Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been replaced by another product. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
Among the free email services we reviewed, Hushmail is one of the few that touts its security above all of its features. While Hushmail is a secure solution for email communications, the free side of the service lacks many of the features and functionality that make other web-based email clients so appealing while being just as secure as Hushmail.
As part of its security features, Hushmail scans incoming email for viruses, and the service is equipped with a spam filter, as is standard for free email services. This service also gives you the basic function to create blacklists and whitelists to secure your email inbox even more. This means that you can tell the service which senders you trust and which domains you do not wish to receive email from. You can block domain names as well as individual email addresses. This is also commonplace for basic email accounts.
One of Hushmail's most attractive features is it has no inbox ads – which is rare for a free email service. You won't see ads on the sidebar, in pop-ups or even along the top with this email service.
Hushmail offers POP3 access. This means that you can access your email from a third-party service. For example, any smartphone or other device running iOS or Android operating systems has the ability to access your Hushmail account through its email apps. This is essential for the way most people access their email today. Hushmail doesn't have its own mobile app available from Apple or Android, but you can point your browser to M.hush.com to access the service's mobile site.
Hushmail only includes a plain text message composer and does not have a spell-checker. When we encountered this, we were baffled. A spell-checker has become one of the most fundamental functions of any online service. Most web browsers have this function built in, but that's no excuse to leave out a spell-checker in what is essentially a word processing service.
Although this may not be an issue for daily email users, we were disappointed to find that Hushmail requires you to sign in at least once every three weeks just to keep your account active. If you don't, Hushmail deactivates your account automatically, which is a big inconvenience.
Hushmail is a competent and functional free email service. However, nothing sets it apart as the best free email service. Despite the company's promotion of its high security, we found this service no more or less secure than the other free email accounts in our ranking. It also lacks some of the features that make the best free email services so convenient.