ProtonMail vs. Tutanota: Which Secure Email Provider Wins in 2024?

ProtonMail and Tutanota are secure, privacy concerned email providers. To help you choose the service that perfectly fits your requirements, we've compared ProtonMail vs. Tutanota.

 . Email Providers  . ProtonMail vs. Tutanota: Which Secure Email Provider Wins in 2024?
ProtonMail vs Tutanota: Which Secure Email Provider is Best?

Privacy concerns and cyber threats loom larger than ever in 2024, which is one reason why many people are migrating their mailboxes to secure email providers. ProtonMail and Tutanota stand among the frontrunners in the quest for privacy-first email solutions.

➡️ This article aims to dissect these two services across various categories to help you choose the one that best aligns with your privacy needs and preferences.

Quick Summary of our ProtonMail vs. Tutanota Comparison:

EncryptionPGP StandardProprietary; Encrypts subject lines
Third-party Integration✅ Yes, through Proton Mail Bridge⛔ No, prioritizing security
User Interface✅ Feature-rich, intuitive✅ Simplistic, highly responsive
Setup & Migration⛔ Requires patience;
Not migration-friendly
✅ Quick setup;
easier migration
Device Support⭐️⭐️ Web, iOS, Android⭐️⭐️⭐️ Web, iOS, Android, Deskto
(Linux, Windows, macOS)
Pricing & Value⭐️⭐ Higher priced; Less storage⭐️⭐️⭐️ More affordable; More features and storage
Privacy & Security✅ Strong, with Swiss and US jurisdiction✅ Strong, with German jurisdiction

Meet ProtonMail and Tutanota


Secure Email Provider: ProtonMail

ProtonMail was established in 2014 by a team of scientists at CERN as an end-to-end encrypted email service that would make it possible for regular users to easily send and receive emails with a high level of security and privacy.

Over the years, ProtonMail has attracted a wide user base, growing from an invite-only platform to serving nearly 70 million users globally by 2022. At the same time, Proton AG, the company behind ProtonMail, has expanded its suite of products, which now also includes a virtual private network (VPN), calendar, cloud storage, and password manager.


Secure Email Provider: Tutanota

In the opposite corner, we have Tutanota (recently rebranded to Tuta), whose journey started in 2011. The name Tutanota, derived from Latin, meaning “secure message,” reflects the service’s core mission: to provide a secure and private email communication platform.

Tutanota gained significant traction following the 2013 revelations of global surveillance programs, reaching 2 million users in March 2017. Last year, the company celebrated achieving a milestone of 10 million users. That’s quite an accomplishment considering that secure email is still the only product Tutanota offers.

The Comparison:
ProtonMail vs. Tutanota

Let’s compare ProtonMail and Tutanota across several domains, including security and privacy, user interface, device support, and pricing, to highlight their unique strengths and weaknesses.

Criteria 01:

ProtonMail vs Tutanota: Security

Main Difference to Traditional Email Services:

The main difference between traditional email services like Gmail or Outlook and secure email services like ProtonMail and Tutanota is their commitment to security and privacy.

➡️  Whereas Gmail and Outlook can read your emails, ProtonMail and Tutanota cannot because they employ end-to-end encryption for every email sent through their services.

ProtonMail Encryption:

ProtonMail relies on Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), a time-tested open-source encryption standard supported by many other mail services and clients. This interoperability is a significant advantage for those who don’t want to limit their encrypted communications to other ProtonMail users.

Tutanota Encryption:
In contrast, Tutanota implements its own proprietary encryption method that uses the same encryption algorithms as PGP (AES 256 / RSA 2048) but in a slightly different way so that even the subject line is encrypted. Unfortunately, the use of the proprietary encryption method also means that no other email client or service can establish end-to-end encryption with Tutanota.

That said, both Tutanota and ProtonMail users can communicate with the outside world by encrypting their messages with a password.

✅ In this regard, Tutanota does better than ProtonMail because it makes it possible to encrypt the entire email thread, instead of just one message.

To protect against password-based attacks, Tutanota and ProtonMail implement two-factor authentication (2FA) to add an extra layer of protection by requiring users to provide two pieces of evidence (a password plus something else) to gain access to their mailboxes.

Both services support app-generated time-based or hash-based codes and FIDO U2F (Universal 2nd Factor) hardware tokens. Tutanota additionally gives its users the option to use SMS codes. ProtonMail doesn’t let its users choose SMS codes for 2FA, arguing that they’re not secure enough.

Criteria 02:

ProtonMail vs Tutanota: Privacy

Why Does the Location of An Email Provider Matter?

The location of a secure email service matters far more than it may seem at first. Countries with authoritarian governments often have laws that allow them to demand data from corporations, including email service providers, without substantial judicial oversight. In such environments, even the most well-intentioned email services might be compelled to comply with government orders to share user data, compromising user privacy and potentially leading to the arrest of journalists, dissidents, and anyone opposing the regime.

🔐 To mitigate these risks, secure email services like ProtonMail and Tutanota are strategically headquartered in countries with strong privacy laws and protections.

ProtonMail: Based in Switzerland 🇨🇭

ProtonMail’s servers are based in Switzerland, whose legal framework requires all requests for user data to go through rigorous judicial review, and only its secondary offices are in the United States, a core member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.

Tutanota: Based in Germany 🇩🇪

Tutanota operates entirely from Germany, a country that adheres to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), one of the most stringent privacy and data protection frameworks in the world. At the same time, however, Germany is part of the Fourteen Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, so the privacy of Tutanota’s users could certainly be improved even further by moving to a more politically neutral country.

✅ Where Tutanota deserves praise is in its dedication to go the extra mile to distance itself from potential privacy vulnerabilities associated with third-party services. For example, Tutanota developed its own alternative to reCAPTCHA, which sends data back to Google, making it a potential privacy threat. You can even download Tutanota’s mobile app (more about it soon) from the F-Droid store instead of Google’s Play Store.

⛔️ ProtonMail isn’t currently available on F-Droid – only ProtonVPN is.

Criteria 03:

ProtonMail vs Tutanota: Usability

ProtonMail and Tutanota make secure email communication accessible with their easy-to-use user interfaces that should feel instantly familiar to all Gmail or Outlook users. However, there are important usability differences between the two that could influence your decision.

ProtonMail: Feature Rich

As a ProtonMail user, you can schedule emails to be sent at a later time and auto-destruct after being read, or you can take advantage of a 20-second window to recall an email after sending it.

ProtonMail users can technically access their mailboxes using a third-party email client, such as Outlook, Thunderbird, and Apple Mail, thanks to Proton Mail Bridge.

ProtonMail vs Tutanota: ProtonMails's Web Interface
Tutanota: Highly Responsive & Simple

Tutanotas interface is more barebones and revolves around traditional folders instead of labels. But because Tutanota keeps things simple, the secure email service is highly responsive and uncluttered. When you click a button or perform a certain action, the reaction is nearly instantaneous, providing a smooth and efficient user experience.

Integrating encrypted email services with third-party clients can introduce security risks, which is exactly why Tutanota doesn’t offer a similar solution to the Proton Mail Bridge.

ProtonMail vs Tutanota: Tutanotas's Web Interface

Criteria 04:
Device Support

ProtonMail vs Tutanota: Device Support

For a secure email service to be popular, it must be accessible across all popular platforms. Given that ProtonMail and Tutanota are the world’s two most popular secure email providers, it’s no surprise that they leave little to be desired in this regard.

ProtonMail: Web App, iOS & Android

ProtonMail provides a web app alongside dedicated applications for iOS and Android devices.

Tutanota: Wide Range of Supported Devices

Tutanota extends its reach further by also providing desktop clients for Linux, Windows, and macOS, in addition to a web client.

All ProtonMail and Tutanota apps are open source, so anyone can inspect their code to verify that they don’t do anything despicable or don’t contain any bugs.

ProtonMail’s iOS client enjoys a rating of 4.6 on the App Store, slightly higher than Tutanota’s, which is rated at 4.5. On Android, the competition remains close, with ProtonMail’s app rated at 4.5 compared to Tutanota’s 4.4. These ratings indicate that both services deliver a user-friendly and reliable experience on mobile platforms, with minor differences in user preference possibly stemming from the unique features and interfaces each app provides.

✅ Overall, ProtonMail and Tutanota offer mature and polished clients across the major platforms they support. Whether you’re using a mobile device or prefer to manage your emails from a desktop, both services provide a secure and user-friendly experience.

Criteria 05:
Plans & Prices

ProtonMail vs Tutanota: Plans & Pricing

When it comes to choosing a secure email provider, pricing plays a critical role for many users. Both ProtonMail and Tutanota offer free and paid plans, but there are differences in the pricing structures, features, and value offered.

Free Plans:

⛔️ With ProtonMail‘s free plan, you can send only up to 150 messages per day, and the total size of your mailbox is limited to 1 GB. You’re also limited to just three folders and labels.

✅ Tutanota gives its users the same amount of free email storage space, but it doesn’t limit the number of messages or folders they can create, so its free plan is clearly superior.

But what about paid plans? Well, this is where Tutanota scores another major win by offering excellent value with its Revolutionary plan.

Paid Plans:

✅  Tutanotas Revolutionary plan costs €3 per month when billed annually (€ 36 per year), and it includes 20 GB of storage, 15 email alias addresses, unlimited folders and filters, search functionality, offline mode, and comprehensive calendar features, the capability to add up to three custom domains with catch-all and more.

⛔️ The closest ProtonMail plan, Proton Mail Plus, is priced at € 47.88 per year when billed annually, which translates to €3.99 per month. It includes 15 GB of total storage shared with Proton Drive, support for one custom email domain, and the ability to create up to 10 email addresses. This plan also offers unlimited labels, folders, and filters, as well as additional perks like email client support via IMAP/SMTP with Proton Mail Bridge.

Plans for Power Users:

✅  Tutanota’s higher-tier plan, the Legend plan, costing € 8 per month (€ 96 annually), pushes the boundaries further by offering a massive 500 GB of storage and 30 email alias addresses, along with the ability to add up to ten custom domains with catch-all.

⛔️ ProtonMail does have a similar plan for power users, called Proton Unlimited, but it costs almost $2 more per month when billed annually (€ 9.99/month), so you end up paying € 23.88 more every year.

ProtonMail vs Tutanota: The Verdict

The Winner: Tutanota

After carefully evaluating both secure email services across various aspects such as security, privacy, usability, device support, and pricing, Tutanota emerges as the winner of our ProtonMail vs. Tutanota comparison by a small margin.

Tutanota offers superior privacy and security features, particularly with its proprietary encryption that covers not only the content of emails but also the subject lines, and both its free and paid plans offer more value than ProtonMail’s plans do.

ProtonMail: An Excellent Alternative

Despite Tutanota’s advantages, ProtonMail remains an excellent choice for users looking for a secure email service that integrates seamlessly with a broader suite of privacy and security products.

ProtonMail vs Tutanota: Pros & Cons

Tutanota: Pros and Cons


✅  Greater focus on security
✅  Simplistic and highly responsive user interface
✅  Generous free plan and affordable paid plans
✅  Provides desktop clients for Linux, Windows, and macOS
✅  Avoids all third-party services, such as Google’s reCAPTCHA
✅  Offers an ad-free email experience even on its free plan


⛔️  Setup and migration can be challenging and less user-friendly
⛔️  Operates entirely from Germany
⛔️ No third-party integration, prioritizing security over convenience.

ProtonMail: Pros and Cons


✅  Interoperability with other email services
✅  Supports popular email clients like Outlook and Thunderbird
✅  Provides a feature-rich and intuitive user interface
✅  Servers are based in Switzerland
✅  Easier migration from other services


⛔️  More expensive with less storage compared to Tutanota
⛔️  Limited to web, iOS, and Android platforms without native desktop clients
⛔️  Free plan has limitations on the number of messages per day.