Thursday, June 1, 2023
Home Technology Proton Drive end-to-end encrypted cloud storage arrives on mobile • TechCrunch

Proton Drive end-to-end encrypted cloud storage arrives on mobile • TechCrunch

Proton, the Swiss firm behind a variety of privacy-focused online services, has formally introduced its end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) cloud storage service to cell.

Based in 2014, Proton was initially all about an encrypted Gmail different called Proton Mail, however within the intervening years the corporate has launched its own VPN and sought to copy numerous Google companies with a privateness twist, together with a calendar which it launched on the net again in 2020 earlier than bringing it to mobile this year.

Proton additionally launched a cloud storage service to the combo on the net back in September after an prolonged beta interval, and now it’s rolling out on Android and iOS.

Proton Drive for cell Picture Credit score: Proton


What’s significantly notable about Proton Drive is that it’s a zero-knowledge encrypted cloud storage and file-sharing service, which means that no one exterior of the sender or recipient can intercept any information anyplace within the course of. This positions Proton Drive favorably in an area that features well-established incumbents resembling Google Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive, and Dropbox. The latter of these recently announced plans to deliver E2EE to its personal cloud storage service, however that’s seemingly nonetheless a great distance off, plus it can solely be provided as a perk to enterprise subscribers.

There are inherent challenges in introducing end-to-end encryption into cloud storage companies, significantly throughout a number of platforms (together with the online), which fits a way towards explaining why most firms working within the house don’t supply E2EE. For starters, it requires constructing totally new frameworks for dealing with the passing of knowledge between level A and level B with out risking exposing any of the info to the middleman service supplier. It additionally requires extra reminiscence and computing energy, and E2EE is usually costlier because it’s tougher to compress information, which in flip results in better infrastructure and storage prices.

It’s value noting that there are different E2EE cloud storage companies on the market resembling Tresorit, which was acquired by Swiss Post final 12 months, however Proton Drive is hoping to go a number of steps additional by way of its privateness promise.


Proton Drive, like most of Proton’s companies, ships with a primary free model that offers customers 1GB of cloud storage. Customers can improve to 500GB of encrypted storage by way of the $9.99 month-to-month Proton Limitless plan, which additionally ushers in premium incarnations of its sister merchandise together with Proton Mail, Calendar, and VPN. There’s a separate standalone Proton Drive subscription that’s accessible for $3.99 per 30 days, which has a 200GB storage restrict.

All this has been a part of Proton’s roadmap for some time: some individuals may be glad to pay for a privacy-focused e-mail service, however many extra individuals will probably be keen to decide to a month-to-month subscription if it features a bunch of value-added companies.

Yup, bundling probably works.

Along with storage, Proton Drive additionally helps folder and file-sharing even with non-Proton Drive customers via safe hyperlinks, with the sender in a position to stipulate expiration dates and password necessities, whereas they will additionally manually revoke entry at any time.

Proton Drive: File-sharing

Proton Drive: File-sharing Picture Credit score: Proton

Over and above this bundling of complementary companies, Proton is pushing the truth that it operates and owns all its personal infrastructure, reasonably than counting on third-party infrastructure from the large cloud firms. Proton’s information is saved in Switzerland and Germany.

“This permits Proton Drive’s storage infrastructure to be fully unbiased of U.S. tech giants,” Proton cofounder and CEO Andy Yen defined to TechCrunch.

Yen additionally highlighted the extent to which it has gone with its encryption efforts, together with “developments” it has made in E2EE within the browser, with no actual higher restrict on file-sizes.

“What actually units Proton Drive aside is the rigorous degree of encryption — true end-to-end encryption of not simply information and folder, but in addition filenames, extensions, and most different file metadata, and information verification by way of digital signatures,” Yen added. “[And] using our personal independently-operated cloud infrastructure.”

Proton has additionally made every of its apps open source, a course of it started some seven years in the past starting with its email service. This principally signifies that any third-party can examine its code and that it does what it says on the field.

“The open supply nature of our software program permits for unbiased verification of the encryption,” Yen stated.

It’s value noting right here that plans are afoot for a Proton Drive desktop app sooner or later, with an early model of the Home windows app anticipated to floor for beta testers earlier than the tip of 2022. The MacOS app, in the meantime, will seemingly rear its head a while within the first half of 2023.

Proton Drive quietly rolled out for all Android users over the weekend, and it’s accessible for iOS users as of at present.

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