Oodles of Googles

Posted by mangdesign on June 05, 2018

Gmail open source alternative

If you are using a service such as Google, Outlook (Microsoft) or Yahoo, consider choosing a better provider like the one below.

When choosing an email provider, there are many factors to consider. However, in keeping with this blog’s theme, I will try and focus primarily on the open and closed source nature of the providers, and ease of use. If you would like more detailed information about the other factors, I will be updating my resume site with it in the future. Stay tuned!

In the world there exist companies that become heavily involved in politics, regardless of whether their business has anything to do with politics to begin with. Google is one of these companies, as well as countless other email providers - even ones that purport to be privacy focused. I will keep reiterating in this blog - politics do not have a place in every space. I believe that it is unethical and irresponsible to force politics into everything, especially when it comes to things that are, at their base, apolitical. This extends to communication, email providers are no exception to this. If you are providing a service, and you decide to withhold or ban people from that service due to their political (or other) beliefs, you are on the “wrong” side of history, not the other way around. This includes shadowbanning, censoring, and any other forms of opinion suppression. Everybody should be entitled to their own opinion - there should never exist an opinion that is against the law.

On to the open source recommendation!

There are two main open source email providers that I settled on. These are Tutanota (German) and ProtonMail (based in Switzerland). I was originally going to out ProtonMail as being excessively politically biased, but I honestly couldn’t find enough actual evidence of this so for this recommendation I will be pushing two companies. The main reason for this is that I am still on the fence about ProtonMail’s political “beliefs” (if a company can indeed have beliefs), however, they do provide more features than Tutanota. Below is a table comparing the features of both providers.

Provider Features
Free Paid
Storage Addresses Storage Addresses
ProtonMail 500MB 1 5GB 5
Tutanota 1GB 1 1GB 5

These are the basic email features. Tutanota provides only email at this point, whereas ProtonMail provides other services such as VPN (Virtual Private Network). ProtonMail now also encrypts contacts, and is available through IMAP/SMTP with ProtonMail Bridge. Both Tutanota and ProtonMail are still a little awkward when it comes to encrypted email to non-Tutanota/ProtonMail accounts (you do not personally manage your encryption keys). While the encryption set up is easier for non-technical people, it does potentially create trust issues for more tech-savvy folk. For more information on these, here (https://tutanota.com/) and here (https://protonmail.com/)

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