Proton AG has launched a new email domain called Proton.me. Users who have a Protonmail.com address can activate a free Proton.me ID with the same username, for a limited time.
This isn’t the first email provider to offer two domain names for the same IDs, Google has been doing this for a long time. In case you aren’t aware, this is how it works. If your email address is email@example.com, you can also use firstname.lastname@example.org to receive mails in the same inbox. Microsoft Outlook and Apple iCloud offer similar email aliases with some restrictions.
What is Proton.me?
The Proton 2022 Survey, which was conducted last month, saw users voice their top requests to improve the products from the company. The Switzerland-based company states that over 33% of the people who responded wanted a shorter email domain, hence the creation of the Proton.me email domain. Proton.me could be a unified domain for services (Drive, Calendar, VPN) offered by the company.
Why is this important? Simply put, a shorter name is easier to type. Also, some websites may have character limits for the username. If you have an unusually long email address, and use it as the username, there is the possibility that you may not be able to sign up for the site. So, having a shorter email domain could help in such cases. There is one more advantage, while Proton can recognize that the two IDs are linked to the same account, other websites cannot detect that email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org belong to the same person. So, in theory, you could have 2 accounts per service, which can be handy for signing up for some subscriptions, trials, etc.
Did you know: Protonmail offers an even shorter domain with @pm.me addresses, free users can use it to receive emails, but any mails that you send from your account will use your regular @protonmail.com address. A premium subscription removes this limitation.
What is the catch?
Protonmail announced the news about a week ago, but the option to claim the free Proton.me address didn’t go live until today. The only catch here is that you need to activate the @Proton.me ID before April 30th, and you will be able to use it forever. Users who don’t activate the free Proton.me address before the said date, will need to pay for a premium ProtonMail account to get the ID. You can continue using your regular @Protonmail.com address normally after activating the Proton.me ID.
How to claim your free Proton.me email address
1. Login to your Protonmail account.
2. Open the following page: https://account.protonmail.com/u/0/mail/identity-addresses
Or, navigate to it manually by clicking on the Settings button in the top right corner of the page, and then hit the “Go to Settings” option. On the sidebar to the left, select “Identity and Addresses”.
3. You should see an @proton.me section at the top of this page.
4. Click the button that says “Activate email@example.com”.
That’s it, you have claimed your free Proton.me address that you can use to send and receive mails. You can manage your addresses, setting the default one to be used, from the same page, using the section at the bottom. Activating the free Proton.me address for your current Protonmail username will not count against your quota.
Can other users claim a Proton.me address with your Protonmail.com username?
The company has made it clear that Proton.me will become a paid service after April 30th. Let’s say your email ID is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t activate the free proton.me address now, could someone else could sign up for email@example.com? If a person were to email you, would they not assume that both accounts belong to you? Could result in misuse of your ID, aka identity theft, impersonation or mistaken identity?
The company’s blog post was not clear about this, and drew flak from users for the possible risks. A representative of the company on reddit cleared things up by saying that your Proton.me alias is reserved to your Protonmail.com account.
“Your aliases are reserved only for you, meaning that only you will be able to create the equivalent alias under the proton.me domain, if you already have that alias under the protonmail.com/protonmail.ch/pm.me domains.
Just like any other additional address, addresses created under the proton.me domain will count against your additional address quota. This does not apply to the proton.me address associated with the original username of your account.”
So, other users will not be able to claim your account even if they wanted to, by creating email aliases (a premium feature). That said, you may want to claim the free Proton.me address just to avoid the hassle.
Reference: 1, 2
There is one caveat to this. Free Protonmail accounts that are inactive for 12 months or longer will be deactivated, and deleted along with all data stored in them. So, if you let your account become dormant, you will also lose the Proton.me account associated with it. Premium subscriber accounts will never go inactive.
Proton acquired the Simple Login email alias service recently, you can read about it here.
Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Protonmail users can activate a free Proton.me email address until April 30th appeared first on gHacks Technology News.