Proton Drive Review: Secure, Scalable and Stable Cloud Storage Platform

Proton Drive

We never know when a computer hard drive crashes. What will happen if you lost all the valuable saved files, images, and documents either accidentally or after a system crash. If you had saved all the files inside your computer hard drive, then you will not be able to recover them unless you are an expert in data recovery. In this context, the importance of cloud storage providers such as Proton Drive assumes great significance. With the help of Proton Drive, you can safely store all your files, images, and other content on the cloud. You will be able to recover the files in case your hard drive or system crashes. Even if you lose all the files, you can recover them from another device. You can store all the files inside portable hard drive but there is no guarantee that the drive will work after 2-3 years. The secured services provided by Proton Drive continue to work and you can access the files irrespective of time and location. As of this writing, Proton Drive is in beta stage and is available only on the web. The company is planning to address all feedbacks and provide access to all platforms including availability of Android app in the near future. We have a craze for free software products and recently tested Proton Drive out of interest. Let’s examine the features in detail.

Proton Drive is the safe and secured way to store and share files across the web. Proton Drive provides an end-to-end encrypted Swiss vault for all your files. This will ensure that nobody can access the files and other crucial data except the person(s) authorized by the concerned user. The file content, file names, folder names, and paths are fully encrypted. The company claims that Proton Drive is open source and audited independently by popular bodies. The working of encryption can be verified by any person. Proton Drive is in beta stage now and you can register for a free account. The company claims that people have the right to privacy and hence they are providing free account for all users. However, you should upgrade to a paid account to experience additional features. You will have complete control of your data with Proton Drive. Moreover, even Proton employees will not be able to access your data because of the encryption level. That being said, Proton Drive is a safe and secure way to store all your personal data.

Installation

Proton Drive runs on the cloud and hence there is no need to perform installation. You just need to login using your credentials to work with Proton Drive. The company is yet to release Windows app and hence you have to make use of the web-based dashboard. The product is in beta stage and the product team is working to add additional features in a time-bound manner.

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Working with Proton Drive

To work with Proton drive, you should navigate to the official website and select “Create a free account” button located on the top right-hand side.

Proton Drive

You will view a page, which displays the list of available plans. The company is offering free plan named Proton Free, which is exclusively designed to empower people with privacy. You will be able to enjoy up to 1TB free cloud storage space with one email address, 3 folders/labels including 150 messages per day. The free plan will be useful for students who would like to empower themselves with tight privacy measures.

The Proton Mail Plus package provides 15GB total storage with 10 email addresses, unlimited folders/labels, and filters including unlimited messages. The plan also provides support for one custom email domain with priority support alongside Proton Calendar. The cost of the plan is EUR 3.99 for one month, while it retails to EUR 47.88 for 12 months.

The Proton Unlimited plan carries 500GB total storage with 15 email addresses, unlimited folders, labels and filters. The package offers unlimited messages with support for 3 custom email domains. The company throws in Proton Drive and Proton VPN also along with the plan, which is available for EUR 119.88 for 12 months. You will find details about all the features included with each plan on the official Proton Pricing Plans landing page.

The big advantage of Proton Drive is that the system provides end-to-end encryption with the ability to share files and folders via link. The company offers advanced sharing security with all the plans. The Proton Drive plans provide free access to Proton VPN at medium speed. If you would like to experience highest VPN speed, then you should opt for Proton Unlimited package.

Proton Drive Packages

Let’s test drive Proton Drive by selecting Proton Free plan. The first step is to create a new proton account by selecting “Get Proton for free” button from the plan page. You will view the new user registration page as shown below.

Proton Drive

The username will be associated with the free email domain offered by the company. You can either choose proton.me or protonmail.com as per your requirement. You will be prompted to verify as shown below. You have three verification choices.

Proton Drive

The system will prompt you to provide phone number or email address in case you would like to reset your account. This will be handy if you forget the password. We would recommend you to provide either phone number or email address since it will help later. Otherwise, it will be impossible to recover the password and you will most likely lose access to data stored inside the drive. Proton Drive will display a dashboard as shown below.

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Proton Drive

You have to enable beta access to work with Proton Drive by selecting “Enable Beta Access” button. As of writing this review, Proton Drive, proton Calendar and Proton Mail are available only for beta users. The company will roll out new features and will ask for feedback from beta users before final push to general public. You will be able to work with new features as soon as they are made available.

Proton Drive

Proton drive displays a screen as shown below immediately after enabling beta access.

Proton Drive

You have to select “Next” button to proceed further. The system will prompt you to select a relevant theme as shown below. You can change the theme from the Settings as well.

Proton Drive

We selected Monokai theme, which resembles Dark theme, and proceed further. Proton Drive dashboard will display as shown below.

Proton Drive

Proton Drive is currently available only on the web. Hence, you have to make use of the Proton Drive web-based dashboard to upload files from your computer. We expect the company to launch desktop application when the product rolls out to general public.

To upload documents and data, you have to select “New upload” button and select the required file. You can also drag and drop files to the dashboard. The relevant file(s) will be uploaded and a progress bar will display as shown below.

Proton Drive

The uploaded files will display on the dashboard with the modified date and file capacity.

Proton Drive

If you hover over the uploaded file name, the relevant placeholder for the various options will appear on the right-hand side.

Proton Drive

You can preview and download the file including the ability to fetch the link for sharing via email or social media. You can also retrieve additional details about the file.

Proton Drive provides the ability to create a shareable link of the uploaded files for various purposes. The system also enables you to protect the link with password and also set expiration date. These features will be very useful in case you are sharing any confidential information. You can also stop sharing the link at any time.

Proton Drive

In addition to files, you can also create a new folder from within the Proton Drive dashboard. You can also upload a folder directly from your computer and all the files will be uploaded to the secured cloud storage platform. You can locate the relevant options from the navigation bar.

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Proton Drive

You will view the same file progress panel when a particular folder is being uploaded to the Proton Drive servers. The time required to upload the folder depends upon the size of the files inside the specific folder.

The detailed file from the Proton Drive cloud storage solution will appear in the Trash folder. You can recover even after deletion after a specific period of time. You can access Proton Mail, Proton Calendar, and Proton VPN from within the Proton Drive dashboard.

Proton Drive

You can modify the Proton Drive parameters by navigating to Go to settings options. It’s also possible to modify the dashboard them as per your choice.

Proton Drive

Possible Performance Issue

We attempted to upload a folder with over 500+ files but Proton Drive threw a warning message stating that performance would affect if large number of files are uploaded at once. You can select “Upload anyway” button if you would like to proceed with the file uploading process.

Proton Drive

We proceeded with the upload but the whole process took time. We hope Proton will improve the system so that we can upload larger files quickly.

Conclusion

With the help of Proton Drive, you will be able to store valuable documents, files, images, and much more in a secured cloud server. You will be able to retrieve the files easily in case your device fails to work properly. You should note that Proton Drive is in beta stage and hence the platform will be updated regularly. We are unable to find any problems with the User Interface. The files were uploaded quickly without any glitches. The ability to share the file in a big advantage for users. We would appreciate if the company introduces Windows app so that we can directly upload the files from the PC to the Proton Drive cloud server. We also expect the launch of Proton Drive Android app in the near future. The 500MB free plan will not be sufficient for users, particularly IT professionals but you can opt for paid package depending upon the requirements. Proton is a trusted company, which provides powerful VPN services with servers all over the world.

Proton Drive

Free/Paid
Proton Drive
98.125

Installation not required

10/10

    Simple UI

    10/10

      Easy to use

      10/10

        FIle uploading process

        10/10

          Learning curve

          10/10

            Processing

            10/10

              Afforability

              10/10

                Security & Privacy

                10/10

                  Pros

                  • Simple installation
                  • Easy usage
                  • Excellent user interface
                  • Upload file/folder
                  • Search facility
                  • Access to Mail, Calendar and VPN
                  • Free plan available
                  • Reliable and secured

                  Cons

                  • Only up to 1GB for free plan
                  • Windows/Android app not available

                  Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and again as a Microsoft MVP in Surface under Windows and Devices in January 2024. He worked as a Chief Technical Editor with ASPAlliance and was part of ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at admin@netans.com

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