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Paubox vs Virtru: HIPAA compliant email software review

Paubox vs Virtru: HIPAA compliant email software review

When choosing the right HIPAA compliant email software, you'll want to work with a reputable, reliable company that uses seamless encryption. 

With many options, picking the right software can be overwhelming. There's a lot at stake - from preventing costly legal fines to protecting patient data.

That's why we're breaking down the benefits and drawbacks of using Paubox or Virtru for HIPAA email security.

Table of contents:


Overview: Paubox & Virtru

Paubox and Virtru both provide security features to help ensure safe communications between patients and their providers. 

Paubox, founded in 2015 and based in San Francisco, provides exceptional email protection and compliance. While utilized in additional industries, such as education, Paubox prioritizes HIPAA compliance for healthcare organizations of all sizes and is ranked #1 Easiest To Use in HIPAA Compliant Messaging software on G2. 

Virtru, founded in 2011 and based in Washington, DC, says they provide "military-grade" security. They work in a variety of industries, including aerospace, education, finance, healthcare, and technology. Within each sector, they work hard to meet specific regulations, such as FERPA, HIPAA, GDPR, etc.

Email security

Virtru and Paubox offer encrypted email services designed to make communication secure but work slightly differently. 



The product

Paubox's flagship product, Paubox Email Suite, is easily integrated with Google Workspace, Microsoft, and Salesforce CRM. Users can keep their current email address. Once Paubox is set up, every email is automatically encrypted by default, minimizing human error. The Paubox Email Suite also comes with free HIPAA compliant online forms, which allow companies to collect patient information, signatures, and receive files. Users can also add inbound email protection and filters to prevent spam, ransomware, phishing, and name-spoofing attacks. 


The recipient experience

Unlike Virtru, Paubox allows users to automatically open emails without additional software or authentication requirements. Recipients simply open the email and read it right there in the inbox. A subtle footer at the bottom confirms that the email is encrypted. Any attachments are also automatically encrypted. 



The product

Virtru offers several different packages depending on the business needs. Some packages offer advanced file-sharing options and integration into applications, like Salesforce. Every package option includes email encryption.

Their website explains that Virtru can be integrated into Google Workspace and Microsoft Outlook. Because Virtru can be incorporated into existing email platforms, users do not need to change their email addresses. Keys used to access data are hosted on Virtru's platform but held separately from the data for ultimate protection. 


The recipient experience

Recipients have two options to open a Virtru-encrypted email. Users can either install the Virtru plugin, add-in, or app. This method allows users to automatically open and decrypt emails. Many recipients may not have this option and will have to open the email on Virtru's secure reading system. Virtru outlines this process in detail, which requires users to confirm their email and authenticate their identity on a unique browser. The process could make timely communication difficult and involve additional steps not all recipients may be comfortable or familiar with. 


The winner: Paubox

While both Paubox and Virtru offer secure email encryption options, Paubox is significantly easier for both senders and recipients. 

Ease of use is incredibly important, as patients could miss important details or information if they are unable to open their email. Paubox provides HIPAA compliance, top-notch security, and a seamless process. 


HIPAA compliance

Every healthcare company should prioritize HIPAA compliance when evaluating software that handles protected health information. While HIPAA compliance is a regulatory standard that must be followed to prevent fines and other legal ramifications, it's also necessary for the overall well-being of patients and the success of an organization. 

By meeting the standards for HIPAA compliant email, namely encryption in transit and at rest, healthcare organizations can prevent ransomware attacks, data leaks, and more. These events can be catastrophic, resulting in downed networks and operations, ransoms and other financial implications, and jeopardizing patient health. 

Paubox and Virtru both take care to protect health information, but we believe Paubox takes a slight lead in effectiveness. 



Paubox is unique in that, once set up, all emails are automatically encrypted by default. Because encrypted emails through Paubox are received the same as regular emails, it makes sense to keep every email safe; there are no additional steps to open any email. On top of this, emails can be accessed through other devices, such as tablets and phones, with ease. 

Paubox also specifically prioritizes HIPAA compliance and emerging cybersecurity trends in healthcare. Paubox News stays current on attack strategies, how to prevent them, and new rulings and guidances issued by the Department of Health and Human Services and other government organizations. 



Virtru can be used to meet HIPAA compliance standards in emails. According to their website, senders, like nurses or doctors, will opt into encryption before sending out an email. Senders can also disable forwarding, set email expiration dates, and watermark attachments. 

These additional tools can be helpful but also leave room for error. Many healthcare staff are overwhelmed with the various digital tools they are required to use, each requiring ongoing training. Adding in additional steps they must follow to remain HIPAA compliant could lead to mistakes down the line. 

Despite an understanding of data safety being important, reports show that many employees feel security protocols aren't strictly enforced and that they wouldn't know how to react to a data breach. 


HIPAA compliance winner: Paubox

While additional training can help, Paubox doesn't want to leave any room for chance when it comes to HIPAA compliant email communication.

Read more: HIPAA Compliant Email: The Definitive Guide


Unique features

Within and outside of the email suite, Paubox offers several additional services designed to help healthcare companies with their unique pain points. 



Included in the Paubox Email Suite are the following: 

  • Paubox Marketing allows users to send personalized mass emails. Many email marketing platforms, like Mailchimp, often cannot send private health information through their server. Others allow it but require time-consuming authentication for the recipient. Paubox marketing creates a friction-free, HIPAA compliant process that can assist in marketing efforts or sending practice updates.  
  • Email API can be utilized and provides options for RESTful API and SMTP. Integrating with major code languages, including Javascript and Ruby, is easy. 
  • Paubox Forms allow healthcare companies to collect data and documentation while maintaining HIPAA compliance. 
  • Paubox's Inbound Security includes tools like ExecProtect, which stops display name spoofing emails that impersonate employees or departments from your organization. Their inbound security features include geofencing, ransomware protection, and robust spam filtering.
  • Data loss prevention features like Email Archiving and Email DLP are also included in Paubox Email Suite Premium subscription. 



Virtru offers some unique options that can be beneficial for healthcare organizations, including:

  • Virtru Secure Share allows organizations to securely share encrypted files for collaboration and compliance. It's a cloud-based system that offers adjustable access control and visibility.   
  • Virtru Data Security Platform is a platform that allows healthcare companies to protect all data, no matter where it's held or who it is shared with. The platform provides storage silos and will enable users to revoke or expire shared data. The platform can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. 


Unique features winner: Paubox

Both companies offer services that can help elevate your company's security. Paubox's options are designed to work independently or in tandem to make anything email-related secure and simple. 




Paubox has exceptionally high reviews, earning a 4.9 out of 5 on the most popular software review site, G2. Many customers say Paubox provides unmatched customer support that can aid in set-up and any additional needs. Paubox's US-based support can help clients discover and integrate features and will help you feel confident in every tool. Other reviews highlight how easy Paubox is to set up, its affordability, straightforward interface, and the solution's effectiveness.



Virtru has also received some positive praise from the review site G2. The company has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5. Many say that Virtru feels user-friendly and safe to utilize. On the other hand, some have said that integration can be challenging and that technical issues occasionally arise. While some view the service as user-friendly, others say the opposite, citing that it takes time to utilize. Lastly, some believe the service is too expensive compared to similar products on the market. 


Reviews winner: Paubox

Both companies have great reviews, but users rate Paubox 4.9 out of 5 stars on G2. 




Paubox is well-known for providing affordability without risking security. Paubox can do so by focusing on the features companies actually want and need rather than grouping in additional features that only specific companies use. 

Paubox offers the following plans, all of which are HIPAA compliant: 

  • Standard: starting at $29.00/month, this plan includes 5 users and several additional benefits. Users of this plan can integrate their current mail accounts with Paubox to send messages securely. Users will also be able to send secure calendar invites and forms. Users also have access to on-demand support, analytics, and reports. 
  • Plus: starting at $59.00/month, this plan includes 5 users and all of the benefits in the standard plan plus additional features. These features include inbound email security, like malware, virus, and ransomware protection. 
  • Premium: starting at $69.00/month, this plan includes 5 users, all of the benefits of the Plus plan, and more. Additional features include data loss prevention tools, like email archiving and email data loss prevention. The premium plan also includes voicemail transcription. 

Paubox is an ideal service for companies of all sizes. With glowing reviews, the best features, and the highest level of regulation compliance, Paubox doesn't sacrifice quality for a reasonable price. 



Virtru has always been costly, yet the company has recently raised its prices. Furthermore, we've heard directly from Virtru customers that grandfathered pricing would no longer be honored in the price increases. They have not provided a reason. Nevertheless, they currently offer three plans

  • Starter: at $119.00/month, this plan includes 5 users. Benefits include HIPAA compliance, data loss prevention, encrypted search, and online support. Before the price increase, this plan was $109.00/month.
  • Business: at $219.00/month, this plan also includes 5 users. It includes all benefits from the Starter plan as well as secure share, data intelligence, additional compliance support, customized policy protection for data loss prevention, advanced identity management, and Google Vault. Before the cost increase, this plan was $189.00/month.
  • Enterprise: requires custom pricing and is tailored to your business needs. 

While Virtru offers many powerful solutions in their plans, some potential customers take issue with the high price point. 


Pricing winner: Paubox

Paubox emphasizes that you don't need to break the bank to have high-quality email security. Not only has Paubox never had a breach, but we are also HITRUST CSF Certified, which is considered the gold standard for HIPAA compliance. 


The big picture

Ultimately, both Paubox and Virtru offer secure email options. Paubox takes a slight lead, not just with HIPAA compliance and security but with ease of use for senders and recipients alike. 


Overall winner: Paubox

Paubox encrypts over 100M emails monthly, and with thousands of happy customers, Paubox has some of the best reviews for email compliance. Customers frequently commend Paubox's customer services, reasonable pricing, and, above all, Paubox's focus on security and HIPAA compliance. 

Try Paubox today!

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