I'm currently travelling a lot and have been using TOR to check my emails, in Outlook.com and Gmail. I do it for security and because it's often the quickest way to access them. However, both Outlook and Gmail keep asking me to prove my identity, so much so that it has become untenable to mix Outlook/Gmail with TOR.

I now want to ditch Outlook and Gmail. Can anyone recommend an alternative - and preferably anonymous - free (I'm skint) email provider, which has good working IMAP for use with Thunderbird, and doesn't get it's knickers in a twist about TOR access. Thanks!

  • There are no anonymous mail providers, there are no mail providers who can make anything but empty promises about privacy, there may be mail providers who have a good track record but look what happened to LavaBit. Pick an email provider and see if you can even sign up over Tor. If you can, use it. When you use it, use it like the email provider is totally compromised. (PGP or some other form of end-to-end encryption).
    – cacahuatl
    Aug 18, 2016 at 2:20
  • *There are no anonymous mail providers outside of mixmailers.
    – cacahuatl
    Aug 18, 2016 at 2:20
  • Thanks for your comment 'canonizing ironize'. I don't really want to try to send totally anonymous emails. I'm more interested in just being able to access my emails via the TOR network without being asked extra security questions all the time.
    – user14023
    Aug 18, 2016 at 3:34
  • I'm not comfortable making specific recommendations since I cannot vouch for any service nor do I like promoting any specific service. Email is a legacy issue and if you can avoid using it, you should. Such email providers do exist. Poke a few services from your favorite search engine and see if they let you sign up, if they let you sign up through Tor then they'll likely let you use it through Tor. This may or may not change in the future. If they provide an onion address then this is a bonus.
    – cacahuatl
    Aug 18, 2016 at 8:26
  • @canonizingironize I'm not sure how accurate that is. Google lets you create an account through Tor, but it doesn't like your location bouncing around all the time. Aug 19, 2016 at 1:47

6 Answers 6


Protonmail is a mail provider that is :

  • Anonymous

  • Hosted in Switzerland

  • With end to end encryption
  • Mobile Friendly ( ios/android application)
  • Tor Friendly

the only problem is IMAP that isn't working due to their encryption protocol : https://protonmail.com/support/knowledge-base/imap-smtp-and-pop3-setup/ https://protonmail.com/support/knowledge-base/third-party-email-client-integration-outlook-thunderbird-apple-mail-ect/

Website : https://protonmail.com/

Hidden Service Mirror : https://protonirockerxow.onion/


The Whonix wiki has a useful page with email providers useable trough Tor, some of them offering hidden services, at https://www.whonix.org/wiki/E-Mail#Onion_Service_Providers . Another list at https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/doc/EmailProvider .

https://mailbox.org is a provider which requires no personal information on registration, no activation trough another existing email account and has a 30 day trial. They have an onion service and their own exit node if you want to use it. They, like any other provider should not be fully trusted so OpenPGP can be used for additional security.


Though I've never used it, perhaps you should look at Mail2Tor. They only provide access through a Tor hidden service: http://mail2tor.com/


I've been having a very pleasing experience with Onionmail 1. It can provide both anonymity and confidentiality in an auditable way, provided you use PGP or some other form of end-to-end encryption in addition, as hinted by Canonizing ironize in comment, above.


As @berurier mentioned, you may use Proton mail or there is another mail server named OnionMail.

Or you can run your own hidden mail service, accessible from TOR. If you add public IP and domain to the server, others can send you emails too. You can check my blog post about running hidden mail service

And the final point, I've added SOCKs proxy support to the K9, Open Source Android Mail Client which can be connected to the TOR network for accessing hidden mail services. The description and tutorial can be found here

Source code is available in my GitHub and you can find the pull request here.


Why don't you just use tor for your thunderbird as below:

enter image description here

Make sure "Proxy DNS" is checked.

  • I have to confess it may not be the best idea for outlook.com after all. I've just got alert from Microsoft for the account I've accessed through tor earlier today, was forced to change password and to regenerate application passwords. Interesting, I'll wait to see what happens to the remaining accounts.
    – Tomek
    Mar 1, 2019 at 15:55
  • Another outlook.com with security alert and need to reset login credentials. Microsoft seems to have pretty decent log of IMAP access along with web logins. Gmail seems to be lacking that and doesn't seem to react to IMAP logins spread all over the world through tor network.
    – Tomek
    Mar 2, 2019 at 11:59
  • how to you determine what to put in each field?
    – Erwann
    Jun 28, 2021 at 8:22
  • For the Socks Host and Port it is hostaname/ip address and port of your tor SOCKS proxy and you should now it. Proxy DNS for SOCKS MUST be checked for tor. The reset (maybe with the exception of don't use proxy for) should be blank.
    – Tomek
    Jun 28, 2021 at 8:53

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