keep an eye on what the company is doing.

But perhaps you prefer no logs despite the email provider’s transparency. Well if you are like me then you will use the option where you combine the email provider with a VPN. This combination will offer you additional anonymity as your IP address will be concealed from the email provider.

Security

This email provider has implemented the simple “one-click” OpenPGP encryption. This is designed to secure emails using PGP encryption but in less a tricky way.

Emails that are sent to users of Mailfence never leave the server and can either be protected by PGP encryption or passwords. The emails can also be sent to non-members using a PGP key but are unencrypted.

Communication within the servers happens via Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) encryption. This is good as it stops any eavesdropping, tampering or forgery from occurring while communicating. They also provide Perfect Forward Secrecy for encrypted HTTPS connections. This prevents leakage during a security breach. Finally, HTTP has an A++ score with Quays and is activated on all web pages.  

Ease of use

Opening a Mailfence account is extremely easy. More importantly, you can start the process for free to get a taste of how it works.

mailfence interface
Mailfence Interface

Once an account has been registered you will get a verification email for their account. This will enable them to log into their accounts. Once logged in they can go about choosing a payment plan, custom domain, and email address.

And there you have it you can start using it no problem. It is important to note that in 2019 they rolled out a brand new interface. However, the changes made it easier to use!

Customer support

Mailfence provides support to all its users. This enables them to help you set up the service. They can also solve any other additional problems that you may come across. Besides, they also have a Blog. This Blog is filled with useful tips and articles that may give you an in-depth view of their product.

Conclusion

This is a solid email provider that is also easy to use. This makes it ideal for beginners. The encryption is also solid and because it is brewers based there is no need to download anything.

Finally, the open based element keeps it up to date as many experts are constantly working on it. In summary, this is a great email provider that anyone can use.

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