Email is a staple of both business and personal communication, but an increasing number of providers require the use of a phone number to create an account. While this might be down to benevolent motives, which we’ll get to soon, there are plenty of reasons that a person might want to create an email without a phone number—namely, personal data concerns.
Phone numbers are unique and as such, can be used as personal identifiers. On the one hand, this means that they can be used to protect accounts and verify users. On the other hand, attaching them to online accounts can mean intrusive data-gathering, a significant digital footprint, and opening oneself up to the threat of data breaches.
In recent years we have seen numerous large-scale data breaches, with one of the most notable coming from an email provider, in which the details of at least 500 million Yahoo! accounts were stolen including, you guessed it, people’s phone numbers.
Even if you aren’t concerned about a data breach, it’s always good to have the option to set up email without a phone number, especially if it is a second or even third email account. Therefore, we’ve reviewed some of the best providers to create a new email without a phone number. Below we’ll look at why a phone number might be useful, the criteria we used to judge the email providers and an individual review of each provider.
Why do so Many Providers Want Your Phone Number?
There are three main reasons that a provider might want your phone number when setting up an email account:
Providers want to ensure that you are not a bot or a spammer. Allowing bots or spammers on mail servers can reduce their reputation and waste resources. This is especially true of free email services.
Also known as 2FA, is a security measure to protect online accounts with more than just standard login credentials. The second factor/credential will often be connected to a phone.
Phone numbers can be used to access accounts to which you have forgotten the username and password. Without some kind of account recovery, losing login credentials could spell disaster.
These are not the only reasons a company might ask for a phone number, but they are the most common. What’s more, it is worth remembering that even if an email provider doesn’t require a phone number, many will still push users in that direction.
What to Look for When Setting Up an Email Account Without a Phone Number
There are a few different factors to consider when it comes to finding a provider that offers email without a phone. We have considered email providers that don’t require a phone number based on:
Is the service likely to suddenly come to an end, wasting all the time and energy you’ve put into setting up and connecting an account?
What features does the email provider offer? Is there spam filtering, integrations, custom domains, backups, etc.?
What kind of security does the service offer? Is it end-to-end encrypted?
If something were to go wrong (or you just need to learn a little more), is it easy to find information or ask questions?
How much do the services cost, and are there different packages available?
With these criteria in mind, let’s take a look at four providers that let you create an email account without a phone number.
1. Gmail – Set Up an Email Account Without A Phone Number
It may surprise you that the biggest email provider doesn’t require a phone number, but it’s true! Google does, however, strongly encourage you to attach a number to your account for services such as verification codes and password resets – but it is not mandatory.
In terms of reputation, Google is extremely well established and thus unlikely to disappear overnight, which makes it a good choice when looking to set up an email account without a phone number.
Gmail offers a number of features such as filters, Smart Compose, reminders, calendars, and more. Some features, such as custom domains, are only available on paid accounts. From a security perspective, Gmail is not truly end-to-end encrypted but does offer encryption in transit using TLS.
There is plenty of support available for Gmail, with vast wikis of information. What’s more, as the most common email provider, there is plenty of informal support as well.
In terms of pricing, Google offers personal Gmail accounts for free, while those looking for extended features or business emails (with a custom domain), will need to upgrade to Google Workspace. This has four main plans:
Business Starter – $6 USD/user/month – this plan offers custom business email, 100-participant video meetings and 30 GB of cloud storage per user.
Business Standard – $12 USD/user/month – this plan increases video meeting participants to 150, as well as recording and ups storage to 2TB per user.
Business Plus – $18 USD/user/month – this plan increases video meetings to 500, storage to 5 TB as well as other advanced features.
Enterprise – custom pricing – flexible features for large organizations.
2. Tutanota – Email Without a Phone (or Even Backup Email Account!)
Tutanota is a security-first email provider which markets itself as the “world’s most secure email service”. Launched in 2011, it hasn’t had the time to build up a really strong reputation, but it is still well respected for its security.
To bypass the need for a phone, Tutanota gives you a recovery code in case you lose your login credentials. This way, the account does not become part of your digital footprint. In terms of features, Tutanota offers smart filtering, aliases, custom domains, encrypted calendars, and complete customization with a Whitelabel option on paid accounts.
Tutanota really shines when it comes to security, with end-to-end encryption, 2FA, and open-source code. Furthermore, since Tutanota is based in Germany, it has to comply with the strict EU privacy and personal data laws. In terms of support, there is an ample knowledge base and comprehensive FAQs, and email support for paid plans.
The basic pricing of Tutanota is:
Free – for private users, with 1GB of storage, one calendar, and no custom domain.
Premium – €1 EUR/user/month paid yearly – this includes 1GB storage, 1 custom domain, multiple calendars, 5 alias addresses, inbox rules, and email support.
Teams – Base price of €4 EUR/month paid yearly, then €2 EUR for each user – this includes 10GB storage, 1 custom domain, multiple calendars, 5 alias addresses, inbox rules, and email support.
There is also business pricing:
Premium – €2 EUR/user/month paid yearly – this includes 1GB storage, multiple custom domains, multiple calendars, 5 alias addresses, inbox rules, email support, autoresponder, event invites, and email templates.
Teams – Base price of €5 EUR/month paid yearly, then €3 EUR for each user – this includes 10GB storage, multiple custom domains, multiple calendars, 5 alias addresses, inbox rules, email support, autoresponder, event invites, and email templates.
Pro – Base price of €7 EUR/month paid yearly, then €4 EUR for each user – this includes 10GB storage, multiple custom domains, multiple calendars, 20 alias addresses, inbox rules, priority support, autoresponder, event invites, and email templates, own-website login, custom logo and colors.
There are also add-ons for additional storage, aliases, and features.
3. Protonmail – Secure Email Address Without a Phone
ProtonMail is another security-focused provider with a good reputation that allows you to create an email account without a phone number. It has the features you would expect but keeps them very limited for free accounts.
In terms of security, it is extremely strong, with end-to-end encryption, 2FA authentication, anonymous email accounts, and complies with the strict privacy protection laws of Switzerland, where it is based. As far as support, ProtonMail offers online resources as well as a support team for more help.
ProtonMail has four tiers of pricing:
Free – 500MB storage, 150 messages per day, and limited Support
Plus – $4 USD/Month – 5 GB storage, up to 1000 messages per day, custom filters & folders, encrypted messages to external recipients, custom domain, up to 5 email aliases and priority customer support
Visionary – $24 USD/Month – 20GB storage, up to 50 email aliases, support for up to 10 domains, multi-user support (6 total), custom filters & folders, encrypted messages to external recipients, early access to new features, and access to ProtonVPN.
Professional – $6.25 USD/Month/User – Custom domain, unlimited user support, administrative controls, security controls, migration tools, priority support.
4. Mailfence – A Simple Way to Create New Emails Without a Phone Number
Mailfence started as an email solution for universities back in the 90s so it has a long-standing reputation. In terms of features, and the user interface for them, it is rather basic, with messages, calendars, documents storage, and groups.
However, what it lacks in modern looks, it more than makes up for in security, with end-to-end encrypted messages as well as support for any OpenPGP service, digitally signed emails, and OpenPGP key management built right in. Furthermore, Mailfence is based in Belgium, so it must comply with their strict privacy protection laws.
Mailfence offers four main plans when creating an email address without a phone:
Free – 500 MB emails, 500 MB documents, encryption, and email support.
Entry – 2.50 €/ month – 5 GB emails, 10 aliases, 12 GB documents, encryption, email and telephone support, POP, IMAP, SMTP, iOS, Android, ActiveSync, user management, and custom email domain.
Pro – 7.50 €/ month – 20 GB emails, 50 alias, 24 GB documents, encryption, priority email and telephone support, POP, IMAP, SMTP, iOS, Android, ActiveSync, user management, and custom email domain.
Ultra – 25.00 €/ month – 50 GB emails, 100 alias, 70 GB documents, encryption, priority email and telephone support, POP, IMAP, SMTP, iOS, Android, ActiveSync, user management, and custom email domain.
Mailfence also offers a separate “Mailfence for Business” with tools aimed at larger organizations.
All Your Email Accounts In One Place
If you’re looking to set up an email account unconnected to your phone number, you’ve probably already got a few accounts on the go, or you’re highly security-mined. Either way, you need a way to manage those accounts securely, and Spike is designed to do just that, allowing you to manage all your emails through a single, easy-to-use interface with cutting-edge encryption and security.
Spike has email at its core. Conversational Email offers the simplicity of instant messaging with the power of business emails by cutting the clutter of headers and signatures and leaving only what’s important – the messages. What’s more, this can be used with any service that offers email addresses without a phone, bringing extra tools to the table.
What’s more, Spike offers a Priority Email Inbox, which prioritizes your most important messages and sends everything else to the “Other” pile so you can get on with the tasks that matter.
As for security, Spike is ad-free and never rents, sells, distributes, or monetizes user data. All message data is encrypted using the AES-256 encryption, and to keep things transparent, Spike passed a security audit by an independent security evaluator (ISE).
However, Spike goes beyond just email and is an all-in-one cross-platform productivity app, offering combined calendars, team Groups, task management, Video Meetings, audio calls, Voice Messages, and more in a unified digital workspace.
There is a continuous balance between security and privacy, with companies looking to verify users and improve account recovery while users are increasingly concerned about their digital footprint.
These four providers allow you to set up an email account without a phone number, and, combined with Spike, offer a secure, safe, and extremely powerful productivity management app.