How to send a certified e-mail: Are you about to open a certified e-mail box (PEC) but, before proceeding, would you like some more information on how this kind of service works? Would you like to know exactly the costs and tools necessary to send an email via PEC? No problem, you’ve come to the right place at the right time! With today’s guide, in fact, we will discover together how certified e-mail works, what are the tools necessary to use it and what costs must be incurred to keep it active (by analyzing some of the most interesting offers of the moment).
I anticipate immediately that, alas, there are no services to have the PEC in sending / receiving at no cost: there is only some service available as a free trial for a few months or with only free reception, the rest is paid. In any case, this should not scare you: the prices of personal PEC mailboxes start at less than 10 euros per year and include all the functions that are generally needed in the exchange of messages between individuals, companies or even between individuals and public bodies. Administration. It goes without saying that if you need a lot of space for storing messages or extra functions such as the use of a custom domain, the prices go up, but even in those cases they never reach disproportionate figures.
That said, let’s not get too lost in preambles and let’s see immediately how to send a PEC using some of the best services currently available on the market. I assure you that regardless of the type of computer or smartphone you use, and regardless of your needs in terms of online communication, you will find something that suits you. Enjoy your reading and have fun!
What is the PEC and how it works
Before getting to the heart of this tutorial and discovering how to send an email with the certified e-mail, let’s try to better understand what certified e-mail is and how it works “behind the scenes”.
As you may already know, the PEC is a type of email that guarantees the identity of the sender and recipient and gives a legal value to the messages that are sent; a legal value equal to that of registered mail with return receipt. Many confuse it with a digital signature , but in reality there is no direct link between the two services.
To simplify the matter as much as possible, we can say that the PEC gives legal value to individual messages that are sent via email, while the digital signature serves to guarantee the authenticity of individual electronic documents (for example, a Word file or a PDF) assigning them a legal value equal to those of paper documents on which a handwritten signature is affixed. To find out more, you can read my tutorial on how to get digital signature.
But how does certified e-mail work “behind the scenes”? Technicalities aside, we can say that communications between two certified e-mail boxes work as follows: 1) the sender sends his message 2) the manager (i.e. the company that manages the PEC service) verifies that the message is compliant with all relevant standards and sends it to the recipient manager 3) the recipient manager also checks the compliance of the message with all the PEC standards 4)the recipient’s manager delivers the message or discards it. The sender becomes aware of the outcome of the operation through notification emails that arrive and notify him of the acceptance and delivery of the message (or the non-acceptance / delivery of the message).
Net of what has just been said, it should be emphasized that some certified mailboxes also allow you to receive messages from non-certified mailboxes (therefore normal Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo !, Libero mailboxes and so on). Another important thing to underline is that, while there is no obligation for private citizens to communicate via PEC, companies, including sole proprietorships, are obliged to have a certified mailing address and to enter it in the Business Register ( more info here ).
Tools necessary for the use of the certified e-mail
Now you know, at least briefly, how certified e-mail works. But what tools do you need to use for everything to work properly? Put simply, what is required to follow the procedure for how to send a certified e -mail ? The answer is almost none.
In the sense that, unlike what happens with the digital signature, to verify your identity you don’t need to buy USB sticks or smart cards : everything happens at the server level as I explained to you in the previous chapter of this tutorial.
On the software side, however, it is possible to use a common e-mail client (eg Outlook, Thunderbird or Apple Mail) both on a computer and on a smartphone and tablet: just find the IMAP / POP3 parameters on the website of the PEC manager and use them to configure the software. Alternatively, many PEC providers allow access to mailboxes via Web Mail (therefore directly via browser) or via special apps for portable devices.
How to open a certified email account
Another topic that scares many users is that relating to the procedure necessary to open a PEC mailbox : many imagine it to be long and cumbersome, in reality it is not at all like that!
To open a certified e-mail account, all you have to do is connect to the website of a manager (shortly I will list some of the most important with the related offers for the PEC), choose the offer you prefer the most and fill in the form that is proposed to you with all your personal data.
Then you must proceed with the payment of the first year of subscription by providing a valid payment method between your credit card and PayPal (the services that offer free trials ask you to provide a valid payment method but will only be charged at the end of the proof) and you must send to the manager all the documentation necessary to activate the certified mailbox (in most cases it is a couple of forms to be signed and a copy of a valid identity document). Sending can be done via the web panel, via email or fax.
From the moment of receipt of the documentation, the manager should only take a few hours to activate the PEC box . At the expiration of each year of subscription, automatic renewal may be active (depending on the provider chosen and the settings chosen for your account). In any case, if you do not activate the automatic renewal, you will receive emails that will remind you when to renew the PEC account so as not to make it expire and lose access to it.
How to send an email via certified e-mail
Once you have opened your certified mailbox , you can access it and send messages via PEC using all the methods provided by the manager you contacted.
The classic access mode (available for all PEC mailboxes) is the one that involves the use of classic e-mail programs (for example, Outlook , Thunderbird , Apple Mail and so on) by configuring the IMAP or POP3 protocols . Personally, I do not recommend using the POP3 protocol, as it does not allow you to synchronize emails on multiple devices.
It is therefore necessary to configure the IMAP (or POP3) parameters in the e-mail client you have chosen. Doing this is extremely simple and I have explained everything you need to know in my guide on how to activate the IMAP protocol, in which I went into detail about all the possibilities offered by the market.
However, the use of e-mail programs has long since been put aside in favor of faster solutions. I am clearly referring to the Web Mail services , now made available by almost all providers. The latter work in a very simple way: you connect to a Web page , log in with your credentials and manage all your mail directly from the browser (without downloading anything to your PC).
I’ll give you a concrete example, so that there are not many doubts: I am going to explain the procedure for how to send a PEC with Aruba (one of the main providers that provides this service, as we will see later). Well, in this case just connect to the official Aruba website , enter the name of the PEC box and the password and press the SIGN IN button (alternatively you can log in with a digital signature kit). You can find more details in my tutorial on how to enter Aruba’s PEC.
At this point, you will be greeted by the certified mail management screen (among other things, if it is the first time you log in you will be greeted by a convenient tutorial that will explain how to best use the service). I’ll make it short: just press the WRITE button , located at the top left, to bring up the classic screen in which to enter the message at the bottom right .
Here you will find yourself at home, if you have already sent common e-mails in the past: section A must be filled in with the recipient’s PEC , that Subject is linked to the title of the e-mail and the space below relates to the message itself (me I recommend, the PEC has legal value, so always maintain a certain professionalism). In any case, under the message area there are all the classic buttons that allow you to format the text , as well as the Attach button to possibly include a file, the Sign button to proceed in this way if necessary and the SEND button to actually send the email.
If you are wondering how to send a PEC to multiple recipients , you need to know that just press the Cc option and add the other PECs here , so as to send the message to more people. Another question you may be wondering about is how to send a PEC with heavy attachments . In this case, you need to know that there are limitations . To be clear, the Aruba guidelines refer to the fact that the size limit of a message, including attachments, is 100MB . Furthermore, if the message is addressed to several recipients , the size is overall and therefore mustdivide the maximum . Essentially, therefore, the maximum that can be reached with 2 recipients is 50MB .
The Other options button allows you to select, for example, if the message is confidential or if there is a high priority . In any case, after sending (the procedure may take some time), if everything went as expected, you will receive in the order a confirmation of acceptance of the PEC and a receipt of delivery . Congratulations, you have sent your first PEC: as you can see, it is not that complex. For more information, you can refer to my specific tutorial on how to send a PEC with Aruba.
Among other things, in many cases it is also possible to resort to the official apps of some PEC services (for example, that of Aruba ) or to third-party email clients , also using the IMAP or POP3 protocols in this case . In this regard, you may be interested in consulting my guides on how to use the Aruba PEC Mobile app, how to send a PEC with Gmail and how to send a PEC without having it (in which I explained what can be done in those cases in which the user would need a PEC maybe only for a single question, since some people have doubts, for example, about how to send a PEC from the tobacconist , wondering if this is actually possible).
For the rest, I would like to make a small clarification regarding the recipient’s PEC (to be inserted in the field I mentioned above). In fact, some of your doubts could be related, for example, to how to send a PEC to the Revenue Agency , how to send a PEC to INPS , how to send a PEC to TIM or how to send a PEC to Poste Italiane , just to mention some of the organizations and companies that usually make use of this system.
Well, in this case I can only send you to take a look at the official websites of these realities, where all the relevant information will most likely be present (for example, you might be interested in consulting this page for the Revenue Agency and this page for INPS ). Furthermore, you may be interested in consulting my tutorial on how to find a PEC, in order to learn more about the methods used to find this type of address , even for professionals . For the rest, if you are looking for this address for a complaint , you may want to refer, for example, to my guides on how to make a complaint to TIM or to theofficial guidelines of Poste Italiane .
Note: if you choose to use your PEC mailbox in the email client you usually use to manage your email, when sending an email you will need to make sure you select your certified email address from the list of addresses to use for sending. (the From: field found in the compose new messages window).
Best offers for PEC
Now that you are aware of everything concerning the sending of the PEC , I would like to carry out a brief analysis of the services offered by the market, so as to offer you an overview of which are the main providers that offer this type of service (in case you has not yet made a choice). Obviously I have no interest in directing you to one or the other provider: simply my intent is to simplify your life and direct you to those who are usually considered the most important players in the sector (then you will have to choose in according to your specific needs, so I also advise you to delve into the various services on your own). Below you can find all the details of the case.
Aruba is a company that offers hosting, PEC and SPID solutions at very affordable prices. Its main offerings for certified mail are as follows.
- PEC Standard : offers a 1GB PEC mailbox also accessible from the Web and smartphone app for 5 euros + VAT per year. From the second year it costs 7.90 euros + VAT.
- PEC Pro : for 25 euros + VAT per year it offers a 2GB mailbox plus 3GB of archive, SMS notifications, access via Web and smartphone app.
- PEC Premium : for 40 euros + VAT per year it offers a 2GB PEC mailbox (8GB of archive) accessible from the Web and smartphone app. There are SMS notifications.
For more details, you may want to take a look at my guide on how to activate the Aruba PEC.
Poste Italiane / Postecert
Poste Italiane offers very economical solutions for certified mail under the Postecert brand . Here are his most interesting proposals for consumer and business users.
- Basic PEC Private individuals : for 5.50 euros + VAT per year offers a 100MB PEC mailbox with 200 mailings per day (for 1 euro + VAT per year it is also possible to have 100MB of extra space).
- PEC Base Business : business solution on an annual, two-year or three-year basis that includes a space of 2GB. It can be used via Web Mail, mobile app or client. Generally the cost is € 5.50 + VAT per year, but in some cases it is in promotion for the first year at € 3.85 + VAT.
You can find Postecert’s IMAP and POP3 parameters on this web page . For access via the Web , however, it is possible to use this other page . For more information, you may be interested in referring to my guide on how to create a PEC email, in which I have considered services such as those of Poste Italiane and others that I will discuss later in the guide.
LegalMail is a manager that is aimed mainly at professionals. It doesn’t offer particularly cheap plans, but it allows you to try the services for free for 6 months . Her most interesting offers are listed below.
- PEC Bronze : includes a 5GB PEC account with 2GB of Inbox space and 3GB of security archive, web access, smartphone app and SMS notifications. It costs 25 euros + VAT per year.
- PEC Silver : for 39 euros + VAT per year (after 6 months of free trial) it offers an 8GB PEC mailbox with 2GB of Inbox space and 6GB of security archive, notifications via SMS, access via Web and smartphone app.
- PEC Gold : for 75 euros + VAT per year (sometimes it is on offer at 37.50 euros for the first year), it offers a 15GB PEC mailbox with 2GB of Inbox space and 13GB of security archive, SMS notifications and web and app access.
Register.it is another company that offers PEC solutions on a free trial for 6 months (in case of non-renewal, there are 9.90 euros as a setup cost). Its offers are aimed at both consumer customers and those with more professional needs: here are the most interesting ones.
- Agile PEC : for 33.90 euros / year + VAT (with 6 months free trial) it offers a 2GB PEC mailbox on a Register.it domain with access from Web and app, notifications via SMS, archive folder, antivirus and antispam.
- PEC Unica : with prices starting from 43 euros / year + VAT, it offers a 3-5 GB PEC mailbox on a personalized domain. For the rest, it offers all the functions of the Agile PEC plan.
KOLST is a lesser known manager than many others, but one that definitely stands out for its competitive prices. Its current offer is composed in this way.
- Smart : offers a 1GB PEC mailbox for 5 euros + VAT per year (first year). It includes antivirus, antispam and web access.
- Domain5 : for 10 euros + VAT per year (first year) it offers all the benefits of the Smart plan plus 5GB of storage space and a custom domain.
- Domain10 : for 30 euros + VAT per year, it offers a 10GB mailbox with a personalized domain and all the advantages of the other two plans.
Here you can find the IMAP and POP parameters of KOLST (by clicking on the item I need to configure the boxes in my program. What are your mail servers for the PEC? ). Here , however, you will find the page to access the Web version of the box.
Libero Mail PEC
Libero Mail PEC è il servizio PEC di Libero. La sua offerta si suddivide in due piani: uno per gli utenti privati e uno per i professionisti.
- PEC Family (riservata ai privati): per 14,99 euro/anno IVA inclusa offre una casella PEC da 1GB.
- Mail PEC (per aziende, liberi professionisti e privati): per 30 euro + IVA all’anno comprende una casella PEC con spazio illimitato.
Virgilio PEC è la PEC di Virgilio, che prevede due piani, ovvero uno riservato ai privati e uno per aziende, liberi professionisti e privati. Di seguito i dettagli.
- Virgilio PEC Personal (privati): da 14,99 euro all’anno IVA inclusa. Offre una PEC con 1GB di spazio.
- Virgilio PEC Infinity (aziende, liberi professionisti e privati): da 30 euro all’anno + IVA. Propone una PEC con spazio illimitato.
SpidMail di Namirial
SpidMail di Namirial è un servizio un po’ atipico rispetto agli altri citati nel corso del tutorial. Infatti, quest’ultimo permette di ottenere una casella PEC gratis per sempre (da 1GB).
Tuttavia, attenzione al fatto che si fa riferimento solamente alla ricezione (cosa che può tornare utile per chi ha semplicemente l’esigenza di ricevere eventuali comunicazioni, quindi si tratta di persone fisiche e soggetti privati). Certo, il servizio include in realtà anche un singolo invio gratuito (e altri 2 invii gratuiti per chi accede tramite SPID Namirial), tuttavia in seguito bisognerà pagare per inviare PEC. Il prezzo di partenza è di 0,60 euro + IVA per singolo invio. In ogni caso, è richiesto lo SPID per attivare questa soluzione.
Per il resto, si possono comprare pacchetti da 5 invii (7,99 euro + IVA), 10 invii (11,99 euro + IVA), 20 invii (19,99 euro + IVA) e 50 invii (29,99 euro + IVA). Insomma, si tratta di un servizio pensato per i comuni cittadini che inviano poche PEC. Qui puoi trovare i parametri IMAP di SpidMail di Namirial, mentre qui puoi accedere alle versione Web di SPIDMail.
If you want to learn more about the other possibilities, you can refer to my guide on how to get a free PEC. Perfect, now you are aware of the main proposals on the market. For further information and further offers , you can take a look at the website of the Agency for Digital Italy , where all the providers that offer the certified mail service are listed. Also, you may want to refer to my specific tutorial on the best certified email services.