Email is the most important way of communication for me. And for the last couple of years, I spend more and more to keep it running well and safely. My first ever Email provider was Gmail, but as you know what a nightmare it is. The professional version of it costs too much, and the free version is a joke. I would say Gmail is the worst email provider for safeguarding your private communication via Email. Now when I got to know it, I thought about it, and it seems you can trust not so many of the Email providers nowadays. Outlook, Gmail and most of the other Email providers are straight out of badland.
It’s no surprise that google is the villain of the tech world for privacy. Not only they collect a frightening amount of data from your Gmail emails, but they also allow other companies to read your emails! You would say it’s free, so you pay with privacy. What if someone wants to pay with money instead of privacy?
They can’t. Because google still collects data about you even if you use their GSuite or if you pay for their services. Personal data is worth more than what you think. Your data is worth more than money, so why hand them over? Nobody wants to hand them their identity, personality and personal life to others. These are all the same with most of the mainstream email providers. They don’t respect you and your privacy.
Words mean nothing when you want assurance. See, even google promises to keep your data private and bla bla bla. It’s legit, you can’t trust anyone. So how can you be sure about a certain service if it really respects you? Letter.is provides something different.
The core components used by Letter.is is fully open source. Mailcow handles the mail backend, configurations and domains. Not only the backend, but everything in Letter.is built on top of a solid privacy friendly foundation. The root of Letter.is built intending to respect the user and empower them with control over their service.
You can’t be safe with words and statements if the service does not provide you with the power of control and if they build the service with terms and policies with lots of holes in them. If it raises any question, it’s not safe unless you are OK with it.
Letter.is provides better privacy, better service, and better support with no hassle. The primary goal of it is to provide users with control, security, and safety of their emails.
Now I used Zoho Mail for all these years, and it’s fine although not much fancy. The basic subscription costs less, but it ends up costing more if you want to upgrade for even a little more features. I used Zoho mail all these years because it’s less invasive. But it does not provide encryption.
That means emails in Zoho mail are not encrypted just like in Gmail and Yahoo mail. This is the thing I was talking about. There are holes in the service that do not check all the boxes for better privacy. Zoho can see your emails if they want to. And also governments and what not.
Mails on Letter.is on the hand, encrypted so nobody can see your emails, even the provider themselves. With every Yearly plan, Letter provides Calendar, address book and Bitwarden, a password manager. I don’t know if any other provider adds this many products. Zoho provides a calendar and notes, but not something useful like a password manager. I will discuss it later in this article.
When you first go to your Letter.is Panel, you can see all the listed apps just below the login form. You will notice there are two web-clients! SOGo and Roundcube. Roundcube webmail installation in Letter looks superb. It’s a modern theme with flat and obstruction free layout.
I really love Roundcube and I use it when I need to use web clients to access from different computers. Although it is a very modern-looking web client, it lacks some crucial features, such as Calendar and Address book.
That’s why Letter.is providing SOGo webmail. It is also a modern, well-designed web client and recently I started using it more often than any other clients, even my native Email client.
The interface is nice and beautiful, and the editor / composer is much more powerful than Zoho or Gmail. Key features of SOGo are
- Clean interface
- Labels for emails
- Rich composer
- Calendars (iCal, CalDAV)
- Address book (CardDAV supported)
- Add any Email accounts along with Letter.is emails
- Two factor authentication using Google Authenticator
If you want to use your own Email client, you can. Thunderbird is my favorite email client, and it works great with SOGo Calendar and sync. You can also use the SOGo connector, but that’s optional.
Awesomeness does not stop here. Letter.is providing a free subscription of Bitwarden password manager for every yearly subscribers. This just sweetens the already cheap pricing for Letter.is. I think no other email provider gives such offers. It just makes the pricing even more affordable. It’s too good that it’s almost unfair. I used LastPass before and now I cancelled my LastPass because Bitwarden is 10 times better than it, and it comes bundled with Letter.is.
Bitwarden is far more feature rich and secure than LastPass. And it works differently than LastPass too. LastPass was slowing down day by day after I added each password in it. And it used to get constantly messed up. The pop-up was annoying in LastPass, but it isn’t the same with Bitwarden.
I really hated LastPass cluttered UI. Every time I opened it, it presented me with grids that looked enormous. Bitwardens UI is much cleaner. I can also open Bitwarden in the Firefox’s sidebar, which is cool. With this, I can continue browsing websites with it always open. It’s useful when you need to copy and paste from notes to a website.
Bitwarden can also hold ID cards, ATM/Debit/Credit cards, secure encrypted notes and folders. You can add custom fields to an entry and also make and organize folders.
One of the best Bitwarden security features is, it allows you to use PIN instead of entering a full master password every time. Even in browser addon, you can set a pin and then use it to login instead of typing a long master password. When using autofill for websites, you can set it to exact match so it doesn’t show suggested login for domain names, but the full address. As an example, LastPass suggests passwords based on base domain names. Like even if znc.technofaq.org and www.technofaq.org is different by account, LastPass will still suggest both logins. You can set it to match the full address in Bitwarden.
I will share a table comparing Letter.is to other email providers and hope you will understand how Letter is different and better than other email providers.
Others (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Zoho)
Charges per mailbox
Charges per quota, disk space
Plans are fixed and not customizable
Has customized plans and options via support
You have to use their own client, or sign-in via account to use clients
Has two webmail client (SOGo and Roundcube) and IMAP / POP3 configuration for any Email client
Letter.is built to protect users privacy
No encryption, anyone can read your emails if company allows
Letter.is encrypts your emails, so even Letter can’t see your mails.
Calendar and address book is available in some services, many of them are not sharable
Letter.is provides CalDAV, iCal, CardDAV and lots of other features along with easy sharing option so you can sync your address book and calendar using any client
No extras, although Gmail provides a video conferencing app, but just with their own apps
Letter.is provides free Bitwarden for all yearly plan subscribers. And it’s amazing
Provides mobile apps
A mobile app along with native app is under development and will soon be released
Plans are either limiting, or expensive, prompting you to upgrade and upgrade.
Cheap and affordable planning, but with high quality infrastructure, service and support.
Do not have lifetime plan
Have a lifetime plan with limited support
Email is a crucial way of communication till the date. With all the big tech companies and their email services trying to harvest data even from paid users, we are having less and less options each day. Hopefully many email providers are trying to solve this issue. Many are successful delivering what they promise. Letter.is one of the email providers. Although new, I hope it will one day lead in the market for the perfectly balanced, highly secure and privacy friendly email provider.