Why Proton Unlimited is really worth the money

If you've been looking for a better alternative to traditional free email services like Gmail, I highly recommend checking out Proton Mail. The service is completely free and offers the best privacy features among email platforms. Best of all, it's connected to other services Proton offers, such as a VPN, password manager, and even a privacy-focused calendaring service.

But I think the real highlight of Proton is its monthly subscription. Since its free service version already offers so many features, the reduced $13 per month on Proton Unlimited ($10 per month when purchased annually) seems unnecessary. But if protecting your online privacy is your top priority, Proton Unlimited's extra features are definitely worth the price. Proton also splits some of its services into separate subscriptions if you feel like the entire package isn't useful to you.

What does Proton give you for free?

By default, signing up for Proton's service gets you the most important features, such as end-to-end encryption, encrypted contacts, and multiple calendars. You also get 5GB of Proton Drive storage for free, with end-to-end encryption making it more private than Google Drive. It also comes with VPN functionality (but only for one device), giving you access to medium-speed VPN servers in five countries. Additionally, Proton has its own free password manager, Proton Pass. Even before spending a dollar, there's so much to love about Proton that you might not consider subscribing at all. But you should.

Email has so many privacy features

Perhaps my favorite thing about Proton Unlimited is the support for three custom email domains in Proton Mail: this lets you change your email address to whatever you want, however you want it for your business Customize the domain, or choose an address that sounds better than @. protonmail.com. You also get support for 15 different email addresses in your Proton account, so you can have separate accounts for shopping, social media, and more. This is a convenient way to break up email notifications without having to sign up and deal with multiple Proton accounts. You can also send unlimited messages and set up unlimited folders, labels, and custom filters, which is a somewhat limited area in the free version of Proton Mail.

Proton Unlimited also gives you unlimited Hide My Email Aliases feature which allows you to send out decoy email addresses that all forward back to your real address. This way, no one needs to know your personal address. Apple offers a similar feature, but it only works if it's registered on an Apple device. Proton's product is easier to use as it runs on Windows PCs, Macs, iPhones and Android phones.

In terms of calendars, with Proton Unlimited, your access to individual calendars will jump from 3 to 25, and you'll be able to share your calendars with others. Proton Drive gets 500GB of storage with the base Unlimited plan, although the biggest upgrade definitely comes with the expanded Proton VPN (more on that later).

While it's also available in the free version, the fact that your emails are end-to-end encrypted (so even Proton can't access them) is another huge win for Proton Mail, especially when you send and when receiving private messages.

If you feel you don’t need all the features Proton Unlimited offers, you can also subscribe to Proton Mail Plus. The service costs $4.99 per month and comes with 15GB of storage, 10 custom email addresses, and support for a single custom email domain. You also get unlimited folders, tags, and filters, but you'll miss out on the additional features Proton VPN adds, which may be fine for some people.

Proton’s VPN is better with Unlimited

While Proton VPN is one of the best free VPNs you can find, Proton Unlimited offers full access to all of Proton's fastest VPN servers in over 90 countries. You also get P2P/BitTorrent access, NetShield protection, Tor over VPN, faster VPN accelerator, custom DNS (if you want to use it), and LAN connectivity.

P2P and BitTorrent protection helps hide your IP when sharing files or downloading, and the built-in NetShield feature blocks ads and annoying trackers that track your browsing history. Accessing Tor via VPN also provides more secure web browsing, thanks to the powerful combination of Tor browser functionality and Proton VPN network routing. If you really want to take things to the next level, the Custom DNS feature allows you to further protect yourself from bad actors by providing your own internet connection protocol.

Every website you visit is always trying to track you in some way, which is why using a VPN becomes so important. Proton's free VPN is already great, but Proton Unlimited's VPN is even better at blocking ads and trackers without sacrificing too much home internet speed. I've used ExpressVPN and Nord VPN in the past, and Proton's speeds (even on the free version) beat them every time.

Proton Pass offers more vaults and built-in 2FA

Without Proton Unlimited, Proton Pass will give you two vaults for storing passwords, 10 email aliases, and the option to share your Proton Pass with up to two people. But if you subscribe to Proton Unlimited, you'll get up to 50 different vaults, unlimited Hide My Email aliases, built-in two-factor authentication (2FA), and the ability to share with up to ten other people. If you're only interested in using Proton Pass, you can also subscribe to Pass Plus for $4.99 per month ($1.99 per month with an annual subscription).

New updates, including dark web monitoring

Proton Unlimited's latest update brings real-time dark web monitoring capabilities to the service, which will update you if any of your personal information turns up in the sketchier corners of the internet. Many financial institutions offer this type of service, but keeping it somewhere you check every day (such as email) is a great way to ensure you're always on top of your personal security.

Again, you don't have to pay for Proton to benefit: Proton Mail's free version is feature-rich and doesn't lock any important privacy settings behind a paywall, so the service will protect your privacy without breaking the bank. one cent. But if you want more features to protect your privacy and more tools to organize your digital life, Proton Unlimited is the way to go.