If you’re looking for a guide showing you how to send an anonymous email, you’ve landed on the right page. We’ll walk you through the methods and services you can use to maintain your privacy when sending emails, so read on.
Maybe you want to tell your boss about the torment being inflicted on the employees by the manager, or perhaps you want to confess your love in absentia to the girl of your dreams. Or maybe you’re simply a journalist who needs to collect information without arousing suspicion.
Whatever the case, you require more anonymity than standard email is able to provide. Below, we’ll cover some foolproof ways lock any and all third parties out of your conversation, allowing you to communicate in confidence.
Updated September 10, 2019
1. Create a burner email account
One of the easiest ways to erase any ties between yourself and your email communications is to create a disposable “burner” email account (often referred to as a DEA). In all appreciable ways, a DEA looks and functions just like a regular email account, but it can self-destruct to prevent abusive email practices from bugging the user.
There are numerous dedicated DEA services, but you can make do with plain old Gmail as well. Simply append +tag to the local part of your email address, like so: firstname.lastname@example.org. If a website asks you for an email address, you can type this in, and you’ll still receive messages at email@example.com. The difference is, the “+tag” allows you to set filters to scrub your inbox of obnoxious spam when it appears.
At any rate, a burner email will typically replace your IP address with that of the email service’s own servers, partially obscuring your identifying information. Of course, the email service may be compelled to hand over your IP info (or simply hacked), so you’ll need to take other steps to fully lock down your information.
Among the many options available to create a burner email account, some include:
- Gmail burner email extension
Please note, a DEA is not the same thing as creating a fake email, like firstname.lastname@example.org. While that can be an effective tactic to disassociate your personal information from your email address, it still doesn’t hide your IP address. In order to do that, look into using a VPN alongside a burner or fake email address for true anonymity.
2. Use a VPN along with your email
In the example given above, the Gmail burner mail extension provides you with an IP address of a Google server, however, in spite of that Google does get to store your actual IP address.
To prevent anyone from holding your identity hostage, we recommend you anonymize your IP address with a virtual private network, or VPN. It works by routing your data through to an encrypted remote server located somewhere other than where you are, then passing it onto its intended recipient. Your email’s origin appears to all third parties as coming directly from the VPN server, which is conveniently shared by thousands of users and located in a false location.
Simply follow these steps to get rolling with a VPN + email:
- Create a burner email account, from any one of the sources mentioned above
- Install your VPN, then connect to any server you want
- Test your connection at ipleak.net. If it shows your location as being in the same country as the server you chose, you’re golden
- Send anonymous emails without fear of your IP address being revealed
But which VPN should you use? We’ve got two exceptional recommendations:
ExpressVPN leads the industry on several metrics, most importantly speed and encryption. 256-bit AES encryption over OpenVPN ensures that your connection cannot be cracked by brute force, all without bogging down your connection speeds with the excessive overhead common to lesser VPNs. A massive network of 3,000+ servers in 94 countries worldwide further ensures that an optimal connection is always available, plus allows you to bypass pesky geoblocks with ease.
Other nice features include a built-in speed test to flush out the fastest currently available server, a kill switch to ensure not a single unencrypted packet leaks out should your VPN momentarily drop, and even a handy split-tunneling feature that allows you to pick and choose which apps on your device get encrypted. Available on virtually any OS, ExpressVPN is dead simple to install and use. Rounding out the package is one of the best no-logging policies you’ll find anywhere.
NordVPN isn’t quite the king of speed, but it takes the cake for largest server network. At the time of writing, there are around 5,700 nodes in 60 countries around the globe, plus an array of specialty servers fine tuned for various use cases including P2P, anti-DDoS, obfuscation, and double encryption.
Not enough? Rest easy behind an unbreakable veil of 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and an independently verified no-logging policy. NordVPN couldn’t be easier to use, and proudly displays its features in an intuitive, attractive UI anyone can make sense of at a glance. Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux and so many more are all graced with dedicated apps, making installation a breeze.
3. Use AnonEmail
AnonEmail is, as its name may imply, an anonymous email service created by AnonyMouse that allows its users to send and receive emails securely.
AnonEmail works similarly to the Tor browser, as it bounces your emails through a bunch of random nodes, thereby encrypting several times over and making it virtually impossible to trace your IP address.
AnonEmail has a very user-friendly interface and can be used by people with minimum tech experience. Follow these steps to get started:
- Fill in the recipient box with a valid email address
- Add in the subject and type the message that you want to send
- Click on the “Send Anonymously” button present on the bottom of the page
Voila! After clicking on the button, all that’s left to do is to revel in how easy AnonEmail makes sending anonymous emails.
Unlike other anonymous email servers, AnonEmail does not log your IP address on their servers at all, meaning that there’s no trail of breadcrumbs available for anyone to identify you by.
As a bonus security measure, AnonEmail waits for an unspecified amount of time before sending your email off to its final destination, further obscuring the metadata surrounding the event of you sending that email.
4. Use GuerillaMail
GuerillaMail follows suit with other disposable email accounts by providing you with an email account which expires precisely one hour after you create it. It’s dead-simple to use, too, just follow these steps:
- Visit guerillamail.com
- On the top of the page, there is an Inbox ID, which you can modify accordingly
- Similarly, besides the Inbox ID, you can change the domain name by clicking on the drop-down menu
- To ensure maximum anonymity, make sure you click on the ‘Alias Address’ option
- Compose your email and click on “send”
And that’s it! Make sure that you remember to do a test drive by sending an email to yourself first, and then continue on your anonymity adventures.
5. Use ProtonMail
If you’re looking for something more permanent than either of the options mentioned above, try using ProtonMail.
ProtonMail is excellent for two-way communication, providing a secure email service that guarantees anonymity to millions of people.
Some key features that separate ProtonMail from rest of its contenders include:
- End to end encryption – Unlike most of the anonymous email services, ProtonMail offers end to end encryption, which means that all emails are encrypted twice. Once, when they are passing through the server, and then again when they are stored in your inbox.
- Privacy above all else – ProtonMail uses an encryption key that prevents all third parties–including ProtonMail administrators–from view the content of your emails.
- Open source cryptography – As ProtonMail uses open-source cryptography, it eradicates any backdoors through which hackers and other surveillance agencies can gain access to your emails.
ProtonMail is perfect for users who want a permanent email without all the security risks normally posed by non-burner accounts.
Now that you understand all the choices you have available to communicate virtually without leaving a trace, all you need to do is reflect on your personal needs, and pick a suitable option.
Do you have any recommendations of your own? How do you anonymize your email communications? Leave your tips in the comments below.