Lavabit - Free Email Service

Lavabit. Lavabit

The Bottom Line

Lavabit offered a solid, secure and privacy-conscious email account which you can access in your email program using POP or IMAP and in your browser using a rudimentary web interface.
It's a pity Lavabit restricts statistical spam filtering to paid accounts and lacks a fully fledged web interface.
Lavabit is, alas, no longer available.


  • Lavabit offers a reliable, secure and privacy-conscious email service
  • You can access your mail via the web and using POP or IMAP in any email program
  • Lavabit includes solid spam and virus filtering


  • Lavabit's web-based interface lacks convenience and features
  • For free "Personal" accounts, Lavabit inserts ads in incoming messages
  • Free Lavabit accounts do not include the precise, personalized junk mail filter


  • Lavabit offers free and paid email accounts with web, POP and IMAP access.
  • Online storage ranges from 1 GB (for free accounts) to 8 GB.
  • Lavabit employs various anti-spam measures including personalized Bayesian filtering (the latter for paying users).
  • All connections (HTTP, POP, IMAP or SMTP) to Lavabit can be secured with SSL/TLS encryption.
  • Mail stored in paid Lavabit accounts is automatically encrypted and only available in clear with the account password.
  • You can have Lavabit forward incoming mail to a different email address.
  • Lavabit inserts advertising signatures into incoming (not outgoing) messages for 1 GB free accounts.

    Guide Review - Lavabit - Free Email Service

    Not bits, but lots: lots of security and privacy is Lavabit's ambition. Not only can you connect to Lavabit using encrypted connections and enjoy its scanning all your mail for viruses, messages are even stored in encrypted form at Lavabit (if you use a paid account at least) and can only be accessed with your password.

    POP and IMAP Access

    The encrypted connection is not just for web access, of course: Lavabit also offers handy POP and IMAP access from your desktop email program, and these connections can be encrypted as well. For IMAP and webmail in particular, Lavabit could be more generous with storage space.

    Lavabit's Web Interface: Simple, with a Focus on Security

    Lavabit's web access is where the tiny bits still rule. The rudimentary interface includes folders and filters and—security focus—displays emails as plain text or without remote images by default, but offers little comfort or productivity features. You cannot compose mail using rich text either or check your spelling.

    When it comes to filtering junk mail, Lavabit offers a host of options (from graylisting to DNS black lists) which you can configure individually if the technical terms don't confuse you. Unfortunately, the most potent filter is only available with paid accounts.