When you send an email, the email is most likely traceable because the email server automatically embeds the sender IP address into the headers. The email headers are normally hidden and not revealed by default. To view the email headers in Gmail, click the down arrow next to Reply icon and select Show Original. A new window will open showing the message headers. Most of the popular email service offered for free such as Hotmail and Yahoo shows the sender IP address in headers but weirdly not for Gmail.
As some of you may already know, Gmail doesn’t seem to reveal the sender IP address and Gmail help page stated that “Gmail may hide sender IP address information from outgoing mail headers in some circumstances.” It is true that when you send an email from gmail.com at your web browser, the sender IP address is not included in the headers but when you use Gmail’s SMTP to send out emails from an email client software, then it embeds the sender’s IP in headers.
I recently needed to use a SMTP that does not include the sender IP address and after looking around, I found 7 companies that offers secure anonymous email service. Prices below are taken from a 1 year subscription package that allows SMTP usage.
- 4SecureMail $39.99 (United States)
- Neomailbox $49.95 (Switzerland)
- Hushmail $49.98 (United Kingdom)
- CounterMail $59 (Sweden)
- Mutemail $69.95 (Bahamas)
- Privacy OffShore $93 (Holland, Hong Kong, Czech Republic, Malaysia)
- AnonymousSpeech $106 (Servers constantly moving in different countries and are always outside the US and UK)
I’ve used Mutemail many years ago and never had problems with it. I wanted to sign up again but for some reason their payment processor WorldPay kept on declining my credit card. So I ended up with Hushmail. I think it is a good deal because it’s one of the cheapest and it comes with a 10GB storage space and 20MB attachment limit.
Well the reason I needed a SMTP server that does not reveal the sender IP address is because I wanted to hide the server’s real IP address to prevent DDoS attacks. The current IP address mapped to raymond.cc is only a proxy and not the real IP. Problem is the forum was using an internal PHP mail() function to send out emails which leaks out the server’s real IP address in headers. Now that I’ve configured the forum to use Hushmail SMTP, the emails that are sent by the forum no longer shows the server’s real IP address.