ProtonMail is a Switzerland-based secure email service, created in 2014 by scientists who met at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research). ProtonMail’s mission is to make secure and private email communication easily accessible to all. To accomplish this, ProtonMail uses end-to-end encryption and zero-access encryption so that not even the company has access to users’ messages.
ProtonMail makes email encryption completely seamless: there are no special steps to follow, and all encryption happens automatically and by default. In addition to the ProtonMail web app, ProtonMail offers secure apps for Android, iOS, and support for IMAP/SMTP via the ProtonMail Bridge software.
Proton Technologies, ProtonMail’s parent company, has a long history and strong reputation in the privacy space. The company maintains some of the world’s most widely used open-source encryption libraries, such as OpenPGPjs and GopenPGP, and it has a long history of working towards promoting Internet privacy.
Whether it is challenging governments, educating the public, training journalists, financing independent journalists, or advocating before the United Nations, ProtonMail has a long track record of leadership in the private sector and is one of the world’s best-known privacy companies.
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The history of ProtonMail
ProtonMail was founded by a group of scientists who met at CERN in 2013. Motivated by revelations of mass surveillance by government intelligence agencies, the ProtonMail project was created to restore regular citizens’ access to privacy online. At the time, end-to-end encryption via email was largely limited to tech-savvy users.
ProtonMail made this technology accessible so that anyone can benefit from end-to-end encryption without any technical knowledge or special tools.
Since launching in May 2014, ProtonMail has grown exponentially and today is used by over 10 million people around the world. It has also been featured on popular TV shows such as Mr. Robot in the US. The company remains predominantly funded by its user community and has since launched additional products, such as ProtonVPN in 2023.
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To achieve a high level of security, ProtonMail assumes that all mail servers may eventually be compromised. Thus, ProtonMail uses end-to-end encryption and zero-access encryption to protect user data. If a server only contains encrypted messages, users have a much higher level of security in the event of a security breach. The use of encryption also prevents ProtonMail from being able to decrypt and share user emails with third parties.
ProtonMail does not have any advertising, so in addition to it being technically impossible, the company has no incentive to spy on users or build detailed user profiles. ProtonMail’s security extends beyond just strong encryption and also includes features designed to mitigate human vulnerabilities, such as two-factor authentication and anti-phishing safeguards.
Messages between ProtonMail users are always transmitted in encrypted form. When a user sends an email to another ProtonMail user, the emails are encrypted on the sender’s device,
and can only be decrypted by the recipient. The use of end-to-end encryption means that messages cannot be intercepted in transit and decrypted by any third party.
Even if a user’s contacts are not using ProtonMail, using ProtonMail still provides additional privacy and security. All emails sent to/from a ProtonMail account (even if the other side is not using ProtonMail) are stored with zero-access encryption, which means that after the messages are encrypted, they can only be decrypted by the account owner. Additionally, ProtonMail users can also send end-to-end encrypted emails to none-ProtonMail users with the encrypt to outside feature.
Open source cryptography
ProtonMail uses only secure implementations of AES, RSA, and adheres to the open-source OpenPGP standard. Furthermore, all of the cryptographic libraries used are open source.
By using open source libraries, users have greater assurance that the encryption algorithms do not have built-in back doors or other weaknesses. ProtonMail’s open-source software has been thoroughly vetted by security experts from around the world to ensure the highest levels of protection.
ProtonMail has invested heavily in owning and controlling its server hardware in various locations within Switzerland, so data never goes to the cloud.
This ensures that all user data is protected by Swiss privacy laws. On a system level, ProtonMail servers utilize fully encrypted hard disks, which also protects user data from hardware seizures.
ProtonMail uses the Secure Remote Password protocol to ensure that neither ProtonMail nor an attacker with network access can obtain users’ passwords. ProtonMail also offers two-factor authentication via 2FA apps.
Address Verification leverages ProtonMail’s Encrypted Contacts feature to mitigate man-in-the-middle attacks. Address verification is a unique feature that ensures secure communications cannot be intercepted by an attacker tampering with encryption keys. ProtonMail is the only email service that offers this additional enhanced level of security, and it’s one of the reasons it is the preferred email provider for journalists and other individuals with the highest security and privacy needs.
New Features Offered By ProtonMail
The latest version of the ProtonMail web application includes three new features for added security and convenience.
ProtonMail Version 3.16 now offers cryptography with elliptical curves, an optional connection confirmation alert to protect against phishing attacks and an undo function if you accidentally send an email to the Trash or send it to the wrong file. So what are you waiting for, let find out what these features actually are..
Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC):
ProtonMail joins a growing number of technology services that offer elliptic curve cryptography. ECC is a more advanced alternative to RSA, allowing you to use smaller keys with the same level of security. If you upgrade your mailbox to the new ECC keys, you may notice slightly shorter encryption times.
Due to the unique characteristics of elliptic curves, ECC saves computing power (allowing you to connect, load and send emails faster) and storage for other applications) and energy (longer battery life), especially for mobile phones. ,
Link Confirmation Feature:
The link confirmation is a new security feature in ProtonMail 3.16 that helps you identify potential phishing attacks. If link confirmation is enabled, each time you click a link in an email, you’ll be asked if you really want to visit the URL. Phishing emails are the most common way hackers spread malware or access your account. The link confirmation prevents you from accidentally calling a malicious website.
You can easily learn how to enable and disable link confirmation in web, Android, and iOS applications.
Here’s something boring: If you click Move to Trash, but want to click Move to Archive. For such cases, ProtonMail has actually added a new cancellation function.
Instead of finding and moving the file in the wrong folder, you can easily undo the action by clicking the CANCEL button at the top of your mailbox. The button works when you basically send an e-mail to a folder and restore it in the previous folder. For example, if you move an email from your junk folder to your inbox, you can quickly restore it to spam. But click quickly: The button disappears after a few seconds.
ProtonMail allows users to send messages that will automatically delete themselves after a user-selected period of time. Once expired, the message is permanently deleted and cannot be recovered.
ProtonMail Encrypted Emails For Organizations:
ProtonMail Professional provides a much-needed feature that many members of the ProtonMail community wanted from the beginning. With professional packages, ProtonMail not only allows you to host emails for your domain but also create individual user accounts for people in your organization.
The Professional Plan contains a set of powerful management tools that the administrators of the organization can use to manage the accounts of the members of the organization.
With ProtonMail Professional, you can create administrators for your business that can manage legacy user accounts. These include tasks such as providing new accounts, allocating space between organizations for accounts, resetting passwords, etc.
Best of all, ProtonMail Professional does it all while preserving ProtonMail end-to-end email encryption to protect your privacy. Business plans allow you to extend this protection to your entire business.
With Protonmail Professional, all emails between your business members will benefit from automatic and transparent encryption from start to finish, which means that even if Protonmail hosts your email, we don’t have the technical means to read the email communication of your organization give them others.
Because they cannot read your email, it means that even if the Protonmail server is compromised, the connection will always be protected, since attackers cannot steal any data that we do not own first.
How ProtonMail Manages Encrypted Organizations?
ProtonMail Professional does it all while managing your organization. In other words, although all the accounts of the organization are fully encrypted, the administrators of the organization can still access the emails of other users of the organization.
Monitoring and organizational management are possible at all times, even with consistent encryption. In addition, administrator read permissions are automatically granted or revoked when administrator users are created or degraded.
This is possible thanks to a sophisticated key management system at the organizational level that manages the keychain for the entire organization. All this complexity remains hidden for the user. In fact, you can manage your company’s encrypted emails without even knowing what an encryption key is while enjoying the security of advanced encryption.
The flexibility and power of their key management system also allow private users to be created when some members of your organization need more privacy (private users are users that even administrators do not have access to). ,
How To Get Started With ProtonMail For Business?
ProtonMail’s secure email service can also be used by large and small businesses. With our business accounts, your business can now use end-to-end encryption to secure your business communications.
Employees send confidential information by email every day, provided the information is secure and confidential. Due to the increasing number of data breaches, they discover that this assumption no longer applies.
On the contrary, a better assumption is that your company will suffer a data breach at some time in the future. ProtonMail offers a hosted email solution to ensure the security of your data, even in case of data breaches by your company.
Getting Started With ProtonMail Professional Account
Registering forProtonMail Professional is easy. You can start with just a few clicks. First, you need a ProtonMail account. You can sign up for a free account. Once you have your account, you can switch to a business plan from the Panel tab in your account settings easily and effortlessly.
Benefits of Using ProtonMail Business Plan:
No doubt, ProtonMail has a relentless focus on securing the world’s information. The list of features & benefits of using ProtonMail Business Account.
- Data control through end-to-end encryption
- High Security
- High Reliability
- Low Cost
ProtonMail For Business Pricing Plan:
You no longer have to invest in costly server costs and maintain older systems to protect your data. ProtonMail business accounts offer a simple and cost-effective pricing structure that remains consistent with the number of accounts your organization needs. Here you don’t have to purchase long plan, just get yourself started with ProtonMail.
Their ProtonMail Business price per user is $ 6.25 / month for annual payments and $ 8 / month for monthly payments.
Getting Started With ProtonMail Business:
To use ProtonMail for your business, you need a ProtonMail Professional account and access to update the DNS of your domain. Domains only allow one primary mail server. This means that all email accounts active in your domain must be forwarded to ProtonMail to continue receiving emails. Contact them if you want to use ProtonMail with your current messaging system as well, they tell you how you do that easily.
ProtonMail Review: Plans and pricing
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ProtonMail does not show ads or make money by abusing users’ privacy. All of the company’s revenue comes from subscriptions to premium plans and donations from the user community. Full details of ProtonMail plans and pricing can be found at this link and is also summarized below:
ProtonMail believes everyone in the world should have access to secure and private online communication, regardless of their ability to pay. The Free Plan offers up to 500 MB of storage, one email address, three folders/labels, and up to 150 messages per day.
The Plus Plan costs $5/month or $48/year and offers up to 5 GB of storage, five email address, 200 folders/labels, 1,000 messages per day, and the ability to use a custom domain (e.g., [email protected]).
The Professional Plan is designed for businesses and allows organizations to manage up to 5,000 users from an administrator account. Professional Plans cost $8/month/user or $75/year/user. Professional accounts come with all mail features and priority customer support.
The Visionary Plan is ProtonMail’s family plan and includes full access to all ProtonMail and ProtonVPN features. Visionary Plans cost $30/month or $288/year and support up to six users; 20 GB of storage; 50 addresses; unlimited messages, folders, and labels; support for up to 10 custom domains; and priority support.
ProtonMail offers secure, encrypted email apps for Android and iOS.
- Mobile downloads
- Download for iOS
- Download ProtonMail for Android
- Download ProtonMail APK
- The ProtonMail Bridge
The ProtonMail Bridge is a desktop application for paid users that runs in the background and seamlessly encrypts and decrypts mail as it enters and leaves the user’s computer. It allows for full integration of a ProtonMail account with any program that supports IMAP and SMTP, such as Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, and Apple Mail.
- Download ProtonMail Bridge
- Import-Export application (beta)
Import-Export is a beta application currently available to users on paid plans that lets them transfer emails easily to and from their ProtonMail account. With this tool, users can import their entire mailbox from another email account, such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook, or upload email files stored on their computer into their ProtonMail encrypted Inbox. It also lets users export emails from their ProtonMail account to their hard drive for secure backup.
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ProtonMail continues to develop its existing products with new productivity and security features. The company is also working to produce new encrypted services, including calendar and cloud storage. To learn more about the service, anyone can easily create a free encrypted email account or download one of the Proton apps.
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