The move comes as the Swiss company looks to bolster its paying subscriber base and lock more people into its growing ecosystem of products.
Founded in 2014, Proton initially arrived on the scene with an encrypted Gmail alternative called Proton Mail, but the company has added a slew of additional encryption-focused apps to the mix, including a VPN, calendar, cloud storage and — as of last month — a password manager.
Proton’s pricing ethos so far as been centered around the freemium model, with a free tier enabling access to all its products but with some limitations in place (e.g. reduced cloud storage). The company also offers a premium plan for individuals that starts at $7.99 a month, which removes these restrictions.
A family affair
Now, Proton is adopting a tried-and-tested approach in the technology realm to get more people using their products. Part of this involves appealing to those already using them, the idea being that if an already privacy-conscious family member is paying $7.99 a month then they’d be happy to part with an extra $12 to get another five more people on. But of course, the family plan may also be enough to convince someone already considering subscribing to go the whole nine yards and get everyone in their house on board in one fell swoop.
“A family plan has been among our most sought-after services,” Proton product lead David Dudok de Wit said in a statement. “As a parent, I am eager to teach my children the proper ways to approach email, cloud storage, and internet security from the beginning. I know I am not alone in this.”
Under the family plan, users get all the usual features that come with Proton’s products, including the promise of end-to-end encryption for emails, files, passwords and events. The company has also multiplied by six the amount of storage that’s available under the individual plan, meaning that family members get to share 3TB of storage across all products, with a bonus 20GB thrown in for good measure each year.
While each $19.99 monthly subscription includes six family members, this also commits them to 24 months — and it means that they’re not actually paying monthly, it’s just what it works out as if they pay the $480 up front for two years’ coverage. Alternatively, they can pay the equivalent of $23.99 per month for a 12-month commitment or if they really just want to pay month-to-month, they can select the $29.99 plan that can be cancelled at any time.
The plan includes access to all Proton products, including Proton Mail, Proton VPN, Proton Drive and Proton Calendar, though access to the Proton Pass password manager will be limited for now while it remains a beta product.