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If you ever need secure email, file storage, file sharing, calendar or VPN then Proton should be checked out. They have a range of account prices from free to enterprise level. The free account will work for many and the $50/yr. account will satisfy most of the rest of my clients..

Proton mail has long been the premier secure email provider. They've begun expanding out to be a more complete provider of secure collaboration. They've added secure file storage, calendar and even a VPN service to their excellent secure email service. I'm very impressed with their service and recommend it. They currently have over 70 million clients using their service.

They offer three tiers for individuals and small businesses and corporate accounts. The lowest tier is free, $0/year, and is all many of you will need. Then there is a Mail Plus tier at $48/year and an unlimited account for $120/yr. Even the free tier gives you all the services, just slower VPN and less storage. With paid accounts you get faster VPN and more storage and the ability to have your email reflect your corporation, not the Proton.me domain.

What are their services?
  1. Proton Mail: Send truly secure emails to other people even if they aren't on Proton mail. They can respond securely, without needing to set up an account.
  2. Proton Drive: Upload, store and share files and folders with complete security and End to End encryption.
  3. VPN: Send your Internet activity through an encrypted tunnel that protects your privacy and location.
  4. Calendar: Have and share an online calendar that no one else can see (unless you share an event).

Proton Mail

They offer a very complete mail service. To begin with, their service is pretty much like Gmail or any other webmail service. Log in and get or send your mail. The difference is that your mail is encrypted and secure. No one can see it. You can send a completely private email to another Proton mail user, but more exciting, you can also simply click the encrypt button when composing an email. Then you'll be able to add a password and optional hint. The recipient will receive a link to open the password in their browser.


When they click on the Unlock message button, they'll be sent to a password form, and if correct, they'll be able to read a nicely formed email in their browser. They can even reply securely as if they had a Proton Mail account. All this happens without the recipient needing to have a Proton Mail account or even know about Proton Mail.

So, if you needed to give instructions or passwords to your lawyer, accountant or computer consultant, you could just send them an encrypted email with that information. It's no harder than sending a regular email message. Then they could copy and paste from the email into their storage system. The email will be deleted in at most 28 days when sent this way.

The paid account has a link program which allows you to use a local email app like Thunderbird or Outlook.


The calendar seems pretty much like Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar or any other, except it's private and secure. They have mobile apps which sync with their calendar.


Drive makes it simple to store files or folders online and share whatever you like with anyone. You can create folders on your drive, upload files or folders and make links to any of them. From within the drive you can download files or folders, move them, rename or delete them. You can also manage links to them.


As you can see from the link menu above, you can set passwords and expiration dates or just stop sharing. All this is available with the free account!


The VPN gets excellent reviews from every source I checked, not only sources like PC Magazine, TechRadar, USNews and Tom's Guide, but in the Google Play store as well. It scored 4.8 stars on 54 thousand reviews with 10 million downloads.

The free account offers unlimited data, but with lower speeds than the paid accounts. It connects with over 100 servers in 3 countries, but paid accounts have more countries and servers. It doesn't have many of the amazing advanced security features offered by the paid account. You only get to install the free version on 1 device. The paid version supports 10 devices and can connect to servers in 63 countries. It has no logs and no advertisements. All the sources I checked with considered it the best free VPN available.

I put it on my android tablet and did speed tests. It gave me 50% to 60% of the maximum speed available. So, in most situations, that will be plenty for occasional use in a restaurant or motel. It was easy enough to use and flip on and off. I'll continue using it on my tablet.

The VPN can be purchased separately, or as part of the full package.


If you should have a secure, HIPAA compliant email, then this is probably your best bet. If you are using it as your main email program, you'll need the Mail Plus plan at $48/yr. This includes the normal VPN, Drive and calendar and gives you 15 GB of storage. You'll be able to use your business domain and have up to 10 email addresses. Remember, those 10 email addresses go to a single account.

I don't have a need for this to be my main email program, don't use a VPN often and have encrypted backup and sharing, so the free account is all I need. Their 500 Megabytes of storage is enough for about 3,500 Oregon Advanced directives, or 100 times as much as all my personal critical files. So, if I didn't already have a secure cloud backup program, I would store my will, power of attorney, password safe and other private personal files on Proton Drive. I can then give those who need access to those files a link to the folder with those files. When the files change or I add something, I do need to upload to my new files to Proton Drive.

The free email program is also the easiest way to send a password or short message that needs to be private. Drive is a simple way to save and share files safely. It isn't as easy as Tresorit, but offers a wider variety of products and is still very easy.

The VPN alone is worth getting a free account, and adding drive to save some important files securely is amazing. Proton is a service you should consider.

Date: July 2022

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