The best free email provider (who also protects your privacy)

The search for an affordable and privacy-oriented email provider is finally over. At least, that’s what came to mind when I discovered Proton Mail for the first time.

Why Proton?

Located in Geneva, Switzerland, Proton is a serious candidate for a new era of end-to-end encrypted email solutions. Not only do you avoid all those pesky ads and trackers normally found in other email clients, you’re even allowed to start for free – without ads, of course. This is a vote of confidence in my book.

I could go on for ages about the features of Proton Mail and the many reasons why modern enterprises ought to consider privacy-oriented communications solutions, but I’ll let Proton do the talking themselves.

The considerable alternatives

So, why shill the Swiss company you may ask? Well, as a small recently established business, it’s hard to come by email solutions that are secure, reasonably priced, and allow for multiple sending domains.

In my search, I came upon many alternatives including Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Apple Business Manager, Fastmail, Zoho, Mail.com, Icewarp – you name it. None of which had particularly friendly pricing for a small company using more than 5 domains and 20 mailboxes for various projects. The prices add up surprisingly quickly and allow almost no room for flexibility.

Proton Unlimited or Proton for Business actually give you something to work with at an affordable price level for individuals, freelancers, and businesses alike.

Privacy concerns

Then there’s the question of privacy, which – with the introduction of GDPR, HIPAA, and other privacy-related laws – demand serious considerations regarding the handling of customer data. Especially for companies within the European Union.

It’s not that behemoths like Google, Microsoft and others aren’t realiable; but they aren’t exactly the most transparent companies to work with. There’s also the ever-present conundrum in never knowing exactly who has access to your data and to what extend.

With Proton, not even Proton can decrypt your data. Needless to say, this comes with its own security risks, but the pros seem to far outweigh the cons.

Anyway, that’s my take.

Summary

Proton has seriously impressed me – in case that wasn’t clear by now. Although I see scenarios where alternatives like Google Workspace or Zoho could fit the profile, Proton Mail should definitely be on your list when considering email solutions going forward.

The Swiss privacy-oriented company seems like a solid solution to a lot of problems.

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