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How to create certified mail

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How to create certified mail: The PEC (acronym for certified e-mail) is a service that gives e-mails the same legal value as a registered letter with return receipt. It can be used by private citizens, professionals, companies and public administration bodies. It has been available for several years but its diffusion in our country – although it has now become mandatory for companies – has not reached the levels envisaged by the initial estimates.

In fact, there are still many people who do not know how certified mail works or how to request a PEC mailbox. Are you among them too? So why not try to clear your doubts on the subject by reading my guide on how to create certified mail?

Come on, give me five minutes of your free time and I promise you that I will explain everything you need to know about PEC in the simplest and clearest way possible. I will let you find out which are the main certified mail services available in our country, I will explain how they work and we will see together how to use them to open a PEC mailbox. Rest assured, I assure you that it is a much faster and cheaper procedure than what is said around!

Let’s start with some technical data. In spite of what one might believe, to use certified mail there is no need for special software or hardware devices (keys, cards or whatever) to be inserted into the computer. On the user side, everything works like a traditional email service: you can access your emails from the browserusing the Web panel offered by most PEC services, or by a traditional mail client (eg Outlook, Thunderbird or Apple Mail) using the IMAP and POP3 protocols.

The real difference compared to standard email services, such as Gmail, or Virgilio Mail, lies in what happens in the remote servers that manage the mail: messages that are sent via PEC are taken over by the sender’s manager and subjected to a process that verifies compliance with service standards. They are then delivered to the recipient’s manager, re-checked and delivered to the end user.

All this takes place within a few seconds and notified to users, who receive messages from acceptance occurred by the server e successful delivery to the recipient of their emails, in order to be sure that communications have been successful.

And now let’s move on to the procedure for create certified mail. To open your PEC account you must subscribe to a subscription service (with annual payment) by choosing from the many offers available on the market.

Prices vary from 5 to over 70 euros per yeardepending on the space offered by the manager for archiving messages and the presence or absence of additional services, such as SMS notifications, access from mobile devices through dedicated apps and the security archive for mail.

Unfortunately there are no services to get the PEC for free. The only one that was available in Italy, Posta Certificat @, which allowed communication only with Public Administration entities, was closed at the end of 2014.

To open your certified mailbox, therefore, you must connect to the website of the manager (i.e. the company you have chosen to subscribe to your subscription) and fill in the registration form for the PEC service. Then you must download the documentation necessary to activate the mailbox and send it, by fax or via the Internet, together with a copy of a valid identity document, following the instructions that are provided to you.

Within a few minutes you will be able to access your PEC account from your browser, e-mail client or smartphone / tablet and you will be able to start communicating with other users (including companies, public administration bodies, etc.).

In conclusion, here is a quick overview of all the main offers for the PEC currently available on the Italian market. I’m sure you will also find someone who is right for you!

  • Aruba has three plans for certified mail: PEC Standard which at a cost of 5 euros + VAT per year offers a 1GB mailbox; PEC Pro which for 25 euros + VAT per year offers a 2GB mailbox with 3GB of archive complete with service for notifications via SMS and PEC Premium which for 40 euros + VAT per year offers a 2GB mailbox, 8GB of archive and SMS notifications.
  • PosteCert of Poste Italiane proposes a plan for private users and two for business users. The basic plan for private users for 5.50 euros + VAT per year it includes a 100MB mailbox with a maximum number of 200 items per day; that base for Business users includes 5 1GB mailboxes and 200 mailings per day, while the Advanced PEC for business users it also offers the possibility to take advantage of the substitutive Conservation of notices and receipts of the PEC.
  • LiberoPEC is Libero’s certified mail service. It offers a PEC account with unlimited space at a cost of 25 euros + VAT per year.
  • LegalMail its prices are on average higher than the competition, as its solutions are mainly intended for an audience of professionals and all provide advanced functions (there are no super-basic plans like those of Aruba and PosteCert). The cheapest offer is the one called PEC Bronze which costs 25 euros + VAT per year and offers a 5GB PEC mailbox complete with security archive, mobile access and SMS notifications; there is a step up PEC Silver which costs 39 euros + VAT per year (after an initial 6-month free trial) and includes an 8GB mailbox with mobile access, security archive and SMS notifications. Finally there is the plan PEC Gold which for 75 euros + VAT per year offers a 15GB mailbox complete with SMS notifications, mobile access and security archive.

Aruba, PosteCert and LegalMail offer users of the Posta Certificat @ service (the free PEC closed in 2014) the opportunity to open a new certified mailbox and use it for free for 1 year. The promotion expires on 18th September 2015. More info here.