ProtonMail Professional Review | PCMag


ProtonMail is an ultra-secure email host based in Geneva, Switzerland. You may be familiar with the consumer version of this service, which offers free accounts with 500MB of storage and 150 messages per day, but there is a business-oriented offering as well.

ProtonMail Professional does not offer a free trial or include the ProtonVPN service, but its security features are amazing. Still, its lack of domain hosting and other niceties keep it behind our Editor’s Choice winners in this category, Google Workspace Business Standard and Intermedia Hosted Exchange.

ProtonMail professional rates and plans

ProtonMail Professional offers a very simple payment plan for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). You pay € 6.25 ($ 7.37) per user per month on an annual basis; the company’s website has a simple scroll bar that you can increase until you reach your user count and see your results. For more than 100 users, you will need to contact ProtonMail directly for a precise quote. This level of service allows 5 GB of mail storage and up to five email addresses per user. You can add custom domains, but you will need to get domain hosting elsewhere and then connect it to ProtonMail.

If you need better specs than these, the company offers you the ProtonMail Enterprise plan. This is a customizable level where you can mix and match additional storage, more addresses, a dedicated support plan, and other options. However, there is no fixed price; each quote must be done with a ProtonMail sales representative. As mentioned, the basic ProtonMail Professional plan lacks ProtonVPN, but you can request that it be added to your account which will allow you to enjoy additional discounts.

Compared to some of the cheaper email hosts we looked at, $ 7.37 per user per month is relatively high for these features, even when compared to big names like Google Workspace or another winner of choice. publishers, Microsoft 365 Business Premium. Bargain contenders like Fastmail cost around $ 3 per user per month and have better base specs. Again, no one beats the Swiss when it comes to security and privacy, so companies where this is a primary consideration will tolerate the extra cost.

To start

To get started, you will probably need to set up a custom domain, unless you want your work email to come from “@”. A button at the top right of the screen takes you to an exceptionally easy to navigate settings page. After clicking on the Domains link, you can click Add custom domain and then go through a simple wizard to configure each component, performing all the typical steps such as adding a TXT record and configuring your MX records. . Once everything is verified, you are good to go and can start adding users.

While there isn’t a great way to import one user group at a time, it’s quite easy to add one at a time. You will also have the possibility to define a signature. As an alternative, you can configure multiple addresses per user up to the number supported by your plan. The only irritating thing about this is that addresses can never be deleted, only disabled, and will count towards your address limit whether or not they are enabled. With this in mind, choose addresses very carefully, because you can never really get rid of them.

While the ProtonMail account gives you the most benefits with the least headache, others will want to use IMAP and SMTP. POP3 is not supported, although you can link Outlook, Thunderbird, or another third-party email client. You must, however, download ProtonMail Bridge, a Windows, macOS, or Linux application that adds an extra layer of encryption to your connection. While easy to set up (an online walkthrough is available for most customers), these are a few extra steps that you might not be familiar with.

ProtonMail Professional labeling and filtering

The other parameters are at the standard price. Filters allow you to automatically perform actions such as tagging or archiving messages based on custom criteria. There is also an easy to use allow and block list, similar to other services like Zoho Mail. Once you have everything the way you want, you can start using the online web client.

ProtonMail’s interface is quite streamlined, resembling your typical Gmail or Microsoft 365 inbox. There aren’t a lot of fluff and it’s easy to navigate. One thing to note is a timeout that you can set for messages to self-destruct after a certain amount of time. Additionally, clicking a lock button turns a message into an encrypted, password-protected email. This is a cool feature that could come in handy if you want to send information of a sensitive nature, but don’t want to risk it being compromised by prying eyes that weren’t your target. Assuming you provide the password over the phone, it adds an extra level of assurance that only your target recipient is reading it.

Unfortunately, a fully expanded schedule is currently missing. While a secure calendar is in the works with a beta release available for ProtonMail 4.0 users, it is not quite ready at the time of writing. This is a significant drawback because other email services have had a calendar for years, and it’s a critical part in today’s work-from-home environment. After seeing the beta, however, this complaint will be short lived.

ProtonMail Professional Security

There’s a lot to be said here, as privacy is ProtonMail’s claim to fame. Being located in Switzerland gives it certain legal advantages over solutions based in the United States, namely the Swiss Data Protection Act (DPA) and the Federal Protection Ordinance (DPO) which ensure that ProtonMail can only be forced to transfer your data by a court decision of the Cantonal Court of Geneva or the Swiss Federal Court.

In addition, messages remain encrypted at all times, whether they are at rest or in transit. Because of this, even ProtonMail employees could not access your data, even if they wanted to. This protects your information in the event of a data breach, although it’s a bit of a devil’s deal because losing your keys means even the host company can’t restore access to your email.

ProtonMail Professional encryption settings

As mentioned, emails can also be set to self destruct on Snapchat. While this is certainly not a foolproof method since screenshot is still a thing in 2021, it is a pretty nifty communication method. There are also options for two-factor authentication and custom encryption.

Two-factor authentication ProtonMail Professional

Finally, ProtonMail is HIPAA and GDPR compliant and its facilities are PCI and ISO 27001 certified. While the company does not have SOC reports available, this is something that tends to be limited to US-based services. . It might turn some people off, but there are a lot of other good things here to build trust.

Expensive but excellent for safety

While ProtonMail’s price tag is a bit steep compared to similar offerings that include collaboration tools, you get top-notch security and storage in one of the most privacy-conscious countries in the world. world. While this may not fit everyone’s profile, you’ll know if it fits your business. If you need more collaboration, Zoho Mail and Microsoft 365 Business Premium are great alternatives.

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