The free encrypted email provider ProtonMail has launched a free VPN service that, according to the company, allows users to browse the web without being tracked, bypass online censorship blocks, and also increases security by passing all internet traffic through a strongly encrypted tunnel.
Just like ProtonMail, also ProtonVPS is developed by a team of scientist of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the European research organisation CERN.
Through a Virtual Private Network (VPN) an encrypted connection to another server is made. The VPN makes sure all traffic to the server is encrypted which can be useful on e.g. public Wifi networks. Because the server can be physically in a different location than the actual user, it’s possible to access services normally not available in the user’s country. The encrypted nature of the VPN also makes sure that e.g. ISPs can’t eavesdrop on the connection.
ProtonVPS should have several important enhancements over other VPN services, such as the ‘Secure Core’ architecture which routes traffic through multiple encrypted tunnels in multiple countries to better defend against network based attacks, and also features seamless integration with the Tor anonymity network.
ProtonVPN operates under Swiss jurisdiction and the VPN service can be used for free. However, the developers ask users to upgrade to a paid subscription to cover the costs of operating the service. A basic account is available at $4 a month.
ProtonMail currently has more than 3 million users, according to the company.