For the privacy-conscious, ProtonMail has been one of the best secure messaging options – you can get a (admittedly basic) account for free and enjoy end-to-end encryption for your communications when you send messages to 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 But the company’s plans are a bit outdated.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 upgrades you to a modest 4GB of storage with a few other limitations like a daily cap of 1000 sent messages.
Starting today, however, the company is making it easier to fully utilize ProtonMail and the other services it offers, including a VPN, cloud storage, and encrypted calendar. Going forward, ProtonMail is rebranding itself as simply Proton, pushing its entire suite of privacy-focused services and updating all of its plans. The company has a new website (proton.me), and new and existing users can use the @proton.me address rather than the old @protonmail.com option if they wish.
Going forward, Proton will offer three plans: Free, Mail Plus and Unlimited. The new free tier expands storage to 1GB and is still quite limited – you can only send 150 messages per day and have three labels and folders, for example. You can also access the basic Proton VPN tool and the Proton Calendar user, though you’re limited to one calendar on this plan. Proton has long said that since it doesn’t run ads, it depends on subscriptions to generate revenue, so it’s not too surprising that the free plan is limited.
The Mail Plus plan will cost €5/month, but you can get it for less if you sign up for a year or two all at once. It’s a big upgrade from the old plan, though. Users now get 15GB of shared storage between their email and Proton Drive cloud storage account. There are no restrictions on the number of messages you can send or the number of labels and folders you can create, and it also supports IMAP email clients through the Proton Bridge tool. There are also additional features like 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 package costs €12/month; the company positions it as a way to get the top tier of all of its services at once. That means 500GB of total storage, which makes Proton Drive much more viable to use as a backup service. You can use Proton Mail with up to three different custom domain addresses (instead of one on the Mail Plus plan) and with a total of 15 different email addresses (instead of 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, a total of over 1,700 servers in 63 different countries (rather than 100 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 currently offers iOS apps for messaging and VPN services, and Android apps for messaging, VPN, and calendar. The Drive cloud storage option is still technically in beta, so there aren’t any mobile apps for it yet – they’re due later this year.
And while Proton doesn’t have any major updates to the messaging 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 received 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 Web Mail app, and in January it added a tracking pixel blocker.
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