Why Proton Unlimited Is Actually Worth Your 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 some of the best privacy you can find in an email platform. On top of that, it ties into the other services Proton offers, like its VPN, password manager, and even a privacy-centric calendar service.

But where I believe Proton really shines is with its monthly subscription. With so many features already available with the free version of its services, dropping $13 a month ($10 a month when purchased annually) on Proton Unlimited might not seem necessary. But if protecting your privacy online is a priority of yours, Proton Unlimited’s extra features are absolutely worth the cost. If you don’t feel the entire package is useful to you, Proton breaks some of its services into individual subscriptions as well.

What does Proton give you for free?

By default, signing up for Proton’s services gets you the most important features, like end-to-end encryption, encrypted contact details, and multiple calendars. You’ll also get 5GB of Proton Drive storage for free, with end-to-end encryption, making it more private than Google Drive. VPN features are also thrown in (but for just one device), giving you access to medium-speed VPN servers in five countries. Additionally, Proton has its own free password manager in the form of Proton Pass. There’s so much to love about Proton before even laying down a dollar that you might not consider subscribing at all. But you should.

So many privacy features for email

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, whether you want a custom domain for your business, or choosing an address that sounds better that @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, etc. It’s a convenient way to break up your email notifications without having to sign up for and juggle multiple Proton accounts. You can also send unlimited messages, and set up unlimited folders, labels, and custom filters, an area that’s somewhat limited on the free version of Proton Mail.

Proton Unlimited also gives you unlimited “hide-my-email aliases,” a feature that lets you give out decoy email addresses which all forward back to your real address. That way, no one needs to know your personal address. Apple offers something similar, but that only works if you sign up on your Apple device. Proton’s offering is a lot more accessible, since it can work on Windows PCs, Macs, iPhones, and Android phones.

On the Calendar side of things, your access to separate calendars will jump from three to 25 with Proton Unlimited, and you’ll be able to share your calendar with others. Proton Drive gets 500GB of storage with the basic Unlimited plan, though the biggest upgrades definitely come from the expanded Proton VPN (more on that later).

While it’s also available on the free version, the fact that your emails are end-to-end encrypted (so not even Proton can’t access them) is another huge win for Proton Mail in general, especially if you send and receive private information.

If you don’t feel like you need all the features that Proton Unlimited offers, you can also just subscribe to Proton Mail Plus. This service costs $4.99 a month and comes with 15GB of storage, 10 custom email addresses, and support for a single custom email domain. You’ll also get unlimited folders, labels, and filters, but you’ll miss out on the additional features added with Proton VPN, which might be okay for some.

Proton’s VPN is better under Unlimited

While Proton VPN is one of the best free VPNs you’ll find, Proton Unlimited gives complete access to all of Proton’s fastest VPN servers in over 90 countries. You also get P2P/BitTorrent access, NetShield protection, Tor over VPN, a VPN accelerator for faster speeds, a custom DNS if you want to use it, and LAN connections.

P2P and BitTorrent protection help keep your IP hidden when sharing files or downloads, and the built-in NetShield functionality blocks out ads and annoying trackers that keep tabs on your browsing history. Access to Tor over VPN provides even more secure web browsing, too, thanks to the combined power of the Tor browser’s functionality and Proton VPN’s network routing. If you really want to take things up a notch, the custom DNS functionality lets you further protect yourself from bad actors by providing your own protocol for connecting to the internet.

Every website you visit is always trying to track you in some way, which is why using a VPN has become 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 of your home internet’s speed. I’ve used ExpressVPN and Nord VPN in the past, and Proton’s speeds (even on the free version) beat them out every time.

More vaults and built-in 2FA with Proton Pass

Without Proton Unlimited, Proton Pass gives you two vaults for storing passwords, 10 email aliases, and the option to share your Proton Pass with up to two others. But if you subscribe to Proton Unlimited, you 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 others. If you’re only interested in using Proton Pass, you can also subscribe to Pass Plus, which is $4.99 a month (or $1.99 a month when subscribing annually).

New updates, including Dark-Web monitoring

Proton Unlimited’s most recent update brings real-time Dark-Web monitoring to the service, which updates you if any of your personal information pops up on the sketchier corners of the internet. These kinds of services are offered by plenty of financial institutes, but having it in a place that you check every day—like your email—is a great way to make sure you’re always on top of your personal security.

Again, you don’t need to pay for Proton to benefit here: The free version of Proton Mail is feature-rich, and doesn’t lock any important privacy settings behind a paywall, so the service is going to protect your privacy without spending a dime. But, if you want even more features to protect your privacy, and additional tools to organize your digital life, Proton Unlimited is the way to go.


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