ProtonMail changes its name and arrives with new and better features

For those concerned about privacy, ProtonMail has been one of the best secure email options I’ve ever used, not least because it has a free version that’s enough for most users and allows you to take advantage of end-to-end encryption for your communications when messaging other ProtonMail users.

But the company’s plans are getting a little outdated. Free accounts come with just 500MB of storage, while the €4 per month plan takes up a modest 4GB of storage with some other restrictions like the daily limit of 1,000 messages sent.

Starting today, though, the company is making it easier to use ProtonMail and the other services it offers, including a VPN, cloud storage, and an encrypted calendar. Going forward, ProtonMail simply rebrands itself as Proton, enhancing its full suite of privacy-focused services and updating all of its plans.

The company has a new website (proton.me), new and existing users can use the proton.me address instead of the old @protonmail.com option if they wish.

Soon, Proton will offer three plans: Free, Mail Plus, and Unlimited. The new free tier expands storage to 1 GB and is still pretty limiting — you can only send 150 messages per day and have three labels and folders, for example. You also get access to the basic Proton VPN tool and a Proton user calendar, although you are limited to only one calendar on this plan.

Proton is ad-free, so it relies on subscriptions for revenue, so it’s no surprise that the free plan is restricted and we should be grateful for the possibility of a free plan.

The Mail Plus plan will cost €5 per month, although you can get it for less if you sign up for a year or two. It’s a big upgrade from the old plan. Users now receive 15GB of shared storage between their email and Proton Drive cloud storage account.

There are no limits on the number of messages you can send or the number of labels and folders you can create, and it 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 plan costs 12 euros per month; The company is positioning it as a way to get the highest level of all of its services at once. The total storage is 500GB, which makes Proton Drive more viable for people to use as a backup service. You can use Proton Mail with up to three different custom domain addresses (up from one in the Mail Plus plan) and a total of 15 different email addresses (from 10 in Mail Plus).

But the big difference is that you get the full Proton VPN with the Unlimited plan, instead of the basic option that comes with the other two Proton plans. This includes up to 10 VPN connections, a total of more than 1,700 servers in 63 different countries (instead of 100 servers in three), and faster speeds. For now, Proton will continue to offer its VPN as a standalone product as well.

If you’re new to the world of Proton, the company now has iOS apps for email, VPN services, and Android apps for email, VPN, and calendar. The Drive cloud storage option is technically still in beta, so there are no mobile apps for it yet — it’s scheduled for later this year.

And while Proton doesn’t have any major updates to Mail or its other apps, other than standardizing it with a new design language, the company has made some updates over the past few months. Last month, the iOS Mail app received some design updates and dark mode, as well as a Chat mode to make it easier to read threads. In February, Proton enabled encrypted search in the Web Mail app, and in January it added a tracking pixel blocker.

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