Criptext is a new encrypted email service that is getting a lot of buzz lately for its particular approach, whose motto sums up well: “we take care of your privacy, not your emails.” How is this? Let’s see it.
Before, a bit of context, and that is that encrypted email services have always existed, and there have been ways to encrypt messages yourself, but in a few years now, those focused on privacy have proliferated like never before. The reason is common knowledge: never before had there been the perception of abuse of privacy that we have today.
We could say that since 2013 Edward Snowden uncovered the NSA’s massive espionage program, services such as ProtonMail, Tutanota and many others have made a dent in the lives of many users. The two mentioned are among the most popular among free software users precisely for that reason: they are almost entirely based on open source software, an additional guarantee that is good to take into account. Apart from this, they are services to use.
NOTE: when we talk about encrypted email services, we mean those that use end-to-end encryption, on the client side or whatever you want to call it; the type of encryption in which only the user has the password to access the data. It has to be made clear, because almost any online service currently offers streaming encryption and it is not the same.
Criptext, the mail service that does not save your mail
Like ProtonMail or Tutanota, Criptext is an email service that stands out for putting user privacy first. Endpoint encryption, based on the Signal protocol, is one of its features. Another no less important is that all its software is open source, including applications for PC (Linux, Mac, Windows) and mobile (Android, iOS).
However, if there is one feature that sets Criptext apart from the mentioned alternatives and many others, it is that there is no online storage. Criptext only provides the software; storage is put by the user on their own device. “We know that privacy is not only about encryption, so Criptext does not store any email on our servers,” they explain. No webmail, wow.
But don’t get confused: because Criptext is not an email client: it is a service. Opening an account means downloading the client, creating a username of the type ‘email@example.com’ and using it as if it were any other service, with the particularity that the storage is being set by you. This is a very sensitive property, because the responsibility to keep the information safe is the user.
Thus, if you install Criptext and suffer any mishap - a storage failure, accidental deletion or whatever - the loss of data must be borne by yourself. To avoid this undesirable outcome, Criptext has the option of making backup copies of the mailbox (the messages received), as well as synchronizing everything through different devices.
For the rest, Criptext offers more or less what you would expect: a cross-platform client for the desktop developed with Electron (in AppImage format for Linux), mobile applications for Android and iOS; double authentication; basic functions such as drafts, labels, signatures, etc, others a little more specialized, such as the possibility of adding personalized addresses based on domains, real-time message tracking or the cancellation of shipments with a limit of one hour…
And there will be more, since Criptext is in development and very active and - beware of this - it is still in beta. All information about this project is available on the official website and all its code on GitHub.
Criptext, by the way, is completely free, although it has a plus plan with which to financially support its development, which includes extras such as recognition images, early access to new functions and priority support. We have to see how it evolves and if it settles, but it is a very interesting initiative.