When comparing ProtonMail vs FastMail, the Slant community recommends ProtonMail for most people. In the question“What are the best e-mail clients for Android? ” ProtonMail is ranked 8th while FastMail is ranked 20th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Built-in end-to-end encryption
Pro No personal information needed
To create an account you don't need to give any personal information, just choose username, domain, and password. Even the recovery email address is optional.
Pro Privacy respecting
User data is protected by strict privacy laws because all servers are located in Switzerland.
Pro Open Source
Pro Mobile apps
Apps for Android and iOS available.
Pro Overly Expensive for Desktop Support
Pro Traditional revenue model increases likelihood of personal data privacy and safety
Depending on your point of view, requiring to pay for Fastmail is actually a positive aspect of the service. This way you know the company is at least making some revenue (they have been around since 2010) and you know who the customer is. Pricing is as follows (go here for their on-site pricing info).
Pro Human support team
As you are their customer, Fastmail provides human support.
Pro Offers more control over email
Gmail has a tendency to dumb down the interface (try to sort by sender). Fastmail gives full control over email, just like a "traditional" client would.
Supports two-factor authentication, one-time passwords and fully encrypted connections.
Pro Fully responsive interface
The Fastmail interface is fully responsive across all browser sizes.
As Fastmail does away with all the extra bells and whistles of Gmail it is super fast to interact with. It also has faster IMAP and SMTP performance than Gmail.
Pro Custom sieve scripts
You can write your own Sieve scripts for filtering/rerouting email.
Pro Simple email actioning
Like gmail, you can "Pin" emails to the top of your inbox to deal with later with either a checkbox or the keyboard shortcut. Like Gmail you can also both archive and delete emails.
Pro Offers IMAP migration tool
Get your old email out of Gmail easily with their migration tool.
Pro Adjustable spam filter
On writing this Fastmail has Basic, Normal, Aggressive or Customisable spam filtering which can be selected in the Advanced settings.
Each user has an individually trainable bayes database to improve spam filtering. You can train your personal bayes database by selecting some messages and using the Report spam and Report Non-Spam options from the Action menu on the Mailbox screen.
For IMAP users who don't use the web interface much, you can specify folders as spam/non-spam training folders on the Folders screen. Then just move messages into those folders as appropriate to train your bayes database.
For your personal bayes databases to be active, you have to train it with at least 200 spam messages and 200 non-spam messages. If you haven't trained enough messages, then we use a global continuously updated bayes database against your incoming messages, which helps detect spam/non-spam, but isn't as good as a personally trained one.
Pro Integrated file storage
Fastmail allows saving attachments and other files into their own file storage system for easy retrieval later.
Pro Proper support for folders
FastMail has full support for folders, unlike Gmail where you only have labels.
Pro Intuitive default filters
Fastmail automatically filters your email into:
- Mailing Lists
Pro Identities & aliases practically gives you a new email that you can manage from a single account
With identities and aliases, you can set up a completely new email address that can be managed from your account, without paying for more. As of time of this writing, FastMail offers up to 500 identities and 600 aliases per account, regardless of plan type.
Con Still lacks some useful features
At the moment, there is no calendar feature and contact management is quite poor. They will, however, start to work on it.
Con Ties to US Investors
ProtonMail takes money from US Investors
Con No IMAP and SMTP support for basic accounts
Basic accounts are restricted to the Protonmail web client. Support for IMAP and SMTP is available with a paid subscription only, and as such with basic accounts it is not possible to send and receive email with external applications.
Con Overly Expensive for Desktop Support
Con Requires phone number for login
If you sign up over Tor or a VPN, it will require email or phone number verification. Email verification is disabled if you use an email that isn't from Google or Outlook.
Con Encryption Keys are stored server-side
The keys are generated during account creation. Using your existing keys is prohibited and ProtonMail must store and control the private keys. Encryption cannot be secure unless the user controls the private keys.
Con Not fully Open Source
Con Australian law enforcement
The company and all email hosted by then is subject to Australian laws requiring sharing with law enforcement. These provisions are weaker than those provided by European GDPR.
Con Lacks folder notifications on official mobile app
The most popular domain registrars will provide you with both multiple email accounts and a domain name at a lower price than FastMail charges for only 1 email account.