I find paying 4 euros per month too expensive.
I would suggest adding the possibility to buy more features like adding more addresses, more filters rules or more GB for life.
They offered lifetime accounts on Black Friday. Keep your eyes peeled for the next time they do that. I'd start saving now if I were you.
The business model for ProtonMail is secure email, and is the whole point of using their service. You are paying for secure email and that should be the focus; features come secondary to security and privacy. (why searching through the body of an email is such a popular request is beyond me)
If you know what you are doing, maintaining your own mail server on your domain with your hardware in a physical space you can control access to would be the closest you could get; although still imperfect. But with that comes constant maintenance and vigilance, both which take up time. I see it as a good trade to pay a small monthly sum so I can have that time back and free to spend as I please.
A domain, physical server, rack space, electricity, and connection to an ISP all cost money at either a fixed cost (server, storage, memory) or a subscription (domain, rack space, electricity, ISP). If you are using a service that relies on resources that have a subscription cost, it should not be out the question to pitch in.
Services targeted for consumers are not free. Users of mail providers such as Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, etc. may not be charged with a monthly fee, but they pay for their subscription through a different medium of exchange probably not considered legal tender.
As it is now a free account is really only useful to test drive the service and see if you like it and want to continue using ProtonMail, which I think is fine. Whether ProtonMail wants to create another tier in between a free account and a Plus account is their decision, but I do not think replacing the subscription model for a fixed payment is a viable idea.
Thank you for taking time to read my wall of text.
@Jim and IanMaybe im not promoting tutanota etc.
Even if i pay 4 euros per month i dont think any of my friends would be willing to do so. If anyone uses gmail there is no real benefit to use protonmail.
I tried to convince a couple of my friends that dont use email that often to use protonmail but convincing them to use a free account without filters is really difficult if not impossible. Giving 4 euros per month is out of the question.
I do believe that a free account with filters or a account where you can buy features for life would be more beneficial.
Anyway i no longer plan to move on protonmail so i dont really care about the price.
For all of those talking up Tutanota, why don't you jump over to your Tutanota account and try to search for an email you've tucked away in your archive. I'll wait.....
Right, you can't. I have a Tutanota account too, but only use it as a throw away account because I can't search for an email. I've asked them about this and they've told me it would compromise security to implement a search function. ProtonMail must survive, and to do that they must bring in revenue. You always have the option of a free account, but it has limitations. Why? Because, as I just said, ProtonMail must bring in revenue to survive.
$4/month is cheap. I have one I pay $9/month for because I think my ability to communicate privately is that important. If you're doing a lot of emailing, one would think it was a cheap price for your insurance of safety. If not, then you only need the Basic (free) account. The latter account makes it possible for you to do quite a lot if you're not that active. Sorry, this just sounds like an attempt to something for nothing. I'm willing to pay these guys for the insurance of privacy from nosey governments and their agencies.
Ian Bradbury commented
I love this thread.
Let's think about it this way.
I'd love to own a VW Golf. But I can't afford one. Instead I drive a 10+ year old car and continue my dreaming.
I don't bitch to VW that their prices are too high. I accept reality and drive what I can afford.
If buying feautures for life isnt possible maybe another option could be 2GB accounts with the current functionality (alias, labels, filters etc) of the plus account for 1 euro or something like that.
4euro per month is way too expensive.
This pricing would make sense if one account was enough for life. But every security-minded individual needs multiple accounts. That's different from multiple e-mail addresses. The point is that multiple identities cannot share the same payment. So the cost of using ProtonMail securely is actually MULTIPLE of 4 euro PM.
To make matters worse, ProtonMail doesn't allow multiple free accounts as far as I can remember. Even though free accounts are unusable for intense use (anything other than throwaway applications) due to restrictive maximum number of labels (and lack of possibility to download whole mail for archiving). Without adequate number of folders or labels, inbox and archive quickly become reduced to a mess. (One workaround is to use <email@example.com> address formula instead of <firstname.lastname@example.org>.)
What do you lot think of this idea?
PTPU - Promise to Pay Us
PTPU - I wish ProtonMail can be one of the firstto implement something like this, recomendation for those that require it immedately where by some or all of the premium functions can be deployed for a current non-premium users who have the full intention of paying it within a time frame set by PM of course or the user in case she/he wants to extend the period. I hope if you do go ahead with it, you'll most definitely have to put a red ! ntoice warning it's quite impertive for your sake that you do pay us back within that time frame or you'll remove the functions that have been deployed. Say for example if they do purchase the premium within the specified time frame the naturally you'll expectthem to immedaitly become a premium user but say that they didn't reimburse you and the the time which was set by PM or themselves ran out naturally the warning you give will indicate that "it could be damaging to you (the user) if you used such features as domain or others and we later removed them". Thus after the period of expectancy does go over then you could send them an email promptly the day or week before that you'll be permenantly remove access to purchasing or using a premium package which is very fair in my opinin.
You can always make a separate contribution regardless of account level.
That is what I did.
Respectfully disagree here. PM is not selling its users data, like all free email providers. Approximately $50 USD annually seems quite a reasonable price to pay for a fairly high level of privacy. And, understandably, PM is still somewhat in its infancy, considerable financial support from us, the users, is needed on an ongoing basis to support continued development of needed functionality.
Its good value...no question. It's just some people may not have the discretionary income
I think 50 Euros per year is not expensive - it 's 1-2 coffees per month. Compare that to what you get and what ideas and values you support!
I agree. Micropayments for a selected features it is a nice idea.
I agree with the comments. 1-2 dollars a month for more features is more like it.
Maybe pick and chose the options that are important to you. Some it might be space, others it might be an alias...etc
1 dollar a month and you can get 1 more added feature
@deklan i think you oversimplify the situation I think market doesn't work that way. When you drop the price of a product the number of paid customers rises. Usually there is a sweet spot for maximum profit.
Anyway. I'm sure cost of particular services like more GB or filters can be determined.
level of DDoS protection*
Tutanota may not have the level of DDoS that ProtonMail acquired last year. This is expensive and has to be paid for each year.
I believe the business model is to have about 1% of paying users and the rest is free. If ProtonMail has 1 million users, that's about $480K in revenue per year.
Cut that in half like some of you are asking and ProtonMail probably can't survive.
If for you $48 a year is so much more expensive than $24, you're probably best using the free account. Or think that it's $24 for the features and an extra $24 as a donation.
(I'm using a free account myself at the moment)
I like the idea of adding features for life, but understand if that doesn't make financial sense.
Please make a $2 option, with 2 GB storage, 1 Custom Domain, 2 addresses, 400 messages per day, 80 labels, Mobile signature editing, and Support!
This splits the difference between the free and the Plus options, and should garner ProtonMail many more paid users that don't need all of the Plus options.
I agree with most comments here. I would be more than happy to support ProtonMail for about $1 or $2 a month (as I am doing with Tutamail) but $5 is a bit steep.
I guess $2 / month or $20 / year is very reasonable.
I understand this is not a google company. But I am pretty sure that thousands of people would be more willing to upgrade if the prices were a bit more competitive. I would right now!