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Switzerland-based encrypted-email provider ProtonMail has released a version of its VPN, called ProtonVPN, for Android.
ProtonVPN is from the same developers at CERN who built ProtonMail, a web-based email service that offers end-to-end encryption between ProtonMail users.
The company launched the desktop version of ProtonVPN in June and reckons it has racked up “hundreds of thousands” of users since then.
It’s using its reputation for respecting privacy to appeal to users turned off by the shady practices of some free VPNs for Android available today.
People use VPNs to get around geo-blocking and take cover from online tracking, but in some cases, the VPN service tracks the users themselves and sells that data to third parties.
The Android version of ProtonVPN can be downloaded for free from Google Play and is free to use, but like ProtonMail and ProtonVPN for the desktop, the service has a number of paid tiers with more features and higher speeds.
For example, ProtonVPN’s free tier only allows access to VPN servers in three countries from one device. It doesn’t place limits on data, but only affords a low-speed service.
Paying the $96 per year for the Plus tier gives you access to VPN servers in all countries from five devices and at the highest speed available.
The company promises its free VPN will not show ads, install malware, or sell user data. The free service is funded by paid subscribers and subsidized by ProtonMail.
ProtonMail says it launched the VPN service to solve the same problems that surveillance causes for email, citing new US laws allowing ISPs to exploit user browsing history for targeted ads, and expanded surveillance laws in Europe.
ProtonMail launched in 2013 and is now used by millions of journalists, activists, and members of the general public, according to its developers.
In December, the company added ProtonMail Bridge to extend its privacy features for use with Thunderbird, Apple Mail, and Outlook.
Previous and related coverage
ProtonMail says its VPN will protect privacy online and will not abuse user trust as Facebook and Google allegedly do in order to sell ads.
Proton’s new publicly available private network wants to protect you as you browse the web.
Google removed ProtonMail from search results and as a consequence, the company almost went under.
Strong encryption and privacy are a social and economic necessity, says company chief: service has more than one million users.
Secure email provider ProtonMail launches encrypted contacts (TechRepublic)
Your work contact list is one of your most valuable digital assets. It’s a massive threat vector. ProtonMail CEO Andy Yen explains how and why you should encrypt your email and phone contacts.