Living in a post-Snowden world, it’s hard to know which online services you can trust with your information, and that’s spawned a massive wave of privacy and security-centric services for everyday users that want to protect themselves from government surveillance and hackers. ProtonMail is one such service, and though it’s been hidden behind an invite system since it was first launched, this Switzerland-based email service has received near unanimous praise for both its design and focus on privacy. The best part is, the service ditched its invite system on Thursday, and launched an Android and iOS app, which means anyone can sign up now.
ProtonMail, the world’s largest encrypted email provider, is announcing today that the service is leaving beta and will be allowing open registrations for the first time in nearly two years. Concurrently, the service will be launching its free iOS and Android mobile applications globally in the Apple App store and Google Play store. The privacy focused email service was first launched in beta in May 2014 by a group of scientists who met at CERN and MIT. In the post-Snowden environment, ProtonMail was hit with overwhelming demand and forced to institute a waiting list for new accounts after signups exceeded 10’000 per day. For the past two years, ProtonMail has been invite-only and today has over 1 million users participating in its closed beta, including businesses, journalists, activists, and private individuals. The Company’s innovative email service features end-to-end encryption, which makes it practically impossible for governments, or even ProtonMail itself, to gain access to user messages, ensuring the highest level of security and privacy. In the past two years, the Company has been frequently thrust into the public debate over encryption and terrorism, and like Apple, has on occasion needed to fight governments to protect user privacy.