Lavabit Alternatives List
We all seek privacy on the web, but it’s one thing when we communicate in social networks, and quite another when we send business messages via email. Secure email services still exist and are publicly available.
Is there a completely private (secure) and yet completely free email? Find out in this article.
Lavabit is the email service that was used by Edward Snowden. The service was closed after the U.S. security services demanded access to the stored data. This episode only added to the popularity of the service.
However, what is the fate of the service now, and are there any reliable Lavabit alternatives?
We’ll tell you today in this article.
Still using WhatsApp? Read this article and choose the best alternative for daily messaging.
What is Lavabit?
Lavabit is a free email service that was founded in June 2004 and lasted until August 2013.
According to the creators of the service, “Lavabit was founded in response to the Gmail service.” Even though the Google Mail service was called “an excellent solution,” the developers were concerned that Google actively violated the privacy of its users’ correspondence by showing them ads related to words in their mail.
The founders of Lavabit also believed that they could provide a higher level of service than competitors, since their service prevented the company from accessing the user’s email account using a public-key cryptosystem.
Lavabit provided free accounts, no ads, and two levels of paid accounts. At the time of closure, Lavabit served over 410,000 active users.
Lavabit mail was equipped with spam filters, virus protection, and a security system based on Transport Layer Security (SSL) and asynchronous encryption technologies, along with many other features.
Among the disadvantages of the solution, experts noted a limit on the number of incoming and outgoing emails. So, the user could receive no more than 1,024 and send only 256 emails per day.
More anonymous chat apps are listed here.
Why did the service close?
After Edward Snowden spoke about the mass surveillance of internet users around the world by the NSA and hid at a Russian airport, he used the Lavabit email service because he did not trust Gmail, Outlook.com, or Yahoo, knowing about their cooperation with the U.S. authorities.
In August 2013, this service suddenly had to close. There was a message about closing the service from the founder and owner of the service, Ladar Levison, on the main page.
The pressure was probably caused by the fact that Edward Snowden used this service. The U.S. authorities demanded that the service disclose the data of the fugitive former NSA employee. It was easier for Levison to close the service than give third parties access to Snowden’s email account.
The FBI and the judicial system exerted serious pressure on Levison in every possible way and hindered his defense in court proceedings, which were held in secrecy. He received a court order to issue TLS keys, refused to comply with the order, and eventually destroyed the keys and erased the files.
Thanks to Levison’s unapologetic stance against the state machine, Ladar Levison has become a true hero in the information security community. Three and a half years had passed after Lavabit closed when on January 20, 2017, Levison announced a plan to revive the company and restart the service.
At the moment, the service is working and available. However, how safe it may be is no longer known. Therefore, many people have decided to use alternative email services, of which there are a sufficient number nowadays.
Reliable Lavabit alternatives
This is an anonymous ecosystem built on peer-to-peer architecture. It does not track the IP addresses of users and does not store data. In addition, all registration is anonymous: you do not need to enter your mobile phone, email, or real name. You simply need to come up with a nickname and the ecosystem will generate a private key that will open access to the ecosystem.
The ecosystem is a closed internet on the web. It has everything you need to work safely and quickly on the network. For example, the instant messenger implements fast transmission of messages, both text and voice. The internal email in encrypted form transmits essential files and documents that only the sender and recipient can access. The anonymous browser does not track the user’s actions. There is a wallet that stores Cryptons – the internal cryptocurrency to make payments within the ecosystem. It can be used to pay for goods or perform various financial transactions.
The ecosystem is based on decentralization and is free to use. It is suitable for Windows and Linux or macOS systems. You just need to download, install, and start using the ecosystem.
You can read more about this decentralized email here.
ProtonMail is a popular and encrypted email service. The program’s servers are located in Switzerland. Therefore, all data is protected by strict Swiss laws, which do not fall under EU and US sanctions.
ProtonMail is built on e2e encryption method that contributes to its security, because even government agencies can not access the correspondence. All they can get is the encrypted version. However, there is a theory that the government can put pressure on developers and demand to edit the code, thereby revealing the passwords of users. But according to the developers, the program does not depend on the state, so this is unlikely.
VFEmail provides businesses and common users with a fast and convenient way to ensure their own security when working with email.
The service scans every incoming email and its attachments for viruses and spam. If any malware is detected, the message is blocked on the gateway and does not get to the server. The mail server supports gray and black lists, and the recognized SpamAssassin system is used to detect spam.
Work with VFEmail is carried out via the standard POP, IMAP, SMTP protocols, and the web interface is implemented over a secure SSL channel. Like most modern email services, VFEmail supports opening documents in the Microsoft Office browser. However, this secrecy of correspondence has to be paid for.
However, a free so-called “common account” provides the user with 50 MB of server space for emails. To increase the space, you need to buy another, more advanced account. But for correspondence within moderate limits, a basic account is enough – and free.
Fastmail is an email service that does not collect data about your work and supports linking to your own domain.
FastMail makes it easy to write both text and rich HTML emails. FastMail also includes basic protection against spam and viruses. Paid accounts use personal Bayesian filtering to identify spam. Countering phishing attempts, FastMail disables links that can be identified as misleading.
If you want to get more variants for anonymous use, you can find them here.
First of all, pay attention to its security system when choosing the service. Do not forget about encryption, the possibility of anonymous use, private access, and wide functionality. After all, your security depends only on you and the service that you have chosen.
If you can’t decide, then test each of the options and find the perfect one for you.