For privacy-conscious, ProtonMail was one of the better options for secure email – you can get an (admittedly simple) account for free and enjoy end-to-end encryption for your communications when you message other ProtonMail users. But the company’s plans are a bit outdated. Free accounts only come with 500MB of storage, while the €4/month plan bumps you into a modest 4GB of storage with some other limitations like a daily limit of sending 1000 messages.
Starting today, however, the company is making it easier to go all-in on ProtonMail and the other services it offers, including a VPN, cloud storage, and an encrypted calendar. Going forward, ProtonMail will simply change itself to Proton, push its entire suite of privacy-focused services, and update all its plans. The company has a new website (proton.me), and both new and existing users can use the @proton.me address instead of the old @protonmail.com option if they’re so inclined.
Going forward, Proton will offer three plans: Free, Mail Plus, and Unlimited. The new free tier expands the storage to 1 GB and remains fairly limited – for example, you can only send 150 messages per day and have three labels and folders. You can also access the basic Proton VPN tool and user Proton Calendar, although with this plan you are limited to just one calendar. Proton has long said that since it shows no ads, it relies on subscriptions for revenue, so it’s not surprising that the free plan is limited.
The Mail Plus plan costs €5/month, but you can get it for less if you sign up for a year or two in one go. However, it is a major upgrade from the old plan. Users now get 15 GB of storage shared between their email and Proton Drive cloud storage account. There are no restrictions on how many messages you can send or how many labels and folders you can create, and it also supports IMAP email clients through the Proton Bridge tool. There are also additional features such as a new “short domain” email alias (@pm.me) that you can use to send and receive messages, as well as 20 calendars that you can share with other users.
Finally, the Unlimited plan costs $12/month; the company positions it as a way to get the highest level of all its services in one go. That means 500GB of total storage space, making Proton Drive a lot more viable for people to use as a backup service. You can use Proton Mail with up to three different custom domain addresses (from one on the Mail Plus plan) and with a total of 15 different email addresses (from 10 on Mail Plus).
But the big difference is that you get the full-fledged Proton VPN with the Unlimited plan, rather than the more basic option that comes with the other two Proton plans. This includes up to 10 VPN connections instead of one, totaling over 1,700 servers in 63 different countries (instead of 100-like servers in three countries) and faster speeds. For now, Proton will also continue to offer its VPN as a standalone product – you can get the details on that, as well as the breakdown between the basic free VPN and what you get with the full version here.
If you’re new to the Proton world, the company now has iOS apps for email and VPN services, and Android apps for mail, VPN, and calendar. The Drive cloud storage option is technically still in beta, so there aren’t any mobile apps for it yet — they’re slated for later this year.
And while Proton hasn’t made any major updates to the email service or its other apps other than unifying them with its new design language, the company has made a few updates in recent months. Last month, the iOS Mail app got some design updates and a dark mode, as well as a “conversation” mode to make message threads easier to read. In February, Proton enabled encrypted search in the Mail web app, and in January it added a tracking pixel blocker.
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