Do I need Proton?

Hey yall,

This is gonna be a bit long-winded.

For a long time I’ve been using a privacy focused email provider. I would prefer to not mention who for obvious reasons. I moved away from big-tech email ages ago.

Proton is generally agreed upon to be the security minded and privacy focused email provider. I have no disagreements there. But for all of its recomendations is it possible it isn’t for me?

My use case:

  1. I generally don’t communicate over email because of its inherent insecurity. It only ever happens for professional correspondance. There are exceptions however.

  2. My email is generally a recieving address. From my bank. Various newsletter. Etc. They are not coming from other encrypted sources.

  3. Aside from a few select sensitive company senders, which all have everything behind a login page already, I don’t have anything of note. Packages notifications are probably another relatively sensitive one.

Sure, I see the benefits of Proton. It would definitely be more secure…but do I need an entire bank vault to secure the equivalent of physical postcards from REI? At the same time, because some sites refuse to get off shitty email 2FA I could see Proton as being a benefit in that case.

It feels wrong not to use THE “best” email provider. But are there use cases, such as mine, where it’s overkill?


I would look at it the other way around. Are you giving up anything by using proton even if it is overkill? If you are not, why would it not be adequate for you?


We mainly recommend secure email providers to protect the security of your email at rest, and avoid metadata tracking that mainstream email providers will do to create a personal profile of yourself, because email is not the best tool for secure communications as you note.

Like always, it depends on what you consider to be a threat to your privacy and what the risks of using your current email provider are, but I would say that increased security over your personal data and metadata that’s contained within your email is never a bad thing.


There are other, cheaper secure email providers such as (recommended on PG) as well as others recommended on the site. If you really dont use email that much, it might even be feasible to run your own email server (if your into that kind of thing and you don’t mind the downtime and whatnot).

The main issue with things like gmail/outlook/yahoo etc is that people who use it and the webmail remain logged into then do all their other search activity in the same browser instance. That is the main way that profiles can be constructed and tied to a specific account.


Proton is not the only way to do email securely, plenty of options are available. Proton has become more of a suite of services than just an email provider recently, which has it’s benefits and drawbacks.

Your needs are not that excessive, most services will do well for you, do read their feature set or lack of features.

Rather than relaying on any email provider at all, consider make your email portable, by using your own domain, this means, whichever email provider you use is matter of what you think is best for your use case.

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Besides proton’ privacy features, it is also just a perfect reliable email provider. You could use a free account and know that your email is safe and not used for optimizing ads. Everyone seems to skip over that last one, that other mainstream free providers use your data. So, even if you do not use email much, do you really want to them to know those financial and professional things about you? Or even your interests by the newsletters you receive.
Given this, I can’t really think of a viable reason not to use it. Proton Mail is user-friendly, sometimes people seem scared from using something like this because of its security, but it’s actually the email client my grandparents use. Without problems.


I think perhaps you see Proton Mail as an “extreme encryption ultra pro max email box,” whereas it should be seen more as your standard email service, with the addition of encryption. Like @ph00lt0 said, it’s also just a reliable provider. I’ve set family members up on Proton Mail for daily use without issue. It’s not like the added privacy also means a harsh learning curve.

I have a pretty similar use case. I don’t often communicate over email, typically only sending out for support tickets. My address is generally for receiving, mostly for package updates, order confirmations, and advertisements. Nothing necessarily sensitive. But I think I run a pretty tight setup… ProtonMail with SimpleLogin, no website gets my real email address but rather an alias on a domain I own, all authenticated with a hardware security key.

You didn’t name your current provider so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but as far as I can tell, Proton is the gold standard for encrypted email providers. Works good and looks good, while maintaining the privacy we’re all looking for – and you don’t have to be Snowden to use it.

I’d say, spin up a free account and give it a go. If you like it, use it. :man_shrugging: