Proton Mail vs. Gmail

Proton Mail is a private alternative to Gmail. Like everything you do online, Google tracks the way you interact with your Gmail account for advertising purposes. In contrast, Proton Mail’s end-to-end encrypted email gives you an inbox free from ads, trackers, spying, and data harvesting.

About Proton Mail and Gmail

Proton Mail is the world’s most popular encrypted email service, based in Geneva, Switzerland. Switzerland has some of the world’s strongest privacy laws.

Gmail is an email service created by Google based in Mountain View, United States. The United States does not have robust privacy laws and is a member of intelligence-sharing alliances.

Both Proton Mail and Gmail offer apps for all your devices and let you easily manage your inbox. But while both services offer free plans, only Proton Mail is truly free: With Gmail, you pay with your privacy. Unlike Proton Mail, Google’s business model depends on ads.

Proton Mail uses end-to-end encryption, so no one else can access your data — not even us.

If you’re not sure which is better for you, we compare the main 
features of Proton Mail and Gmail below:

A table comparing Proton Mail and Fastmail
Inbox features

Pay for more storage and products, starting at $3.49/month

You pay with your privacy
Your favorite Gmail features
Works on all your devices
Free calendar and drive included
Zero ads
End-to-end encryption and zero-access encryption
Blocks third-party trackers
Encrypted contacts
Protected by strong Swiss privacy laws
Free VPN included
Open source and independently audited
Not subject to U.S. surveillance

Still deciding between Proton Mail vs. Gmail?

While Gmail scans your emails and lets third parties into your inbox, Proton Mail blocks all trackers and encrypts your messages so only you can read them. We believe you should be the one who chooses what happens to your data.

Private email

Proton Mail was founded by scientists who met at CERN, united by a desire to increase access to online privacy.

We are based in Switzerland and protected by some of the world’s toughest privacy laws.

Proton Mail protects all your email messages and contacts with end-to-end encryption and zero-access encryption. This means only you have access to your inbox.

Gmail, on the other hand, is based in the United States and subject to government data requests. The US is also part of multiple intelligence-sharing agreements with other countries.

Gmail does not use end-to-end encryption. Instead, it keeps its own key to your inbox so it can scan your messages.

Security and transparency

As scientists, we believe in the value of transparency and peer review. That’s why all our apps are open source, so anyone can inspect our code to verify it does exactly what we claim.

Both Proton Mail and Gmail support two-factor authentication (2FA) and hardware security keys to provide an extra layer of security for your account.

Proton Mail goes even further by offering advanced security features to defend your inbox against hackers. Our use of zero-access encryption significantly reduces the risk of your data being leaked in the unlikely event of a data breach. But Gmail has access to your inbox, which is like keeping a copy of the key next to the safe. Unlike Gmail, Proton Mail also gives you the option to secure your inbox with biometric authentication.

Proton Mail also keeps you safe by warning you about suspicious emails and helping you avoid clicking on malicious links.

We even protect your contacts with end-to-end encryption and digital signatures, so you know no one has tampered with them.

Free calendar, drive, and VPN

Proton and Gmail both have a suite of other tools to help increase your productivity and collaborate with friends and colleagues. But only Proton offers privacy.

In the same way Proton Mail uses end-to-end encryption to protect your emails, Proton Calendar and Proton Drive encrypt your events and files so only you have access.

Proton Pass keeps your passwords safe and provides hide-my-email aliases to protect your identity.

Additionally, by connecting to Proton VPN to browse the web, you can unblock censored websites and keep your online activity private.

Gmail provides a large suite of tools through Google Workspace. But like all Google products, the company tracks your activity and has full access to all your data.

Effortless organization

With both Proton Mail and Gmail, you can personalize your inbox, organize it easily with folders, labels and filters, and download apps for all your devices. Both services also let you sync your inbox with other email clients like Apple Mail and Outlook using IMAP.

Proton Mail and Gmail let you set up rules that automatically sort your mail into folders or apply labels. You can also undo and schedule messages, be warned when you forget attachments, set up auto-replies when you are away, and more.

However, Gmail does not offer the ability to generate dynamic hide-my-email aliases, which you can use to organize your inbox and control who has access to your real email address.


Gmail offers free service with up to 15 GB of storage. Additional storage can be purchased starting at $19.99/year.

Proton Mail Free gives you up to 1 GB of encrypted storage. If you want additional storage and premium features, paid plans start at $3.49/month for 15 GB. Proton Unlimited gives you 500 GB of storage, three custom domains, unlimited hide-my-email aliases, and all features on other Proton services starting from $7.99/month.

Proton Mail or Gmail?

When you choose Proton Mail, you’re choosing an internet where you control your data and privacy is the default.

If you’re ready to switch to Proton Mail, you can easily migrate your emails and contacts with our Easy Switch feature. 
It also lets you automatically forward your Gmail messages with just a couple of clicks.

Proton Mail is the privacy-focused alternative to Gmail. Create a free Proton Mail account and start taking control of your data.

Millions of people worldwide trust Proton Mail to keep their communications private

Choose an email that’s secure and private by default.

Millions of people worldwide trust Proton Mail to keep their communications private