ProtonMail

ProtonMail is an email platform that just recently added bitcoin support. Find out everything you need to know about ProtonMail today in our review.

What Is ProtonMail?

ProtonMail, found online at ProtonMail.com, is an online email platform that offers secure, privatized email service with end-to-end encryption and other security features.

On August 16, ProtonMail announced that it was adding bitcoin as an officially accepted payment method. Starting from Version 3.11 of ProtonMail (released on August 16), the company allowed users to pay with bitcoin.

Users can now pay for ProtonMail credits with bitcoin. Credits can then be used to pay for ProtonMail upgrades, invoices, or account top-ups.

As a blog post explained, the feature “was long overdue”.

ProtonMail is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and is one of the world’s largest providers of highly-secure email services. Basic plans are available for free, while more advanced plans range from 5 to 8 EUR per month.

How Does ProtonMail Work?

ProtonMail aims to build an internet that protects privacy.

The first step in creating that internet is to create a highly-secure version of email. The platform is being developed by a team of scientists, engineers, and developers “drawn together by a shared vision of protecting civil liberties online.”

ProtonMail is an email platform with end-to-end encryption and state-of-the-art security features. The company wants to build an email platform that respects privacy and is highly-secure against cyberattacks.

The basic idea behind ProtonMail is simple: emails are encrypted throughout the transfer process. Person A wants to send an email to Person B. Person A uses Person B’s public key to encrypt the message. That message can only be decrypted by the corresponding private key.

The email is transferred through the sever. The server never sees the plain text messages. Person B uses the private key to decrypt Person A’s email, then reads the message in plain text.

Thanks to end-to-end encryption, nobody but the intended recipient can read the message.

ProtonMail Features

Some of the core features of ProtonMail include:

End-To-End Encryption:

ProtonMail messages are encrypted at all times. The messages are stored on ProtonMail servers in encrypted format. The messages are also transmitted in encrypted format between the company’s servers and users’ devices. Messages between ProtonMail users, meanwhile, are transmitted in encrypted form within the secure server network. Data is encrypted in all steps, which means the risk of message interception is largely eliminated.

Zero Access To User Data:

Encrypted data is not accessible to ProtonMail. ProtonMail has “zero access architecture” that means your data is encrypted in a way that makes it inaccessible. Data is encrypted on the client side using an encryption key that ProtonMail can never access. They don’t have the technical ability to decrypt your messages, which means your data cannot be handed over to third parties. ProtonMail claims that privacy isn’t just a promise – it’s mathematically insured. Even if you lose access to your data, ProtonMail has no way to recover that data. Make sure you remember your password.

Open Source Cryptography:

ProtonMail uses open source cryptography protocols to minimize the risk of backdoors and other flaws. ProtonMail only uses secure builds of AES and RSA combined with OpenPGP. All cryptographic libraries used by ProtonMail are open source. The software has also been thoroughly vetted by security experts from around the world.

Made In Switzerland:

All user data is protected by the Swiss Federal Data Protection Act (DPA) and the Swiss Federal Data Protection Ordinance (DPO), which offers strong privacy protection for individuals and corporations. ProtonMail is incorporated and based in Switzerland. Furthermore, the ProtonMail data center is located under 1,000 meters of granite rock “in a heavily guarded bunker which can survive a nuclear attack.”

Anonymous:

ProtonMail does not save any tracking information. By default, the company doesn’t even record metadata like the IP addresses used to log into accounts. Obviously, there’s no way for the company to read encrypted emails, and they do not serve targeted advertisements. Registering a ProtonMail account does not require you to input any personally-identifiable information.

Self-Destructing Messages:

With ProtonMail, emails aren’t permanent. Senders can attach an optional expiration time to their emails. That means the email will be automatically deleted after a certain expiration date has passed. This technology works when sending emails both to other ProtonMail users and when sent to non-ProtonMail email addresses.

Works With Other Email Providers:

When you send an encrypted message to a non-ProtonMail user, that person receives a link that loads the encrypted message onto their browser. They can load the message using a passphrase you have shared with them. That means you can send unencrypted messages to Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, and other email platforms.

Easy To Use:

ProtonMail is designed to be easy for anyone to use. There’s nothing to install, no encryption keys to manage, and no tech skills required.

ProtonMail Pricing

Obviously, ProtonMail doesn’t serve up targeted ads or sell your information in other ways – so you need to pay a subscription fee instead (or sign up for a free account). Here’s how pricing breaks down:

Free (1 User, 500MB Storage)

  • 1 address
  • 150 messages per day
  • 3 folders or labels
  • Limited support

Plus (1 User, 5 GB Storage)

  • 5 EUR per month or 48 EUR per year
  • 5 addresses
  • 1000 messages per day
  • 200 folders or labels
  • Normal support
  • Email filters
  • Autoresponder

Professional (Up to 50 Users, 5GB Storage Per User)

  • 8 EUR per month or 75 EUR per year
  • 5 addresses per user
  • Unlimited messages per day
  • Unlimited folders and labels
  • Priority support
  • Email filters
  • Autoresponder
  • Catch-all email
  • Multi-user support

Who’s Behind ProtonMail?

ProtonMail was created by a company named Proton Technologies AG. That company is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

You can contact the company by email at [email protected]

The company claims to employ a full-time staff of about 20 people who work in shifts to provide 24/7 operations for full organizational redundancy:

“At great expense, we overstaff all key positions to ensure full operational capability at any hour of the day, and to ensure that unexpected unavailability of team members won't disrupt operations. This allows us to provide the highest level of reliability and security for your confidential emails.”

Key members of the team include Dr. Andy Yen (CEO and Founder) and Dr. Bart Butler (CTO). The founding team behind Proton Technologies met at CERN. Today, the company is one of the world’s largest secure email providers and has over one million users. In addition to headquarters in Geneva, the company maintains offices in San Francisco and Skopje, Macedonia.

ProtonMail Conclusion

ProtonMail is a highly secure email platform that offers end-to-end encryption. You lock an email behind a private key, and only the recipient’s private key can unlock that message. ProtonMail is available for free with limited features, or available on plans ranging from 5 EUR to 8 EUR per month.

ProtonMail made headlines across the bitcoin community in August for beginning to accept bitcoin as payment for its premium email services. You can learn more about ProtonMail by visiting the Swiss company online today at ProtonMail.com.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I use ProtonMail and am a fan. Please note that the email subject is not encrypted end to end and if subpoenaed by Swiss authorities they would hand over that metadata. Otherwise, most, but not all email is end to end encrypted. Please read their help manual so you u der stand what is and what is not encrypted and how to use it to create the encryption level you desire.

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