I found out about a competitor to ProtonMail a couple of days ago called Tutanota out of Germany. This really interests me as I am such a fan of ProtonMail, so thought to myself, could there be something even better out there?
However, after analyzing the two side-by-side using their respective Wikipedia articles (which I consider usually a pretty accurate resource, though of course nothing is without bias, check ProtonMail and Tutonota) I still feel ProtonMail comes out way ahead.
Numbers are always a good gauge of things, and ProtonMail is more popular than Tutanota, with 10 million users versus 2 million users, again according to Wikipedia.
Also, perhaps more importantly, are those Swiss data privacy laws, which the EU, from what I am guessing, as Tutonota as mentionned is very much based in the EU being German, simply cannot compete.
And what has made a big impact on me is ProtonMail’s CERN pedigree, which can only bode well for them technically, again, as recounted mainly from their Wikipedia page, but also from their own content available on their homepage and on their blog.
How Hard is in to Switch Email Providers?
Of course, if you’ve been using Gmail for example for a dozen years or more, some other web-based email, or use email from your internet service provider (ISP) like Bell or Videotron, or Rogers in Canada for example, you will probably run up against some big hurdles regardless.
Here is a partial, by no means comprehensive, list of things to consider if you plan on making ProtonMail your new email provider (or any other email provider than the one you are currently using for that matter):
• Changing accounts like your bank, and even your Apple ID to a new email address
• Informing your friends, websites and other businesses you deal with of your new email address and confirming the address in terms of online businesses
• Dealing with some higher security/technically more advanced institutions which may use your email as a unique identifier in their system, in which case you may have to email them specifically or even call them (assuming they have reasonable customer service which is often not the case these days as a lot of it has been automated away)
• Monitoring your old email address(es) for a period of time
• Whether you actually want to close the account(s) of those old email address(es) as it could be good practise to rid yourself of unwanted spam and other security issues that come with having too much of your information online
The World is Changing Fast and Email Remains Fundamental
These days, the internet is fraught with so many competing interests that it is certainly hard to find the best services for your needs at the best price.
Business models that present themselves as free to the user, like email from Alphabet or Microsoft, often come with lots of strings attached (yes, be sure to read their license agreements).
I am not advocating that one give up all free services on the web, some are legitimate, some are not, some are in the grey zone, what I am trying to express is that if you do your homework, and especially as there is so much software development happening everyday, that it could be a good idea to reexamine your email provider, the social networks you use, your bank, or any other fundamental thing to see if it is still working well for you in 2020 amidst a very real COVID-19 pandemic, worldwide economic downturn, precarious security situation online, and other such considerations.
In light of all this, at least for me, I found ProtonMail to be very adequate in addressing my concerns and have begun to even tell my closest friends to give it a try.