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PEC: what it is and how it works

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PEC: what it is and how it works: You need to send a communication that has legal validity and, in this regard, you have heard about the possibility of succeeding through it PEC, a certified e-mail system having the same value as a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt; however, you still don’t have a clear idea about it. Is this the case? Then don’t worry, I’m here to help you.

In the next chapters of this tutorial, in fact, I will talk to you in detail about everything you need to know about certified e-mail, as I will answer all the most frequently asked questions relating to PECexplaining to you what it is and how it works. I assure you that everything is much simpler than you imagine.

Having said that, if the topic of your interest, I invite you to sit down comfortably and take just a few minutes of free time, so that you can read with the utmost attention all the information and explanations that I am about to give you. At this point, I would say that we can start: I wish you a good read!

What is the PEC for and for whom it is mandatory

The first thing you need to know about the PEC is that it is the acronym used to name the Certified mailthat is an e-mail service that differs from the traditional one, such as Gmail or Outlook, for its legal value.

In this regard, in fact, you must know that the emails sent via PEC to another certified e-mail address have the same legal validity as one registered mail with return receipt. Therefore, the PEC proves to be a particularly useful tool for sending official communications.

Despite its undoubted usefulness, owning one PEC is not mandatory for everyone. At the present time, in fact, only businesses, professionals enrolled in an association or board, individual firms and public administrations are required to have a certified e-mail address.

Private citizens, on the other hand, do not necessarily have to own one, even if, as mentioned, the use of this tool for sending certified emails is certainly useful for streamlining and simplifying the bureaucracy linked to the need to physically go to the post office to send a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt.

How the PEC works

Use PC for institutional email

Speaking, instead, of the practical functioning of the PECfirst of all it must be said that, contrary to popular beliefs, the functioning of certified e-mail is similar to that of any other mail service.

In fact, to use the PEC, no special software is required And it is not even necessary to use special hardware devices, such as USB sticks or smart cards. Most certified e-mail providers, in fact, allow access to the PEC through a special Webmail service, so that emails can be sent and / or received directly from the browser.

Alternatively, to use the PEC you can configure your certified mail address in a email client for PC, smartphone or tablet, such as Outlook, Thunderbird or Apple Mail, using the protocol IMAP (or the POP one).

Or again, in case it is necessary to send a PEC from smartphone or Tabletit is most of the time possible to do this also with official applications of PEC providers available for both Android that for iOS / iPadOS.

The “magic” that underlies the PEC takes place all “behind the scenes” without the user having to do anything. To explain it very briefly, when a certified mail message is sent by a sender, this is verified by the PEC provider used by the latter, validated and then sent to the recipient’s PEC provider, which performs a further verification and, finally , if everything is in order, deliver the message. Everything is notified to the sender by means of emails that certify the sending and, therefore, the receipt by the recipient of each message sent.

How to use the PEC

Send email

There PEC it is also easy to use on a practical level, since its operation is not particularly different from that of a traditional email service.

To use the PEC, just connect to the appropriate one websitestart a email client or theofficial app for mobile devices (when available). Then, like to send a traditional email, you have to press the button that is used to send a new messagein order to fill in the text fields relating to recipient (TO), object And text of the message. Once this is done, to send the email, just click on submit button.

As already said what differentiates the PEC from a traditional email service is its system receiving and sending certified emails. After sending an email to a PEC address, in fact, you will automatically receive two notifications: the first, called notification of acceptance, certifies that the email has been sent to the recipient; the second notification, on the other hand, is called delivery notificationcertify that the email has been delivered to the recipient.

How to get a free certified e-mail


One of the most frequent doubts relating to PEC is what concerns the possibility of obtaining one for free. In this regard, you must know that this is not really possible as, to date, there is no possibility of obtaining one PEC free of charge in an unlimited way.

In the past, the service was available Certified Mail @ of the Public Administration which allowed to obtain a PEC address free of charge, in order to send certified emails only to PA entities.

This offer, however, is no longer available since 2014 and, therefore, the only possibilities to obtain a PEC address for free are those made available by some providers, which offer free trial periods And temporally limited of its services.

An example is that represented by PEC of Legalmail which allows you to activate a mailbox for free for 6 months PEC from 8 GB of space with security and backup archives, SMS notifications, also offering the possibility of using the service from smartphones and tablets, through the appropriate application for Android or iOS / iPadOS.

Apart from some exceptions like the one just described, however, most providers PEC does not offer a free trial period. In order to have a PEC it is generally necessary to sign a monthly or annual subscription, although the costs are still contained: it starts from about 5/10 euros per year. You will find more information on this in the next chapter.

How to buy a certified e-mail

PEC mail

Since, as mentioned, to get a PEC it is necessary to subscribe, let’s see together some of the main certified e-mail offers made available by the most famous providers.

  • Italian post: the PEC of the Italian Post Office designed for individuals costs € 5.50 per year + VAT and is designed for those who use it occasionally, since it provides a storage space of only 100 MB with a maximum number of 200 daily referrals. For business users, however, it is possible to obtain 1 GB PEC mailboxes, but the maximum number of emails sent per day remains unchanged.
  • Aruba: the well-known hosting company provides a PEC account with 1 GB of space at the minimum price of 5 € + VAT / year. For more storage space, prices go up to € 25 + VAT / year (2GB) and € 40 + VAT / year (8GB).
  • Legailmail: Another offer to consider is that of Legailmail, as it offers three floors PEC for mailboxes of 5 GB (€ 25 + VAT / year), 8 GB (€ 39 + VAT / year) and 15 GB (€ 75 + VAT / year). The 8GB plan, called Silver it can be activated free of charge for six months.
  • Free: offers include the plan Family PEC 1GB of space at a cost of € 14.99 e PEC Unlimited with unlimited space at a cost of € 30 + VAT / year.

For more information on PEC offersI suggest you read my in-depth guide dedicated to the topic.