9 Most Secure Email Services of 2022 and the Problem with Server-Based Emails

9 Most Secure Email Services of 2022 and the Problem with Server-Based Emails#

The need for a good and reliable secure email service has drastically increased in the last couple of years so it’s a good thing that there are more and more such services to choose from these days.

In this article, we have compiled the 9 most secure email services you can check out if you’re looking to protect your online data. Make sure to read until the very end as we left a little warning about these services.


If you only heard yesterday that there is such a thing as a secure and private email provider, there’s a very high chance that you heard about ProtonMail.

ProtonMail is by far the most popular secure email service around and it is available on both desktop and mobile for different OS including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Tor, etc.

It’s an open-source service, based in Switzerland with strong end-to-end encryption and includes zero-access encryption, meaning that you are the only one who will know your password or have the decryption key for it (even ProtonMail doesn’t).


  • Open source
  • Servers in Switzerland
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Zero-access encryption
  • Self-destruct emails


Mailfence is another popular private email, which started as a business email in 1999.

One feature that separates Mailfence from other similar providers is a built-in Keystore, which allows you to manage your OpenPGP encryption keys and send encrypted messages to non-PGP users.

In addition, Mailfence also provides digital signatures, to prove that whoever sent the email is the actual author, something that other providers lack.


  • Digital signatures
  • Built-in Keystore for managing encryption keys
  • Can send encrypted messages to non-PGP users
  • Can import contacts from Gmail, Outlook, CSV files and more
  • End-to-end encrypted


Tutanota is different from the other private emails we mention here in that it doesn’t use PGP for end-to-end encryption.

Instead, it uses AES and RSA, which allows Tutanota to combine asymmetric and symmetric keys. You can read more about the differences between the two here.

Other than that, Tutanota offers everything you’d normally expect from a secure and encrypted email service.


  • Based in Germany
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Uses AES and RSA instead of PGP
  • 2-Factor authentication
  • Strips metadata
  • Unlimited messages in the free version


Hushmail is a Canada-based secure email provider that is HIPAA-compliant and as such a very good choice for healthcare workers and patients who want to protect their private health information.

Of course, they also have plans for small business, law, or personal use, so you’ll be covered there as well.


  • Servers are in Canada
  • PGP E2EE
  • 2-Factor authentication
  • IMAP/POP3 support
  • HIPAA compliant
  • Secure web forms


StartMail is a PGP-based email provider that also allows its users to send encrypted messages to non-PGP users, provided they know the answer to a secret question.

Another good thing about StartMail is that it hides your IP, which can be used to track you online.


  • Based in the Netherlands
  • PGP encryption
  • Can send encrypted messages to non-PGP users
  • Hides your IP address


Runbox is a Norway-based secure email provider that uses renewable energy from hydroelectric power plants to power its servers.

It uses PGP encryption and 2-Factor authentication and also features IMAP, POP, SMTP and WAP support and allows you to whitelist IP addresses to access your email account to see the failed and successful login attempts


  • Norway-based
  • PGP encryption
  • 2FA
  • IP whitelisting
  • Support for IMAP, POP, SMTP and WAP protocols


Mailbox.org is not just a secure email provider, for business users, but it also offers a calendar, cloud storage, address book, video conferencing as well as a task planner.

Of course, this is all encrypted using Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) and its servers, which are located in Germany, are also eco-friendly.


  • Servers located in Germany
  • Eco-friendly
  • PGP encryption
  • Encrypted cloud storage
  • Calendar
  • Video conferencing
  • Address book


Posteo is a popular choice with all those users who, for one reason or another, need to remain anonymous, such as whistleblowers, activists, journalists and so on.

It allows you to both sign up and pay completely anonymously and has a very good migration service so you can migrate your contact list, archived emails, calendar and folder structure from another email provider like Gmail or Outlook.

One thing that’s important to mention about Posteo though is that it doesn’t use E2EE by default, but you need to enable it in the settings.


  • Based in Germany
  • Open source
  • Anonymous registration and payment options
  • Includes end-to-end encryption, though not by default
  • Supports IMAP, POP and SMTP email protocols
  • Encrypts metadata, email subjects, headers and attachments
  1. PrivateMail#

    PrivateMail is a secure email provider that is based in the United States and that’s its biggest downside.

However, it does offer some useful features like end-to-end encryption for file sharing, secure cloud storage with AES 256 encryption and self-destructing emails.


  • Servers are located in the U.S.
  • E2EE
  • AES 256 file encryption
  • Secure cloud storage
  • Self-destruct emails

Problems with Server-based Email Providers#

So at the start of the article, we said we had a little warning about these.

What was it?

One thing that all these secure email services have is that they all use servers. There are a couple of issues with this:

  1. The provider is completely dependent on the laws of the country its servers are located in.

That means, even if two users who are located in different countries are using it, with the court (and sometimes without) order, the provider must deliver their emails, metadata and other data.

  1. Some secure email providers will store your encryption/decryption keys.

As such, they will have full access to your private and sensitive data and can give it to whomever they want. This defeats the whole purpose of a secure email provider, which is that only you have access to this sort of data.

  1. Providing backdoors to governments

Normally, the email provider can withhold giving up any user data without a valid court order. However, these companies are often subjected to a lot of pressure from governments to provide a backdoor into their servers.

  1. The carbon footprint

Lastly, data centers and servers can have a substantial carbon footprint and consume a lot of energy. For example, climate researchers from Go Climate measured the carbon footprint of a 2019 Dell R640 server (which is a relatively standard server) and found that it consumes 1760.3 kWh per year, with a manufacturing climate impact of 320kg of CO2e per year.

Now, it should be noted that more and more email providers have started to use green energy, so at least it’s an issue that’s being worked on.


With a decentralized email service like Telios, you won’t run into these problems as we are using a peer-to-peer network to send emails between two Telios users.

Of course, this will only work if both users are online and both are Telios users. If one of them is offline or a non-Telios user, then the email will have to go through a server, but as Telios is using end-to-end encryption and doesn’t store your decryption keys, your emails are perfectly safe.

Looking for a secure email service? Download our decentralized email service today!

How Do Your Private Email Messages Travel the Internet (How Email Works)?

Email (or electronic mail as it was first called) is decades old but it is still enduring. Today, more than 50 years after Ray Tomlison developed the ARPANET’s networked email system (and so the first email), we are still using it.

Most people know how to send an email. This article isn’t meant to insult you by teaching you that, we’re sure there are guides showing you that on the Internet.

Instead, the purpose of this article is to help you understand the inner workings of email and what really happens to your private email messages as they travel from your computer, through the Internet and to the recipient’s inbox.

Terms to Know#

We’ll be using some terms that you may or not be familiar with to explain how email works. These are:

  • Email Server

An email server, or mail server, is a computer system that sends and receives your email messages. In other words, it ensures that your emails get to the intended recipients.

  • Domain Name System

Domain Name System (DNS) is important not just for email, but for the functioning of the entire Internet. Its purpose is to translate domain names like “Telios” that we humans like into IP (Internet Protocol) addresses such as that machines like.

  • POP

Post Office Protocol (POP) is an email protocol that governs how email messages are received. POP (current version POP3) downloads the email to the local machine and deletes email data on the server once it’s downloaded.

  • IMAP

IMAP or Internet Mail Transfer Protocol is another email protocol that is used for incoming emails just like POP, but with the difference that the email data is not downloaded to the user’s computer and deleted from the server, but remains there.

  • SMTP

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is a protocol that determines how email is sent from your computer.

  • MTA

Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) checks whether the recipient uses IMAP or POP.

  • MIME

Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (MIME) is an Internet standard that allows email messages to support characters other than in ASCII and images, audio, video and application program attachments.

How Email Works?#

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at how email works.

First, how we think email works is:

  1. Compose a message
  2. Hit Send
  3. Message magically appears in the recipient’s inbox

In reality, there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes that we don’t see and we’ll go on to explain this now.

So, how does email really work?

How Private Email Messages are Sent?#

First, let’s take a look at how private email messages are sent.

Say [email protected] wants to send a private email message to his friend [email protected].

First, he needs to click the Compose button in their email client, add [email protected] to the To: field (for the recipient), write the Subject line (basically, the headline for the email message) and type his email message and after all that, hit Send.

Usually, this is where our interest in that message ends and we just need to wait for the reply.

But there’s a lot more going on.

First, your email doesn’t go directly to the recipient’s computer. Instead, the outgoing SMTP mail server picks it up.

Think of the SMTP server as the post office where you hand over your letter for them to send it to someone else. Except that, instead of the postage address, you put the To: and sometimes Cc and Bcc to show who the email is meant for and where it should go.

But, just like the mailman that the post office sends out with your letter can get lost (they can’t know every street address out of their head), so too does the SMTP server need a little help in finding the recipient.

The only problem is that the recipient’s address is written in a format that the SMTP server does not understand. So now the SMTP server needs to ask for help from the DNS server in translating the human-friendly domain name like [email protected] into the machine-friendly IP address like

Having the IP address now, the SMTP server’s next job is to look for the MX (Mail Exchange) server, which tells it where to send the email.

Once it collects all this info, the SMTP server can finally send your private email message to the recipient’s Mail Transfer Agent (MTA).

How Email Messages are Received?#

So now let’s take a look at how email is received.

When the SMTP server hands over the email to the MTA server, the MTA determines whether the recipient is using a POP-based email or an IMAP-based one. Think of this as the mailman figuring out if they should put the envelope in the mailbox or slide it under the door for instance.

MTA can therefore be web-based (accessed through a web browser, like Gmail) or client-based (accessed through a software installed on your computer, like Outlook).

However, before that, the recipient’s server must check if the email is coming from a legitimate source by looking at the sender’s From: address. If the address is a real one, like [email protected], it is validated. However, if it’s not, then it's spam and goes to the recipient’s spam folder.

Finally, the email appears in the recipient’s inbox for them to read it.

Why Is This Method Really Not a Good Way to Send Private Email Messages?#

Remember when we said that email is 50+ years old? Back then, it was just meant to solve one problem:

How to send a message from one computer to the other?

And it did that very well, but we didn’t have hackers, spam, phishing, DDoS attacks and all other kinds of cyber threats that we do now.

Today, your email is susceptible to all of these online threats from the moment you hit Send.

At any point, a threat actor can:

  1. Gain access to either the sender’s or the recipient’s email account
  2. Intercept the email message
  3. Breach the mail server

And get the data from there.

Now, email services like Gmail or YahooMail do somewhat solve the 2nd problem by introducing TLS or Transport Layer Security, which essentially encrypts the data in traffic, and protects it from stuff like Man-in-the-Middle attacks.

However, this still leaves the end-points and the mail server vulnerable and if the hacker gains access to either (all they need is the proper username and password) they can open and read this email without any issues.

This is where encryption comes in. If that message is protected with public cryptography, in other words, it’s first encrypted on the sender’s side with a public key and then decrypted only using the recipient’s private key.

With the email message protected thus, even if the cyber attacker manages to get a hold of it, they can’t do anything without the right encryption/decryption keys.


But even end-to-end encryption doesn’t entirely solve the problem because the data needs to go through the email server and those can be vulnerable to data breaches and may be storing your private key in an unsecure format.

Telios uses a peer-to-peer network to send encrypted emails without going through the server (between two Telios users). This way, the only person who can truly access your email is you.

Check out and download Telios to protect your private email data from prying eyes today!

What is End-to-End Encryption (E2EE) and How Does it Protect Your Data?

Today we communicate with others more online than we do in person.

For instance, according to a study done by cloud mobile and online business messaging solutions LivePerson, 65% of Millenials (born between 1981 and 1996) and Gen Z (1997-2012) communicate with others more digitally than face-to-face.

This communication often involves private and other sensitive data and social networks such as Facebook or email providers like Gmail do not offer sufficient privacy and security for your data.

This means that you need end-to-end encryption to secure your online communication.

What is End-to-End Encryption?#

So what is end-to-end encryption?

Think of it as a way to send data in such a way that only you (the sender) and the recipient can open and read the message.

Even if a third party, like a hacker, somehow manages to intercept your email message, for instance, they won’t be able to open it, read it, or otherwise tamper with it because of the way that end-to-end encryption works.

How Does End-to-End Encryption Work?#

True end-to-end encryption uses a pair of keys - public and private.

With the private key, the sender encrypts the message before sending it to the intended recipient. Thus encrypted, the message turns into an incomprehensible mess of letters, numbers and special characters that is useless to anyone intercepting the message.

However, the same key can not be used to open the message.

Instead, the recipient needs to generate a private key, which only they own, to decrypt and open the message.

This type of encryption, using a pair of public and private keys, is called asymmetric encryption and is different from another type, which only uses one key to both encrypt and decrypt the message, which is called symmetric encryption.

(You can read more about asymmetric and symmetric encryption here).

Let’s use a classic example with Bob and Alice to paint a picture of how end-to-end encryption works.

  1. Bob wants to send Alice a private email message
  2. Alice generates two keys - public and private
  3. She sends the public key to Bob, but keeps the private key
  4. Bob then encrypts the message with the public key
  5. Thus encrypted, the private message goes to Alice
  6. Finally, Alice uses her own private key to decrypt the message

Types of End-to-End Encryption#

There are two types of end-to-end encryption:

  1. Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)
  2. Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (S/MIME)

We’ll talk more about the two some other time, but for now, let’s just say that the main difference is that:

  • In PGP, the keys are exchanged between the users (in a way we described above)
  • While in S/MIME, a third party (Certificate Authority) provides a digital certificate that authenticates the sender (proves that they are who they say).

Advantages and Disadvantages of End-to-End Encryption#

Any system has its good and bad sides and, naturally, this goes for end-to-end encryption as well.

So what are these?


  • Protects your privacy from the service provider

If you use an email service like Gmail (here are 5 reasons to drop Gmail, btw), or want to send a message through Facebook, then your data will be stored on Google’s or Facebook’s servers. This means that they will have the keys to decrypt it. With E2EE, they can’t.

  • Secure against hacking

Even if the server on which the encrypted message is stored is hacked and the data breached, the attackers won’t be able to do much with it if they don’t have the decryption key.

  • Protects free speech

End-to-end encryption is an important key for any journalist, whistleblower, or activist, who wants to speak freely and be safe from government intimidation and surveillance.


  • Losing or forgetting the private key

What happens if you lose or forget the private key? In that case, what was the main advantage of end-to-end encryption becomes its biggest flaw, as you can no longer decrypt and read the message.

  • End-point security

One risk with E2EE lies with the end-point. If the recipient’s device itself is unsecure, for instance, if they stored the private key in plain sight, then the whole point of encrypting and decrypting is void.

It’s like in that Simpsons scene where Mr. Burns and Smithers go through all the high-tech security of Burn’s nuclear plant only to find a door to the back alley on the other side through which a dog can waltz in.

  • Data transfer is visible

While the data itself is hidden with E2EE, the fact that there was a data transfer isn’t.

What does this mean? Well, if there are records of data transfer, it is possible for someone to decipher what its contents might be based on who sent it (sender) and who received it (recipient).


End-to-end encryption remains a highly divisive topic. On one side are those who want to protect their data privacy, while on the other side are those who want to ban it, claiming that it helps terrorists and criminals.

At Telios, we believe that every person has the right to choose if and how they want to protect their sensitive information. We understand that end-to-end encryption is not for everyone, but for those that do need it and want it, our decentralized email provides secure communication with encrypted data and email.

What are the Key Differences Between a Peer-to-Peer Network and a Client-Server Network That You Should Know?

The key to any system is a solid network.

For instance, we can have a network of friends, colleagues and partners; a business can have a network of suppliers and so on.

When it comes to computer networks, we can distinguish between two types:

  1. Peer-to-peer network, and
  2. Client-server network

So let’s briefly introduce you to each (we’ll cover them more in-depth in the future) and take a look at the key differences between a peer-to-peer network and a client-server network.

What is a Peer-to-Peer Network?#

If you ever played a game of Among Us with a bunch of friends, you already had a taste of a peer-to-peer or P2P network for short.

In a P2P network, two or more computers are connected and they share individual resources like disk drivers, printers, etc.

Here, there is no one central server like we will see in the client-server network. Instead, each computer or node in the network is, at the same time, both a client and a server and it communicates directly with other computers/nodes in the network.

This way, everybody who is in the network can directly share files without having to go through a central server.

What is a Client-Server Network?#

The client-server network is much more broadly used than a peer-to-peer network model.

In this model, the computers in the network, aka “clients” are all connected to a central server and pool data and resources from it.

For example, if you go online and want to read an article (like this one) on a website, your local browser needs to find the server on which the website where the article is written is housed and connect you to that server.

In fact, you need not look no further for a real-life example of a client-server model than the World Wide Web.

Differences Between a Peer-to-Peer Network and Client-Server Network?#

If you’ve been paying attention while reading this article you probably already know one difference between a peer-to-peer and a client-server network.

Nothing? Ok, we’ll give you a hint: in peer-to-peer networks, all computers in the network are at the same time servers and clients and in the client-server network there is just one server and all computers are connected to it individually as clients.

But that's far from the only difference between these two. Let’s take a look at some of the other ways they differ:

Peer-to-Peer NetworkClient-Server Network
There is no difference between a server and a client. Everybody in the network can play both roles.There is only one server. Everyone else on the network acts as a client.
Each peer in the network must store its own data.The server is used for storing data.
Clients share data with each other.Clients must go through the server to access and share data.
Better for connectivityBetter for sharing information.
As the number of peers increases, the network becomes less stable.More stable in general than peer-to-peer networks.
Usually work in smaller networks.Can be used in both small and large networks.
Less expensive than the client-server network to implement.More costly than the P2P network to implement.
Less time to access a service for the node.Nodes/clients have to wait more for access.


Both peer-to-peer and client-server networks have their well-earned place and the question is just what you need them for.

If you’re looking for a decentralized network that is easier and cheaper to implement and that better works in a small network, then you should go for a peer-to-peer network.

However, if you need a more robust, stable and centralized network, then the choice is a client-server network.

Telios is a secure end-to-end encrypted email service that works on a decentralized, peer-to-peer network. That means all your metadata and email contents stay private and the encryption keys are stored locally on your device, where only you can access them.

You can download and check out the Telios desktop app (still in beta) for Windows, macOS and GNU/Linux.

Top 8 Decentralized Storage Networks to Store and Share Your Data Securely

For a long time cloud has figured as the top option for storing files. Now, however, with the rise of blockchain, more and more decentralized storage networks threaten to disrupt the cloud as the storage option of choice for many users.

Here are 8 decentralized cloud storage options to pay attention to:


As far as longevity and number of users are in question, BitTorrent is the number one peer-to-peer network in the world.

Founded in 2001 by an American software engineer, Bram Cohen, BitTorrent is a decentralized P2P protocol that allows users to upload and download files on the Internet.

Instead of uploading and downloading entire files (which can be quite large as people use BitTorrent to download movies for instance), each file is broken into smaller fragments. These fragments are then sent over the peer-to-peer network of seeds and peers until the user can receive the full file on their device.

The seed is the person who originally shared the full file (aka the uploader) and the peers are the users who receive fragments of the file via the distributed network.*


Sia is a decentralized storage platform that utilizes blockchain technology in order to secure the user’s files and/or folders.

So how does it work exactly?

First of all, Sia looks for unused hard drive space from computers in its decentralized network around the globe. Next, when it has located the necessary storage space, a data storage marketplace is created, which boasts much lower storage than traditional cloud storage.

The security is, however, where Sia really shines.

First of all, since the files are distributed among multiple hosts and locations, there is no single point of failure to worry about. You won’t have to worry about the server going down due to a DNS failure or anything like that.

Second, your files are encrypted and as the owner, you are the only one with access to the private key that can be used to decrypt them. Nobody else, including the storage provider, can do that.


If you’re on the SAFE peer-to-peer, decentralized network, you can share your hard disk space, memory and processing power and “farm” MaidSafeCoins (MAID).

The network uses Proof-of-Resource which the network uses to determine if the nodes that store fragments of encrypted data (called “Farmers”) are actually following the rules of the network.

Basically, the Proof-of-Resource determines if the “Farmer” has the necessary resources (disk storage space, processor speed, bandwidth, online time) to store and/or retrieve data fragments. If not, that node is removed from the SAFE network.

Finally, it should also be noted that anyone can join the SAFE network completely anonymously, thus there is no worry about censorship or anything like that and all files are fully encrypted.


Storj is a decentralized cloud storage platform based on the Ethereum blockchain where each network member can provide free space on their local device.

What do you need to become a part of the Storj decentralized network?

Only some free disk space and enough bandwidth to send and receive data.

Let’s say you want to send something over the Storj decentralized network. First of all, your file will be fully encrypted with the private key so you are the only one with access to the file.

The file will be split into multiple smaller fragments and each of these fragments in turn will be stored on PCs around the world that are a part of the Storj network. Once you need to file, the file will be downloaded via multiple connections and naturally distributed back to you.


FileCoin is a decentralized cloud storage platform that is based on the IPFS P2P file storage protocol (more on IPFS later).

Anyone can join the FileCoin network and become a miner. In fact, the miners are rewarded for storing, organizing and distributing data on their local storage devices (all you need is enough disk space and a good Internet connection) with FIL tokens.

To become a miner, you have to bid against other miners for storage, where asks and bids are visible to all (the lowest price wins).

Once you become a miner, you will be evaluated based on two consensus mechanisms:

Proof-of-Spacetime - which ensures that you continue to store a unique piece of data for the network and,

Proof-of-Replication - which shows that you have stored as many copies of data as you claim to have on your drive storage.


Another decentralized storage network that uses blockchain technology, smart contracts and tokens to share and exchange data in a trustless way is the Ocean Protocol.

Participants in the network range from crypto nerds, AI devs, to nonprofits and businesses.


Internxt is a decentralized cloud storage service that keeps your sensitive data safe using AES-256 CTR encryption, which ensures that you are the only one who can access your files.

Each user has access to free 2GB storage via their browser on their Windows or macOS device or they can download the program or the app on their Android or iOS.

Since the files are broken into smaller chunks and then randomly dispersed on the multiple servers on the decentralized network, which means there is no single point of failure and a potential hacker can’t get the whole file, but only a part of it.


We already briefly mentioned IPFS when we talked about FileCoin, but it definitely deserves a section of its own.

IPFS stands for InterPlanetary File System and is a distributed file system for sharing and storing data that works similarly to torrents.

Basically, files are not hosted on one location, like a central server, but are instead distributed over a network of computers (basically, anyone who wants to host a file is welcome on the network).

One issue with IPFS is that it doesn’t ensure permanence so you would have to integrate it with another tool like FileCoin to ensure that your data is stored over a longer period of time.

Speaking of storage, if the data is not used frequently, IPFS uses a process called Garbage collection through which it deletes that data and that way clears up memory space. To ensure that your data is stored locally, you need to add a local “pin”.


Are decentralized storage networks here to replace traditional centralized solutions by big providers like Dropbox, Amazon, IBM, Google, etc?

Probably not, at least not any time soon. For the average user, centralized solutions are still far too convenient to really bother switching to something they may not fully understand just yet.

However, what decentralized storage solutions have for themselves is that they are much better at protecting your privacy and they also give you the incentive (usually through tokens on the network) to store someone else’s files on your disk space.

Telios itself uses the Sia decentralized storage service to store your encrypted emails. Download Telios to enjoy better security and privacy over a peer-to-peer decentralized email today.

Can We Stop the Splinternet? Is the Cyberbalkanization of the Internet Inevitable or Can We Stop it?

On 29th April 2022, 60+ countries, including the United States, members of the European Union and 33 other countries signed The Declaration for the Future of the Internet, that calls for “all partners who actively support a future for the Internet that is open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure”.

In other words, the Declaration aims to stop the balkanization of the Internet, or the “Splinternet”.

What is the Splinternet?#

The Splinternet or the balkanization of the Internet is the process of dividing the Internet into pieces caused by any of the following factors:

  • Politics
  • Geography
  • Religion
  • National interests
  • Technology
  • Commerce

Once fragmented like this, each separate fragment becomes an entity of its own, disconnected from the rest of the Internet and at the whim of whoever is controlling it (usually the local government).

Examples of the Splinternet#

Unfortunately, the Splinternet is not a theoretical threat.

It is already happening and there are several examples of what awaits us if we allow it.

The Great Firewall of China#

In 2003, China initiated its Golden Shield Project, a huge censoring and surveillance system, and fully completed it in 2006.

An important part of this project is the Great Firewall, which basically bans all international websites that the Communist Party of China (CPC) deems “unsafe”.

This includes 311,000 domains, according to the GFWatch system developed by a group of academics who tested 534 million domains between April and December 2020.

Some of the blocked websites include:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Wikipedia
  • Zoom
  • Reddit
  • Spotify
  • Twitch
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Etc.

Russian “Runet”#

Although Russia definitely stepped up their Internet censorship game since the invasion of Ukraine, they’ve actually been pushing for an Internet they can easily control for some time now.

Since the start of the Ukraine war on 24th February, Russia has blocked 2.633 websites including:

  • 2,012 news sites
  • 482 sites that contribute to the Ukraine war efforts
  • 26 charity and non-profit websites, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International
  • Popular sites like Google News, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

In 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the “Sovereign Internet Law” legislation which aimed to stop “US’s aggressive cybersecurity strategy”.

This law led to “Runet”, an intranet completely separate from the global Internet and independent from other sources, through which the Russian government can filter and control what its citizens can see.

North Korea and Iran#

Access to the Internet in North Korea is only available to its citizens and visitors through a 3G phone network and even then all you can see is government propaganda and websites that praise Kim Jong-un 24/7.

To access the global Internet, you’d have to be a high-ranking government official.

Iran is also heavily blocking Internet content that they see as “immoral”.

Some of the sites blocked in Iran include:

  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Wordpress.org
  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • CNN
  • Fox News
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Etc.

Why We Can’t Allow the Splinternet to Happen?#

So why is Splinternet dangerous and why is it important not to let it take full swing?

First of all, the “promise of the Internet” is to be “an open ‘network of networks’”.

This means the Internet should be open to everyone and free of government and corporate influence.

That is the only way to ensure the free flow of information and the exchange of ideas.

The Splinternet aims to do just the opposite and that is to fragment the Internet in a way that allows individual governments to fully control its content on the little Internet island that they now control.

Another problem that the Splinternet will lead to are more cyberattacks and the weaponization of the Internet.

Countries like Russia and China are already busy sending out government-backed hackers to disrupt and block western websites and spread misinformation. As the Internet gets fragmented, these threat actors no longer have to worry about the Internet in their country but can easily carry out cyberattacks in other countries, aka, its “enemies”.

Splinternet is NOT Decentralization#

Splinternet should not and must not be confused with decentralized Internet.

In fact, it is the centralization of the Internet that has been happening for a while now that has been largely responsible for the censorship on the Internet and thus the Splinternet itself.

The Declaration for the Future of the Internet says that:

“The Internet should operate as a single, decentralized network of networks - with global reach and governed through the multistakeholder approach, whereby governments and relevant authorities partner with academics, civil society, the private sector, technical community and others.”

At Telios, we would also add “that ensures secure communication and the privacy of your data”.

One of the main ways to communicate online is through email. Unfortunately, popular email services like Gmail or YahooMail are not safe and even secure and end-to-end email services like ProtonMail can be controlled as long as you control their servers.

Telios is a peer-to-peer decentralized email built for privacy and security that ensures that only you can access your encrypted information.

You can download the Telios desktop app for Windows, macOS, or GNU/Linux or get the lifetime deal at AppSumo for $59 with a 60-day full money-back guarantee.

What is Decentralized Cloud Storage and Why You Should Start Thinking About it?


Where do you keep your important data? If you are like most people, probably either on a physical medium like a hard drive on your computer and/or on a cloud server.

Cloud computing is growing every year. In fact, according to Statista, the number of personal cloud storage users (like those using Google Drive) has doubled between 2014 and 2020 from 1,136 million to 2,309 million.

But here’s the problem with centralized cloud storage.

You don’t own it. Once your data is hosted on their servers, you don’t really own your data either.

Let me introduce you to decentralized storage.

But before, read why centralized Internet is a bad idea to get the whole picture.

What is Decentralized Cloud Storage?#

Okay, so what is decentralized cloud storage?

Unlike centralized cloud storage, where your data is stored on a single cloud server, owned by Google (read here why you should drop Google) or Amazon, for instance, in decentralized cloud storage, your data is stored across multiple servers.

These servers are hosted and maintained by multiple users and groups, rather than a single company and they all work to keep your data accessible and secure.

How Does Decentralized Storage Work?#

In a decentralized storage system, your data is stored on a decentralized network, on so-called “nodes”.

Nodes are physical devices in a network (like a computer), which can receive and forward transmissions from and to other nodes in the network.

In a centralized storage system, you can download or upload files from or to a centralized data server, which in turn receives and forwards data from multiple servers.

Things work a little differently in decentralized storage.

Here, you don’t receive the entire file at once from just one server. Instead, each node in the network holds a piece of it and you download these pieces until you have the full file.

Isn’t My Data Safer With Google Than With Some Random People?#


Now, why would you have your data stored on some random nodes, run by random people?

Isn’t a multi-billion corporation like Google or Amazon safer?

No. Because those random people can’t read your data, while Google or Amazon (or any other centralized cloud provider) can.

How is this the case?

On a centralized cloud server, your data is encrypted using 256-bit encryption. Which is fine.

This means that your encrypted data can only be read if you have the decryption key.

Guess who owns that key?

Hint: it’s not you.

On the other hand, in decentralized storage, you’re the only one that has the decryption key. This means that not even those that are running the nodes can read your data.

They are only there to safely store your data.

And, even if they somehow managed to get ahold of your decryption key, it wouldn’t matter too much. Remember, it’s “decentralized”? They would only be able to access a fraction of the data and not the whole.

Decentralized Storage Pros & Cons#

Decentralized cloud storage has its pros and cons, so let’s take a look at these.

Decentralized Cloud Storage Pros#

  • It’s faster One big problem with centralized storage is that it can create a bottleneck.

Think of it as having only one road that leads to a big city. If the traffic is too high for that road, it will eventually get jammed.

Now think of having multiple roads to that same city. If you see one road getting a bit slower, you can just switch to another one and get to your destination faster.

  • Better security and privacy We already explained a bit how your data is encrypted on centralized vs decentralized cloud storage. But let’s reiterate:
    • You’re the only one who has the decryption key and can therefore access it and read it
    • Your data is stored in multiple locations, in pieces, rather than in a single location
  • Cheaper storage Of course, there are free cloud storage options that you can use, but it’s usually very limited.

For instance, Google Drive offers 15GB, iCloud 5GB (for Apple users only), One Drive 5GB, Amazon Drive 5GB (for Prime subs) and Dropbox only 2GB.

A few big files, like video games or movies and you’re all out of space on your drive.

So what then?

Then you have to start paying for storage. The problem here is that storage is limited. Which means higher cost.

Now, decentralized storage relies on nodes as we said. Individually, these nodes are small and so don’t have a lot of storage space. But, there are millions of available nodes to host your data (remember, each node holds only a piece of the data).

This leads to lower storage costs when compared to centralized cloud storage platforms.

  • Reduced file and data loss Centralized storage is like putting all your eggs into one basket. What happens when that basket gets stolen or damaged?

You’ll lose all your eggs, of course.

Decentralized cloud storage is like putting a few eggs in one basket, then a few in another and so on. If you lose some of your data/eggs, no worries, there are copies of it in other nodes/baskets.

Decentralized Cloud Storage Cons:#

  • Lack of legal accountability With centralized cloud storage, if your data is lost, the provider is held accountable.

But if your data is lost or stolen in a decentralized cloud storage? Which node in the network is accountable?

  • Technology still isn’t “ quite there” Decentralized storage is still very much in the experimental stage. And this means that a lot of people and businesses will be reluctant to migrate from the relatively stable centralized cloud storage to it.

In fact, at the moment, 94% of businesses are using centralized cloud storage, according to Cisco Global Cloud Index (2016-2021).

  • Is decentralized cloud storage superior to centralized? There’s still no definitive answer to this question and there probably won’t be for a few more years.

This means that decentralized storage is fighting an uphill battle on the market. Centralized storage providers are already well entrenched and won’t give up their positions that easily.


Even though decentralized cloud storage is still very much in its infancy and there are a lot of things to get right, the potential is clearly there, especially when it comes to security and privacy.

At Telios, we are firm believers in decentralization. Check this article on the benefits of decentralized Internet to understand why. The same, of course, goes for decentralized storage options.

Over time, we believe that more and more people and businesses will see that the benefits outweigh the problems and will turn to decentralized cloud storage.

What do you think?

5 Reasons to drop Gmail

Today, when people ask you for your email address, they don’t ask “what’s your email?”, but “what is your Gmail?” That’s how popular and widespread Google’s email service is.

For most Internet users, Gmail makes perfect sense. It’s free and convenient and everyone uses it. However, for a privacy-focused user, the popular email service has its fair share of downsides.

In this article, we’ll take a look at 4 reasons to drop Gmail (or other popular email providers) for a decentralized and secure email service.

1. Gmail Collects and Reads Your Data#

It’s no secret that Google has access to your data. And, of course, it also reads your emails.

If you ask Google, this is all to “provide better user experience and product personalization”, but most people don’t think much about what information they are “giving” to Google.

Flickr great deletion

Gmail links the following data to you:

  • Contact information
  • Location
  • Contacts
  • Search history
  • User content
  • Purchases
  • Identifiers
  • Diagnostics
  • Other data

So what does Google do with that data?

2. Selling Your Data to Advertisers#

“Now hang on just a moment there, Google says it will never sell your personal information!”

What we have here is a very clever use of the word “sell” by Google.

You see, according to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), a “sale” is “any exchange of personal information for ‘valuable consideration’ (meaning ‘money’ in most cases).

Technically, that isn’t what Google is doing.

But they are still making money out of your personal information.


There are two ways that Google monetizes your data:

It directly shares data with advertisers, who can then bid on individual ads, or It builds profiles based on the user data it collects with shared interests and demographics, thanks to which advertisers can target people based on those traits.

Read more on how Google shares, monetizes and exploits your data on EFF.org.

3. Gmail Doesn’t Offer End-to-End Encryption (by Default)#

At least not by default. Look, you can install a PGP plugin for Gmail like FlowCrypt, but that’s a lot of work and Gmail wasn’t built with privacy and security of its users in mind.

That’s not to say that Gmail doesn’t have “any” type of encryption. It does have TLS or Transport Layer Security, but that only works if the data is in transit, so between the sender and the recipient. Gmail does nothing to protect your data while it’s on the sender’s or recipient’s email server (endpoints).

This is why end-to-end encryption does. It ensures that only the sender and recipient can access the email contents.

4. No Zero Access Protection#

For those unfamiliar, “zero access protection” means that the service provider (in this case Gmail) cannot access your data even if it is stored on its server.

Combined with end-to-end encryption, zero access protection ensures that you are the only one who has access to your data.


Let’s say you want to send an encrypted email to a friend. The email is encrypted using a public key, but the only way to read it is to use a private key and decrypt it with it.

Normally, in the perfect scenario, only the recipient will have that private key. However, what if the service provider, like Gmail, also has that key? They’d be able to read your encrypted emails with no problem.

But, with zero access encryption, that can’t happen and only the user has access to his or her emails.

5. It’s a Big Attack Surface#

Google has over 270 products and services under its umbrella and Gmail is but one. All of these services are in one way or another connected.

The good side of this is that everything is much easier to use and it’s all under one account and one login.

The bad side is that if one service is breached, your data is at risk on all of them.

As the largest email service in the world, Gmail is also the most likely target for email scams, spam and phishing campaigns.

According to a 2020 APWG study titled “Phishing Activity Trends Report”, 72% of all BEC (Business Email Compromise) attacks in Q2 2020 were sent from free webmail accounts and of those about 50% used Gmail.

Flickr great deletion


Again, we're not saying that Gmail doesn’t work. For most folks, it’s perfectly fine. But if you’re looking to protect your data and not have others make money out of it without your permission, then you should drop it.

Drop it for what exactly?

A decentralized & secure email service, like Telios. Telios is a peer-to-peer decentralized and encrypted email (meaning that not only is the email fully encrypted, but it is also stored locally on your device so only you have access to it).

Ready to take back control of your email data? Download the Telios app today for Windows, macOS, or GNU/Linux.

What is a Peer to Peer Network?

Internet communication happens so fast today that you might think that you are directly communicating with the other side. However, this is usually not the case and instead, data that you send from your computer first goes to a centralized server before it reaches the recipient.

This is called a “centralized” or “client-server” network

However, in some cases, such as when we want to directly share a file from one computer to the other, we don’t need a central server and instead a so-called peer-to-peer network is established.

So what is a peer-to-peer network, how does it work, what is the difference between P2P and centralized networks and is email communication done peer-to-peer?

What is a Peer-to-Peer Network?#

Let’s begin by explaining what is a peer-to-peer network.

A peer-to-peer or P2P network is one in which two or more computers are connected and share their resources without a central server in between them.

For example, when you connect your smartphone to another phone via Bluetooth to share files, you are creating a peer-to-peer network between the two devices.

Or, if you connect two computers via a USB to transfer files, you are also creating a P2P network.

The idea of a peer-to-peer network is that each computer in the network is considered equal and communication between computers is done in both ways. However, the appearance of the web browser changed all that and as content distribution became more important, we saw a shift from peer-to-peer to client-server networks.

But this wasn’t the end of the peer-to-peer network.

People still needed a way to share files quickly and in the late 1990s and early 2000s, we witnessed the arrival of peer-to-peer file-sharing networks such as Napster, Kazaa and BitTorrent.

Very soon, users started seeing these P2P networks as superior and faster when it comes to sharing files than a client-server network and many of them are still widely used today by users all over the Internet.

What is the Difference Between a Peer-to-Peer and a Server-Based Network?#

We already explained that, in a peer-to-peer (P2P) network, two or more computers interact with each other directly and without a middleman between them.

With a server-based or client-server network, all computers in the network are connected to a central computer called a “server”. This means that all data that is sent by one computer goes through that server before it can be received by another computer in that network.

For example, when you want to visit a webpage, like Telios.io, you don’t directly interact with that website but instead, the client (your browser) sends a request to the server on which the website is hosted and the server in return sends a response by downloading a copy of the webpage to your machine which is then shown in your web browser.

Decentralized P2P Network vs Distributed Network#

Another type of network-based centralized and decentralized or peer-to-peer is a distributed network.

As this type of network is often confused with a peer-to-peer network it’s useful to understand the differences between the two as well.

In a distributed network, all parts of the network are considered nodes and can interact with one another like in a peer-to-peer network. The difference here is that some of those nodes can temporarily become server nodes themselves to coordinate other nodes in the sub-network.

Examples and Applications of a Peer-to-Peer Network#

Here are some examples and uses of peer-to-peer networks:

  1. BitTorrent BitTorrent is perhaps the best example of how different clients can interact and share files in a peer-to-peer network. In fact, it is estimated that BitTorrent itself is responsible for more than 70% of all peer-to-peer traffic on the Internet.

  2. Zoom When it comes to video-sharing and communication, having a central server through which the communication would happen would be detrimental and would seriously slow down the communication. Instead, users can share video and audio seamlessly with each other using a P2P network through the Zoom app.

Of course, this goes for other video conferencing apps like Skype, Loom and more.

  1. Windows Windows gives several examples of a peer-to-peer network, especially with Windows 7 and Windows 8 versions.

First, in Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 (prior to version 1803) you could connect all computers in your home to a Homegroup and create a peer-to-peer network in which they can share storage and other resources.

Another example of a P2P network in Windows is also creating an ad-hoc network through WiFi on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

  1. Online Gaming Platforms Although plenty of online gaming platforms like GoG and Steam use dedicated servers instead of P2P, some major publishers prefer a peer-to-peer architecture. One such is Blizzard, which distributes its games through a P2P network.

Peer-to-Peer Network Pros and Cons#

Peer-to-peer network architecture has its advantages over both centralized and distributed architecture, but even it is not perfect and has some disadvantages as well.

Let’s see what does advantages and disadvantages are:

Peer-to-Peer Advantages:#
  • There are no expenses to maintain a central server
  • If one part of the network fails, the rest is unaffected, making it more reliable
  • It’s easier to set up and implement than a client-server network
  • Less technical staff is needed and each user gets to set their own permissions as they see fit
  • Downloading files may not be affected by the Internet speed
  • It’s scalable. If extra clients are added, the networks’ performance doesn’t change
Peer-to-Peer Disadvantages:#
  • The performance of a network degrades as more devices are added to it
  • No central backup. Instead, the only way to backup files is to store them on individual computers in the network
  • P2P networks lack security as each user is responsible for their end to assign access permissions and avoid viruses and malware that can spread throughout the network
  • It is possible to get remote access to a terminal in a P2P network without permission thanks to unsecured and unsigned codes


So what about email? Is it peer-to-peer?

Traditional email services, like Gmail, YahooMail and even secure email services like Proton and Tutanota all require a central server to store data.

This means that, when you send an email to another person, that message first goes through the server before it reaches them.

Telios, however, uses a peer-to-peer network, which means that your emails can go to the intended recipient faster and vice versa and as a result, all your email content and metadata remain private.

Ready to take back control of your data and privacy? Download the Telios desktop app for Windows, macOS, or GNU/Linux (the app is still in Beta) or join our Discord channel.

What is decentralization? Benefits of a Decentralized Internet

Who controls the Internet?

If you google that question, this is the answer you’ll get:

“No one person, company, organization or government runs the Internet.”

And that is how the Internet was intended and was at first, true. But then a handful of companies started collecting and storing all data. This, to the point that you almost can’t use the Internet without them.

Sure, they may not “own” the Internet on paper, but in reality, they do.

This is why more and more people are calling for a return to the “glory days” of a decentralized and distributed Internet.

But what is decentralization and why would a (more) decentralized Internet be a good idea?

What is Decentralization?#

To understand the decentralized Internet we first need to understand what decentralization is in general.

Decentralization is a type of organizational and managerial structure in which decision-making and day-to-day operations are delegated from top management down to middle and lower management.

In the context of an organization, there are several benefits of decentralization, including:

1. It allows the organization to better diversify its products

When an organization is heavily reliant on a central authority, such as its owner or founder, it inevitably starts to stagnate as no new ideas, save those from or approved by the central authority, can swim to the surface.

In a decentralized organization, however, new ideas, markets, activities, products, etc are much more promoted.

2. Faster decision-making

Since the decisions in a decentralized organization are made closer to the problem and don’t have to be referred through the “chain of command”, this promotes faster decision-making.

In their book “Extreme Ownership”, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin explain the importance of decentralized command:

“With the understanding of the company’s mission and plan to achieve it, junior leaders must also be empowered to take action and make decisions that get the overall team closer to accomplishing that goal.”

3. Getting better executives

With more authority given, lower-level executives are in a better position to take initiative and grow their talent. This naturally makes them better at their job.

4. Less burden on the top management

In a centralized structure, where all decisions are made by the top executive(s), this creates more and more burden on them, especially as the organization grows.

Decentralizing authority serves to relieve a lot of that burden and frees up the top management from operational and day-to-day activities to focus more on managerial activities.

5. Improves control and communication

Although many organizations avoid decentralizing for the fear of losing control, in reality, decentralizing actually improves control. That’s because each department is now more accountable for its own results and their performance can be better monitored and measured.

At the same time, communication is also improved both vertically (from top management to subordinates and vice versa) and horizontally (between departments).

What is Decentralized Internet?#

Now let’s take a look at decentralization from the point of the Internet and the web.

Cory Doctorow, Special Consultant at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a leading non-profit organization for defending digital privacy, free speech and innovation, says that:

“A Web designed to resist attempts to centralize its architecture, services, or protocols so that no individual, state, or corporation can substantially control its use.”

We’ve already talked about why a centralized Internet is a bad idea, including having:

  1. A single point of failure
  2. A single source of information
  3. And the question of “who owns the data”?

Now, let’s take a look at the alternative and see what the benefits of a decentralized Internet would be.

What are the Benefits of a Decentralized Internet or Web?#

Just like decentralization in general, decentralized Internet also has plenty of advantages, including:

1. Truly own your data

Big Data companies became “big” by monetizing your data. In fact, if say, Google disappeared one day, it would take your data with it for good.

In such a scenario, can you say that you own your data?

In a distributed and decentralized Internet, however, you will both be able to store the data yourself and be the only one with the keys to them.

2. No more single point of failure

Did you know that all data that is uploaded to Facebook must pass through one of its data centers? The same goes for Google, Amazon and the rest of the Big Tech.

Now, it’s true that Facebook (or Meta) has many data centers, but if any of them fails, that’s millions of users’ data exposed because of a single point of failure.

In a decentralized network, however, participants themselves contribute to the storage capacity. This means that, if one of them fails or gets hacked, the others can jump in and plug the gap.

3. You don’t have to put all your trust in a single, central authority

While some trust in a central authority is necessary, for instance the trust in the government to protect us against criminals, that trust has its limits.

Take the situation with Flickr in 2019. Flickr was a popular photo-sharing site owned by Yahoo, but it has over the years, fallen on some hard times.

In 2018, the site was acquired by SmugMug and the next year, started deleting Flickr images of free users.

In fact, according to one user, SmugMug deleted 63% of Flickr’s photos.

Flickr great deletion This is a perfect example of the danger of “putting all your eggs into one basket” and understanding that we don’t have to put all our trust in one place as we can never know if that’s going to fail.

4. More free speech, less censorship

Censorship doesn’t come just from countries like China or Russia. It is also prevalent in the United States for example.

With the Internet controlled by Facebook and Google and they themselves have to defer to the government, free speech is becoming a rarity and is often subdued and even stomped on.

In truth, this is probably one thing for which we can’t blame Big Tech for. If they refuse, their central serves can get shut down so they have to play along.

However, with decentralized web and peer-to-peer networks, this is much harder to do as communication doesn’t go through any server.

5. It will help the Internet grow

Yes, the Internet, as huge as it already is, can get even bigger if it gets decentralized. This is where we come back to diversifying the product. If one organization, even a big one like Google, is working on everything, things get slow.

If, on the other hand, several organizations work on different Internet and web problems, we can get more solutions, tools, products and services that help the user faster.


Is decentralized Internet without fault? Of course not. We shouldn’t forget that it comes with its set of challenges.

However, at Telios, we believe that decentralized Internet advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages, especially when it comes to your data privacy and security.