ProtonMail Review

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Start at $5/month

Type of Pricing Plan

Monthly , Free

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Under the leadership of ProtonMail’s founder Dr. Andy Yen, a brilliant team of developers, scientists, and engineers fights to build a safe internet space where privacy is a priority. As leaders in the secure email service industry, they are always one step ahead of both rivals and modern-day communication threats. If you want to learn more, our in-depth ProtonMail review covers the product’s strengths and weaknesses, notable features, pricing, and how it compares to the competition.

Key Features
Free plan available
End-to-end encryption
API that can easily be accessed by Java programs
2-factor authentication available from the settings menu
Email expiration option
Zero access to email storage
Address verification
Integration with ProtonVPN
  • Free version and affordable plans
  • Multi-user plans
  • All servers are located in Switzerland
  • Open-source
  • Supports PGP encryption
  • Limited support for free users
  • Subject lines are not encrypted
  • Limited search and organization features

Easy-to-Use Software Solution for Beginners and Experts Alike

Let’s start with the most important question — is ProtonMail easy to use? We are sure that you already guessed the answer. Yes, this is one of the most straightforward secure email platforms currently available. Many Proton Mail reviews will confirm this with scores as high as 95% for ease of use – which is a lot better than some of its alternatives. Opening an account is simple, and the navigation is self-explanatory. Even if you’ve never used another webmail service, you will quickly grasp the basics.

That said, you might need some tutorials for using the more advanced features, but since ProtonMail offers a vast knowledge base and has an official ProtonMail subreddit, chances are you’ll find everything you need there.

Sending messages should always be seamless, regardless of whether the recipients are using the same email software. Proton Mail reviews suggest that while the vendor uses end-to-end encryption (also known as zero-knowledge encryption) for all its email communication, sending messages to non-ProtonMail users is not a problem. A custom password and expiration date enable the recipient to decrypt the message without needing to open a ProtonMail account.

Lastly, the company also offers a ProtonMail app for both mobile and desktop use. The mobile app is available on Android and iOS and has a rating on 4.2+ on both platforms. It seems that it’s favored among Android users who claim that the ProtonMail mobile app is one of the best secure email apps they have ever used. The ProtonMail desktop app meanwhile comes in the form of a Bridge and is available for all major platforms — Windows, macOS, and GNU/Linux. It’s rare to see an app for Linux in this industry, so by having it, ProtonMail is one step ahead of some of its top competitors.


ProtonMail Pricing and Features: Affordable Secure Email Service With Built-In End-To-End Encryption

ProtonMail offers a functional free version. Despite its many limitations, such as one user per account, 500MB storage, one address per account, 150 messages per day, three available folders/labels, and limited support, it can be more than enough for personal use or for startups and small businesses that are cost-conscious or are working with minimal budgets.

You can also start with the free version before deciding whether the software will suit you or not. In case you want to see a bit more of it, you can easily upgrade to the Plus plan – the first paid tier of ProtonMail.

The Plus plan is priced at $5 per month ($48 per year). The research for our ProtonMail Plus review suggests that this plan is best for small to midsize businesses. It still allows only one user per account, but it comes with 5 GB storage, five addresses, 1,000 messages per day, 200 folders/labels, and normal support. It also unlocks other neat features such as one custom domain, email filters, and autoresponder.

The next tier is the Professional plan which allows up to 5,000 users. It is priced at $8/user/month ($75/user/month) and comes with many perks. It unlocks 5GB storage per user, five addresses per user, an unlimited number of messages per day and folders/labels, as well as access to priority support. It ups the previous plan with one more custom domain, catch-all email, and multi-user support. Many ProtonMail user reviews indicate that this is the vendor’s most popular plan, offering good value for money.

Priced at $30 per month ($288 per year), the Visionary plan allows up to six users, with 20GB storage, 50 addresses, an unlimited number of messages per day and folders/labels, as well as priority support. It also includes everything from the previous plans, and adds eight more custom domains (making it a total of ten) and the ProtonVPN at no additional cost.

You can boost either of these plans with extra storage ($1/month or $9/year per GB), domains ($2/month or $18/year per domain), or addresses ($1/month or $9/year per five addresses).

If you are using Free, Plus, or Professional and want to add the ProtonVPN, you will have to pay extra for it. There are several plans available for the VPN as well – Free, Basic, Plus, and Visionary.

The free version is for one device, includes only three countries, and has a medium speed. We decided to test the free version and compare it with other free VPNs out there for our ProtonMail VPN review. We must admit that it performs as good as some of the biggest names out there, such as NordVPN, one of the most popular VPN providers at the moment.

The Basic plan is priced at $4 per month, but you can save $12 for a one-year plan (charging a total of $48 yearly). The Basic plan allows up to two devices, includes all countries, and has the highest speed and P2P.

The most popular ProtonVPN plan is the Plus plan priced at $8 per month. You can save up $24 on the yearly plan, priced at $96. There are many more features available with this plan – it allows up to five devices, includes all countries, has the highest speed, P2P, plus servers, secure core, Tor servers, and secure streaming.

The last tier for ProtonMail VPN is the Visionary plan. Priced at $24 per month, it includes all features of the previous two plans with ProtonMail Visionary included. You can save $72, with the yearly ProtonMail cost for this service coming in at $288. Compared to the price of many ProtonMail alternatives, this is one of the cheapest plans available for a bundle of secure email service and a VPN.

During the research for our ProtonMail review, we found out that the vendor separately offers ProtonMail for Business, available via the Professional plan, which adds extra administrative functionality, including resetting user passwords, priority support, unlimited messages, and catch-all email. It costs $6.25/month with an annual subscription, or $8 if you opt for monthly payments.


ProtonMail Security: Advanced Protection Under Swiss Jurisdiction

Is ProtonMail safe? Yes. At the moment, it is one of the safest secure email platforms available. All servers are located in Switzerland, so all your data is protected by the Swiss Federal Data Protection Act (DPA) and the Swiss Federal Data Protection Ordinance (DPO). Both offer more robust privacy protection than the US. Since they do not fall under US or EU jurisdiction, only a court order from the Cantonal Court of Geneva or the Swiss Federal Supreme Court can influence releasing limited user information.

ProtonMail has some outstanding security features. Our ProtonMail security review explores them in-depth, including investigating how the vendor competes against some of the biggest names in the secure email industry.


Two-Factor Authentication

ProtonMail offers two-factor authentication, which eliminates the risk of anyone guessing your password. This means that you will have to verify every login—even if the password is correct—with the help of Google Authenticator or another authentication software. Since you will be notified every time your password is entered, you will know instantly if an unauthorized person is trying to access your account and will be able to intervene straight away.


End-to-End Encryption

All messages on the ProtonMail servers boast end-to-end encryption. This means that not even ProtonMail can read your messages. The only way to access your data is through an encryption key that is known only to you. End-to-end encryption is one of the safest ways to communicate via email. Since not all ProtonMail alternatives offer it, the software is easily one of the safest choices for your business communication. This is one of the most popular features mentioned in almost all ProtonMail customer reviews. With data encrypted at all steps, there is almost no risk of message interception.

Keep in mind that there is one negative side of using end-to-end encryption. If you lose your key, you will also lose access to all your data. ProtonMail can’t recover your data for the same reason they are unable to hand your data over to third parties – they do not have the key.


Open-Source Cryptography

Another feature that makes ProtonMail stand apart is that it uses open-source cryptography. This means that all of their cryptographic libraries are open, so the encryption algorithms they use do not have clandestinely built-in back doors. Many reviews of ProtonMail include testing results from security experts all around the world that confirm the software is using the highest levels of protection.


Hardware Level Security

If you prefer to keep all your data on a physical server, then ProtonMail may be the best choice for you. Most of its alternatives are using the cloud to back up your data, while ProtonMail has invested heavily in owning and controlling their server hardware at multiple locations in Switzerland. For example, their primary data center is located under 1,000 meters of granite rock. According to their employees, not even a nuclear attack can penetrate their heavily guarded bunker.


No Tracking Information

Many secure email services are known to save tracking information, such as the IP addresses used to log into accounts, but not ProtonMail. On the contrary, ProtonMail doesn’t record any metadata. This is one of the reasons why there are so many positive ProtonMail email reviews. To further protect your privacy, they don’t ask for personally identifiable information to create an account. Since they also can’t access your encrypted emails, they can’t send you targeted advertisements.


SSL Secured Connections

All messages sent from your computer to ProtonMail’s servers are encrypted, but they also use SSL Secured Connections to add another security layer. This particular move ensures that the web page your browser loads is not tampered with by a third party. If you are security-conscious, you will be pleased to know that ProtonMail’s SSL certificate authority is QuoVadis Trustlink Schweiz AG, a leading Swiss SSL certificate issuer. By using Swiss certificate authority, they are making sure that their SSL infrastructure is not under the control of US or EU government agencies.


ProtonMail Support: Limited Customer Service for Free Users

One of the weaknesses of ProtonMail is its limited support for free users. According to many users, it takes almost an eternity to get an answer from their email support team if you are using the free version. Compared to some of its biggest competitors, the ProtonMail customer service is severely lacking. If you are a free user, the ProtonMail knowledge base or the official ProtonMail subreddit would be your best bet. Our ProtonMail review suggests that you are likely to find the solution on your own before you receive an answer from the team.

That said, if you are a Plus user, you will have standard access to support resources, meaning that your emails will be ahead of those using the free version. And if you are a Professional or Visionary user, you will have priority support, including a ProtonMail phone number. Keep in mind that the phone support team is working during Swiss business hours. 


Final Verdict

Our comprehensive ProtonMail review shows that the platform has more strengths than weaknesses. It offers a functional free version and affordable feature-rich paid plans. It’s one of the most secure email services in the world, courtesy of the end-to-end ProtonMail encryption. No software is perfect, however, and the same goes for ProtonMail — support is nigh impossible to reach for free users, the solution lacks organizational features, and email subject lines remain unencrypted. If you’re willing to look past these drawbacks, ProtonMail can be a great addition to your business.