We should all know by now that the free blogging, e-mail, calendaring etc from the Big Tech companies does come at the cost of our privacy and browsing habits being mined for profit through advertising. That is why if you searched or mailed someone about teddy bears, you'll probably be seeing adverts about Teddy Bears soon enough.
Proton Mail is free for up to 500MB of storage and a limit of 150 messages per day (IMAP is also a paid account). Need to note though that the header info such as addressee and subject line is not encrypted and this can be handed over to Swiss Authorities if there is a court order. E-mail is an old protocol so there is no standard to send and receive fully encrypted e-mail between different mail systems (yes I know you can use PGP but then so must the receiver use it, and believe me when I say most ordinary users struggle with that) and Proton gets around this by the user clicking on the message and having to enter a password on their site to view the mail and reply. It works seamlessly but is the only way to do it easily.
The service is hosted in Switzerland so this means user data is protected by Swiss law, which generally provides for better privacy than the USA or EU law. Proton cannot access the contents of your mail so this does mean firstly if you lose your password you've lost the contents of your mail, and secondly you cannot search messages for anything in the contents. You either have security or you don't have any security! They have been independently audited.
There are Android an iOS apps available.
There are alternatives such as Tutanota in Germany (free up to 1GB storage but they don't support PGP encryption and are using AES 128 / RSA 2048 but do encrypt subject lines as well). I'm going to still compare Tutanota.
If you want to protect your email from prying eyes, but don’t need the kind of protection that keeps spies and whistleblowers alive, ProtonMail could be the secure email service for you. It utilizes PGP encryption standards, is based in Switzerland, and has a solid reputation in the privacy community.. Editor’s Note: Guest author Sven Taylor...