Our service was founded in 2017 by @niftylettuce and is trusted and relied upon by thousands.

📖

Our Story

Why did we create this?

No email-forwarding service existed that was free, secure, and open-source – so we built it.

About Forward Email

Table of Contents

Foreword

Forward Email is a free and open-source email forwarding service focused on a user's right to privacy, and was launched in November 2017. It is powered by Node.js and operates using the DNS, HTTPS, and SMTP protocols. The service offers unlimited custom domain names, unlimited email addresses and aliases, unlimited disposable email addresses, spam and phishing protection, and other features. Paid plans are offered for "Enhanced Privacy Protection", whereas the email alias configuration is hidden from the public. It accepts conventional payment methods, donations, and also encourages contributions towards the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and DuckDuckGo.

History

We launched in November 2017 after an initial release by our developer Niftylettuce.

In April 2018 Cloudflare launched their privacy-first consumer DNS service, and we switched from using OpenDNS to Cloudflare for handling DNS lookups.

In October 2018, we allowed users to "Send Mail As" with Gmail, Outlook, Zoho, Apple Mail, and other webmail services.

In May 2019, we released v2.0.0, which was a major rewrite from the initial versions v0.x and v1.x, which focused on performance through the use of Node.js's streams.

In February 2020, we released the Enhanced Privacy Protection plan. This plan allows users to switch off setting public DNS record entries with their email forwarding configuration aliases. Through this plan, a user's email alias information is hidden from being publicly searchable over the Internet. We also released a feature to enable or disable specific aliases while still allowing them to appear as a valid email address and return a successful SMTP status code, but the emails will be immediately discarded (similar to piping output from a process to [/dev/null).

In April 2020, our developer Niftylettuce released its initial alpha version of Spam Scanner "after hitting countless roadblocks with existing spam-detection solutions" and because "none of these solutions (Rspamd and SpamAssassin) honored (our) privacy policy". Spam Scanner is a completely free and open-source anti-spam filtering solution which uses a Naive Bayes spam filtering approach in combination with anti-phishing and IDN homograph attack protection. We also released a feature to allow two-factor authentication (2FA) using a one-time password (OTP) for enhanced account security.

In May 2020, we allowed custom port forwarding as workaround for users to circumvent port blocking by their ISP. We also released our Free Email Forwarding RESTful API, with complete documentation and real-time request and response examples. We also released support for webhooks, due to high demand from users switching to use our service as a Mailgun webhook alternative.

In June 2020, we publicly released our real-time metrics and revenue on our Open Startup page (also available as a link in the footer of our site).

Service

As of May 2020, we operate from 3 server locations across 2 countries. We have future plans to move our servers to a country such as Iceland, which has championed itself as a beacon of net neutrality and online privacy.

Privacy

We have a "zero tolerance policy" privacy policy, which states that we don't store logs nor emails, and we don't track users. Our statement clearly states that we do not collect nor store forwarded emails, metadata, server-side nor client-side logs, IP addresses, or browser information.

Only an email address is required to create and configure the Enhanced Protection Plan, which hides DNS email alias information on the free plan through a managed and hosted service.

User's accounts, domains, and all related information can be permanently deleted at any time by the user.

Special Thanks

Forward Email's source code is primarily developed by Niftylettuce, whom publicly credits immense open-source contributions from the following people: