After a quick and successful beta launch, Proton Pass is now available for all users. As with other Proton products, it comes with both free and paid plans and is available across all major operating systems as a standalone mobile app and browser extension.
Proton Pass promises to go way beyond current password managers, describing itself more as “an identity guardian that proactively shields users from potential cyber threats.” Here we explore how the provider intends to live up to its claims.
Proton Pass, more than a password manager
To understand how and—especially—why Proton Pass distances itself from the competition, it’s important to establish what email stands for in today’s digital landscape. According to Proton’s founder and CEO Andy Yen, this often overlooked concept hides a much deeper significance.
He said: “It’s probably been 15 or 20 years since email was primarily a means of communication. What email actually is, is identity. It’s your digital passport. The thing that identifies who you are. And with Proton Pass, it’s the thing that we’re helping you protect.”
With this knowledge, it’s easy to comprehend Proton’s decision to secure users’ online identities at large rather than just their passwords.
So, besides the standard skills of creation, storage and auto-fill of strong login details and passwords, the Swiss-based provider threw a bunch of additional functionalities together with strong end-to-end encryption across the board.
For starters, much more user data gets encrypted beyond login credentials and passwords, including notes and even metadata.
A hide-my-email alias feature also creates an extra protection between people’s sensitive information and third-party services. This prevents them from identifying and tracking users, while limiting their ability to build people’s online profiles. This option generally comes with some secure email services instead of password managers.
The provider also claims to have gone the extra mile on the security level. The software uses what’s known as bcrypt password-hashing implementation and a hardened iteration of Secure Remote Password (SRP) for authentication. Check out some more technical information about the Proton Pass security model.
The less techy out there should simply know that all encrypting operations occur locally on the device so that every bit of data transmitted to the server is always encrypted. This means that not even Proton can access or decrypt stored data.
People’s sensitive information (from login credentials to private notes and payment details) are also stored in data vaults, making it easier to organize. In the future, users will be able to share these vaults with family, friends, and/or co-workers in total security.
Son Nguyen Kim, Head of Product at Proton Pass said: “By encrypting metadata and using strong encryption standards we are more secure than many existing password managers. Hide-my-email aliases are just the first step in providing security and privacy for a person’s full online identity. And importantly, we’re doing this all for free.”
Nguyen Kim is also the founder of SimpleLogin, a French email alias start up that was acquired by Proton in April 2022.
We are excited to announce that @simple_login is now part of the @ProtonMail family! SimpleLogin will stay fully open source and compatible with any mailbox provider. More info on https://t.co/41JlufDUIKApril 8, 2022
People looking for more functionality also have the possibility to upgrade to the paid plan. The premium version includes unlimited email aliases (instead of 10), 20 vaults (instead of 1), unlimited 2FA logins (compared to 3 with 2FA enabled) and the ability to auto fill custom fields. The paid version of Pass is already available for Proton Unlimited and Proton Family subscribers, as well as those on the legacy Visionary plan.
Proton Pass premium version is currently on sale, too. Its one year and two year plans will be available for only $1 per month, billed as $12 and $24 respectively. This is an 80% discount compared to the $4.99 single-month price of Proton Pass.