Three years ago ProtonMail was launched. Today, it is launching ProtonVPN

Pierluigi Paganini June 21, 2017

ProtonMail announced ProtonVPN is now available to the general public. ProtonVPN is officially out of beta.

You can now directly get ProtonVPN by visiting

After more than 1 year of development, and four months of beta testing by over 10’000 members of the ProtonMail community, we’re finally making ProtonVPN available to everyone. And we really mean everyone, because consistent with our mission to make privacy and security accessible to every single person in the world, we’re also releasing ProtonVPN as a free VPN service.

It has been a long and exciting journey to get here since our team first met at CERN in 2013. Back then, we had an ambitious vision to build an Internet that was free and could continue to reach its full potential as a tool for social progress. Indeed, that was the vision that inspired Tim Berners-Lee to create the World Wide Web at CERN in 1989.

Since then, the Internet has met or even exceeded its promise in certain areas, but this has not come without a cost to society. While the Internet has done a great deal of good, over the course of this digital revolution, we have also lost control over our data, our most intimate secrets, and ultimately our privacy. In certain countries, the Internet has even become a tool for oppression and control, instead of the beacon of hope and freedom it once was.

Back in 2013, we embarked on a journey to change this, by building the tools that could make privacy and security the default online. In 2014, on the 25th anniversary of the web, our efforts culminated with the release of ProtonMail, the world’s first end-to-end encrypted email service. Since then millions of people around the world have embraced our vision, and thanks to your support (and the numerous donations along the way), email is much safer today than it was several years ago.

However, when considering the scope of all that we do online, email is just a small piece of the online world. That’s why we have decided to build ProtonVPN, to better protect the activists, journalists, and individuals who are currently using ProtonMail to secure their online lives. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows users to browse the web without being tracked, bypass online censorship blocks, and also increases security by passing all internet traffic through a strongly encrypted tunnel.

The importance of VPNs for online security and privacy is increasing day by day. Back in April of this year, Obama-era FTC rules designed to protect the privacy of internet browsing history were rolled back. Fast forward to today, and attempts are being made to dismantle net neutrality in the US, and several European governments are now calling for increased online surveillance. Last but not least, for over 1.5 billion people around the world, the Internet does not live up to its promise of freedom of information. Instead, the Internet is a highly restricted and censored place, constantly under surveillance, where making a wrong move could lead to imprisonment or worse.

We are also aware that as ProtonMail becomes a stronger force for digital freedom, the censorship of ProtonMail in certain countries is not a matter of if, but a matter of when. Earlier this year, we took the first steps to improve ProtonMail’s availability under censorship by launching an Onion site. With ProtonVPN, we can ensure the accessibility of not only ProtonMail, but all of the world’s digital knowledge and information. This is why we are committed to providing a free version of ProtonVPN.

However, we have done more than make ProtonVPN free. We have also worked to make it the best VPN service ever created, by addressing many of the common pitfalls with VPNs. For example, ProtonVPN features a Secure Core architecture which routes traffic through multiple encrypted tunnels in multiple countries to better defend against network based attacks, and also features seamless integration with the Tor anonymity network. You can learn about all the steps we took to build a secure VPN here.

Lastly, we’re building a VPN service that can be worthy of your trust. We understand that when it comes to VPNs, trust is paramount. Whether it is our transparent VPN threat model, our Swiss jurisdiction, our reputation, our relationship with the community, or the fact that you actually know who we are, we’re committed to building and operating ProtonVPN with the same level of transparency that has come to characterize ProtonMail.


To all of you who have supported us over the years, thank you for your support. Unlike companies like Google and Facebook who abuse user privacy to sell advertisements, ProtonMail and ProtonVPN are entirely dependent on users upgrading to paid accounts to cover operating expenses. Without your support, these projects would not be able to thrive and grow. If you appreciate the security and privacy that ProtonVPN provides, and have the means to do so, please consider upgrading to a paid account. This allows us to support the millions around the world without these means.

With your help, the revolution we have started with ProtonMail will continue, and we will reach the day where the Internet serves all of us equally, and reaches its full potential as a tool for freedom.

Best Regards,
The Proton Technologies Team

You can find our launch press release here:

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Data about the author: 

Dr. Andy Yen

Andy is the Co-Founder and CEO of Proton Technologies, the mother company of ProtonVPN and ProtonMail. He is a long time advocate of privacy rights and has spoken at TED, SXSW, and the Asian Investigative Journalism Conference about online privacy issues. Previously, Andy was a research scientist at CERN and has a PhD in Particle Physics from Harvard University. You can watch his TED talk online to learn more about ProtonMail’s mission.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – ProtonVPN, Privacy)

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