After months of beta testing, ProtonMail has unveiled official support for their encrypted mail service within email clients Apple Mail, Microsoft Outlook, and Mozilla Thunderbird. The support comes by way of a custom application that connects mail clients securely with a user’s ProtonMail account. Paying users can download ProtonMail Bridge today to get started.
On mobile, ProtonMail has solved their mobile encryption situation by building out their own custom iOS and Android applications. Instead of relying on the mobile OS’ native mail app, an integrated solution was the way to go. This task is all the more daunting in a desktop environment where the breadth of mail applications knows no bounds. Instead of building out a custom application for their security-focused product, ProtonMail has opted to build a tool that can fit into a multitude of applications.
The company accomplishes this with the new ProtonMail Bridge solution. Instead of having to learn the mechanics of a new mail client, users of the encrypted mail service can use whatever client suits them best. Co-founder Dr. Andy Yen describes it as, “The ProtonMail Bridge is literally a bridge between the unencrypted and encrypted worlds in the sense that it allows your average user to benefit from the added security and privacy of end-to-end encryption without having to make any changes to their email usage behavior.”
To get started, ProtonMail users will have to download and install the Bridge application onto their computers. Once installed, users will add their ProtonMail accounts to Bridge, and then add their email accounts to their preferred mail clients. The currently supported clients will need to be configured appropriately, but ProtonMail says that nearly any client will be usable with Bridge.
ProtonMail Bridge currently supports Windows and macOS, with Linux support coming in Spring of 2018. While Apple Mail, Microsoft Outlook, and Mozilla Thunderbird are the officially supported applications, ProtonMail found that many IMAP email clients also worked well with their service. More information on ProtonMail Bride can be found on its official support page.