So first and foremost, we at SOFREP are not endorsed by either Google or Proton. Nevertheless, as an average person, I often wonder which is the best. And I realized that’s a tricky question to answer. First, we will talk about why Gmail is so great, then switch to ProtonMail.
I love the ease of use provided by Google. While the primary purpose of an email service is to send messages, Google ensures that Gmail does more than this.
Thanks to its smooth integration with several other Google tools such as Google Docs and Google Drive, you can use Google’s service to create content across the board. Then you can share the content on Drive with other Gmail users without leaving Google.
If you’ve used other email providers before, particularly AOL and Yahoo Mail, then you must have experienced the annoying sight of intrusive ads. But with Gmail, it’s an entirely different story.
Of course, Gmail displays ads too. And what they are doing is scanning through your emails to set up ads that best fit you. While this might seem insignificant, for me, this is annoying and slightly alarming.
What About Spam?
Everyone hates it and Google does a great job at filtering it all out. If you have a Gmail account, you most likely have seen the folders at the top labeled “Social” and “Promotions.” And from there, Google makes it easy to unsubscribe from lists, designate spam, etc.
For me, there are only three drawbacks to having Gmail:
- There is no guarantee with your emails. While I have never heard of this happening, it is possible that you could lose everything at any time.
- It is proprietary, meaning that you don’t have access to its source code to suit your needs. But let’s be honest, 99 percent of users don’t know how to do this anyway.
- Google is scanning your email to push you personalized ads. I don’t know why, but this creeps me out, and I wouldn’t say I like it.
Looking at These Reasons, Maybe Switch Over to ProtonMail?
ProtonMail was developed by scientists and is end-to-end encrypted. End-to-end encryption is a method of encrypting messages on one device so that only the device it is sent can decrypt it. The message travels from the sender to the recipient in encrypted form.
ProtonMail is the world’s most popular alternative to Gmail. It is privacy-focused. Proton does not scan your emails and is ad-free. Proton is based in Switzerland, which a famously neutral country. You’re also under Swiss privacy laws.
In contrast, until 2017, Google scanned all emails sent to or from Gmail users to help build detailed profiles of its users that would allow it to target them with highly personalized ads.
It has since promised to stop this practice. Nevertheless, it continues to scan emails to offer “Smart Labels” and add travel details to Google Calendar. This trades privacy for convenience.
Simply Put, Nothing Sent via Gmail Should Be Considered Private
ProtonMail offers a free plan that takes only a few minutes to set up, so it’s easy to try it out for yourself. (No personal data is required to create a free account.)
ProtonMail can’t spy on your emails, even if they wanted to. How do they do this? Well, they minimize the collection of metadata by turning off IP logging by default.
Proton stores all data in multiple data centers in Switzerland and Germany. To note, it doesn’t rely on third-party cloud providers. Only ProtonMail employees have access to this infrastructure.
So which one is better, ProtonMail or Gmail? Well, I guess it depends.
If you’re worried about your privacy, then maybe ProtonMail is the best option for you. But if you want a provider that allows you to do a lot across multiple devices, you should maybe go with Gmail.