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StartMail review | TechRadar


Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

StartMail is a popular email service provider with a special focus on security, privacy, and email management. Founded in 2013, the platform can be used independently or in collaboration with other email services such as Apple Mail or Outlook. 

The tool’s primary purpose is to amp up encryption, leak-proof your email contents, and give you more control over how your emails travel. Read on as we review its best features, pros and cons, pricing, and whether it’s the best email service provider for your needs.

StartMail: Plans and pricing

StartMail has a very straightforward pricing model, with only two plans to pick from. 

In addition to the individual benefits on each plan, some features are common to both, such as 20GB of storage, email management, a built-in ad tracker and blocker, one-click email deletion, support for multiple devices, and end-to-end encryption for all emails.

(Image credit: Future)

Personal plan

This plan is priced at $5/month when billed annually and lets you pay in Bitcoin (only when you opt for annual billing). It also offers a 7-day free trial. You can create unlimited burner email IDs for temporary use and then delete them all at once with a single click if/when needed.

The only thing you might not like about this plan is that all your emails will contain the StartMail domain. It’ll look something like this “yourbusinessname@startmail.com”. 

Although this is standard practice and something that both Gmail and Outlook do, StartMail isn’t as household a name as them, so this might not be best for large businesses. Without your own domain, your customers might confuse your brand with StartMail. The only way to fix this issue is through the Custom Domain plan. 

Custom Domain plan

Priced at $5.85/month (annually), the Custom Domain plan lets you create your own domain, meaning your emails will look something like “yourname@yourbusinessname.com” which is more professional and your customers will be able to easily identify your brand. 

StartMail: Features

StartMail is one of the best secure email providers around. Here are some of its standout features: 

1. Email aliases

One of the best things about StartMail is that it lets you create multiple aliases. This way, when you need to log into a new site, you can just use one of your aliases, get the job done, and dispose of that email.  

(Image credit: Future)

All of this protects you from unnecessary spam. You might have noticed that despite unsubscribing for email notifications, some sites go a little overboard and keep trying to reach you. In a situation like this, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by simply using a temporary email ID. 

2. Group subscriptions

StartMail offers something known as group subscriptions where you can add your family members or friends to your account.  

(Image credit: Future)

The best part about this is that everyone will get their own separate inboxes and none of the emails will overlap. Plus, instead of paying for each plan separately, you’ll only have to pay a discounted rate for each additional inbox. 

3. Password protection

Just because you are sincere about data security and protection doesn’t mean everyone else is, and that’s why StartMail offers password protection—a feature that protects the sensitive contents of your email and prevents it from leaking in case the recipient doesn’t have appropriate encryption in place. 

(Image credit: Future)

The feature is pretty simple to use. All you have to do is toggle the switch on your email screen that says “Encrypt”. Then click on the blue button at the top that says “Send Encrypted”. 

A new window will pop up where you’ll be asked to set a password as well as enter a hint for the password. 

4. Adequate storage

Right out of the box, StartMail offers 20GB of cloud storage to every user, so you’ll hardly ever run out of space. To give you a rough idea about how much 20GB really is, it’ll take you about 2,097,152 emails (not considering the size of their attachments) to fill up to 20 GB. 

It’s also worth noting that both Gmail and Outlook offer 15GB of storage each, meaning StartMail is slightly better than the industry leaders in this regard.

5. PGP signature

Along with password-protected emails, StartMail has a bunch of other email security features that together provide world-class, unbreakable encryption. For instance, you can add a PGP signature at the end of your email.  

(Image credit: Future)

The PGP signature consists of random letters and numbers but is actually a code that tells the receiver that it was written by the owner himself. In case someone hacks your email account and tries to send emails to your contacts, this signature (or the lack of it) will warn the recipients.

Using PGP, you can also encrypt your email in just one click and ensure that only the intended recipient is able to read the contents of the email. It basically leverages the public key-private key process where you use your public key to encrypt the email while you’re sending it and the recipient will decrypt the email with their private key while receiving it.

6. Email management

StartMail has some incredible email management features. You can customize the inbox view and use filters to easily find the email you’re looking for. What’s more, you also get to permanently block spam users and move them to the block list. 

If you’re moving from a different email service provider, migrating and merging contacts will only take a few clicks. The best part is that it works with all your favorite email apps such as Thunderbird, Outlook, or Apple Email.

We loved StartMail’s auto-response, which can greatly benefit businesses. When you’re away on a holiday or simply away from your desk, turn on the auto-responder tool; it’ll send an automated email (that you need to craft beforehand) to anyone who tries to reach you during that period.

Similarly, if you want to reach out to all of your customers at once, StartMail will help you create a group and send emails in bulk.

7. No tracking

Another reason to praise SmartMail’s security is how it automatically blocks tracking pixels, which can be used to track your email activity. It also has built-in malicious link protection, which shows you the full web address before you click on an external link. Plus, it hides your IP address in email headers so that you cannot be tracked by any third party.

StartMail: Ease of use and setup

Setting up StartMail is pretty simple—all that you have to do is go to its website and get yourself a new plan. It’s worth noting that you can try it out risk-free with a 7-day free trial if you choose the Personal plan. 

Next, you’ll get a sign-up page where you’ll have to enter your email ID, password, and display name. Once you’ve given the required info, hit “Next”.

On the next page, you’ll be asked to enter your payment details. You will see this page even if you opt for the 7-day free trial—don’t worry, they’ll charge your card only when the free trial is over, so click “Next” when you see this page.

Pick a payment tenure you like—a monthly or annual subscription. Enter your card details and click on “Next” again.

Once you’ve completed the process, you’ll be asked to add recovery details so that you can log back into your account in case you forget your password. After that, your account will be created and ready for use.

StartMail: Interface and dashboard

StartMail’s dashboard looks pretty similar to Gmail, except for the color scheme, of course. There’s a neatly organized menu on the left corner that consists of options like inbox, sent, drafts, spam, work folder, and more. 

In your inbox, there’s a list of all the emails you’ve received recently which you can filter or sort them as per your preference. This is also where you can change the layout of the emails. 

Speaking of filters, you can also create your own—simply enter a word and if an email contains that word, it’ll be moved to a folder of your choice. Apart from the usual “inbox” and “sent”, you can also have your own custom folders. Overall, we’ll say SmartMail is pretty beginner-friendly and easy to operate.

StartMail: Final verdict

StartMail stands tall as a revolutionary email management platform in what most will say is a tough industry, given the sheer amount of market share that Gmail and Outlook hold.

What sets SmartMail apart is its delightful combination of email management and security. One of our favorite features is Email Aliases. In a world where every website encourages you to share your email in order to access its content, StartMail ensures that you can keep your actual contact details private by allowing you to create burner email IDs. 

Plus, you’re getting 20GB of storage space, which is more than what other email service providers like Gmail and Outlook offer. What’s more, Group Subscription allows you to manage multiple inboxes under the same primary domain at a discounted price—and you also get to create your own custom email domain with your brand’s name at a reasonable price. 

Overall, with its features, user-friendly interface, and affordable pricing, StartMail is an email service you must try out—there’s a 7-day free trial so you can take it for a test drive without putting any money on the line.

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