In this review, we’ll be taking a look at ProtonMail, a secure email service which promises to keep your communications safe and private. If you’re looking for something on the more secure end of the spectrum (a solution that keeps even spies and whistleblowers out), this might not be the best solution for you.
What is ProtonMail?
A secure email service that’s easy to use and provides a level of security that is high enough for the average user. ProtonMail is also an encrypted email service that not only secures your messages, but also makes them easier to read.
Is it necessary?
Privacy has been a hot button issue ever since Edward Snowden leaked classified NSA documents in 2013. In an age where everything from our browsing history to our bank accounts can be hacked, privacy is more important than ever. ProtonMail is one of the few encrypted email services that provide end-to-end encryption without requiring you to sacrifice usability or security. Even better? It’s free!
If you’d like to secure your email from being scrutinized, but you don’t require the sort of security that helps keep whistleblowers and spies safe, ProtonMail could be the secure email service for you. It is based on PGP security standards for encryption, which are end-to-end with zero-knowledge encryption. This level of security is crucial when not even the US government can secure its data from a huge breach.
Since ProtonMail advertises its service as one of the safest email solutions available, far and above other secure email providers, we’ll be putting it through the ring in this latest ProtonMail review for 2021.
Pros and Cons
- CSV contact import
- encrypted messages that can be sent to anyone
- No-logs policy
- Over 20 account languages
- Self-destructing emails
- POP3 not supported
- A visionary plan can be costly
How Does ProtonMail Work?
The most crucial feature of ProtonMail is its end-to-end encryption. It signifies that when you write an email in ProtonMail and then click “send,” its content is encrypted so that it cannot be read.
The only method to get it readable is by using the right encryption key. And only devices belonging to the sender and the intended recipient will have that key.
Messages exchanged by two ProtonMail users are encrypted automatically with the recipient’s password, which means that they are accessible immediately after the user signs into their account. However, ProtonMail can also securely communicate with other email clients.
All you need to do is create the password for your encryption key and then give it to the person you wish to give it to. They only need to enter the password to access your message within their regular mailbox. If they’re not decrypted in this manner, messages will not be readable. If you don’t think this is enough security, then you can make ProtonMail messages auto-delete. When a certain time has passed, as specified by you, the encrypted message will be removed from the company’s servers.
After that, the content cannot be accessed from either the sender’s device or the recipient’s device. This means there is no chance of the information falling into the wrong hands. But the risk is minimal as ProtonMail messages are encrypted for all time and kept on ProtonMail’s servers. The servers also offer excellent physical security. Apart from being physically secure and digitally encoded, the users are also protected legally.
Plans and pricing
ProtonMail offers four pricing plans to pick from. This plan for free is only available for one person. It has a limited amount of storage: 500MB of storage, twenty labels, fifty messages per hour, and 150 messages per day. You can get emails from the @pm.me short email domain; however, you can’t send messages using it. Custom domains and other addresses are also not supported by the plan for free. Support is not available.
ProtonMail Plus costs $5/month or $48/year. The storage capacity is increased to 5GB of capacity, and you can also add a domain when you’d like. You can add as many as five addresses as well as 200 labels. You can send out 300 messages per hour or 1,000 messages per day. If you choose the Plus plan, you can make and receive messages via an @pm.me small email domain, and it supports IMAP email clients, such as Outlook, Thunderbird, and Apple Mail. This is the first plan that comes with customizable filters and an autoresponder.
ProtonMail provides the following levels of service. Free users get only limited support, while users get regular support and everyone else receives priority assistance. Contact the support team via ProtonMail. ProtonMail interface, or submit an inquiry to support via Zendesk. Our tests showed that ProtonMail could respond in less than 24 hours.
The knowledge base on the internet for ProtonMail is well-organized and packed with information on all aspects of the service. Videos are short guides and an option to search to find quick answers to your questions.
ProtonMail employs zero-access, end-to-end encryption for your email messages which means that they’re always secured during transit and when stored on servers that store your email. However, the subject lines aren’t stored in encrypted formats and, if required to comply with a Swiss court order, ProtonMail could turn over the subject of your emails to authorities. Regarding physical security, ProtonMail’s infrastructure for IT is beneath 1000 meters of granite, and your information does not go to cloud storage.
The code used to create the web client and encryption algorithms are entirely open-source, so any security vulnerabilities are easily fixed. PGP is supported in full along with the encryption algorithm used to have open-source versions of RSA or AES. Two-factor authentication is enabled to ensure that no one has access to your account without having an access point to the mobile phone. Overall, it’s a remarkable level of security for email.
ProtonMail is among the most secure and polished end-to-end encrypted email solutions available. Its free basic account lets you test it for free. However, you’ll have to change to the Pro plan to access features such as customized filters. ProtonMail offers an outstanding balance between security and accessibility. It’s an excellent option for those looking for secure and private alternatives to Gmail.