ProtonMail, an encrypted email service that launched less than two years ago and has already expanded into numerous VPNs and small businesses, is now coming to all desktop email clients that support IMAP and SMTP, including Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, and Apple Mail (via VentureBeat).
For those who aren’t familiar with ProtonMail, the service uses client-side encryption to ensure that all data is encrypted before it arrives on the company’s servers. Until now, the service has only been available through web browsers and mobile apps, but with ProtonMail Bridge officially rolling out today, users can access their ProtonMail encrypted email accounts through their favorite desktop-based email client too.
ProtonMail Bridge is an application rather than a plugin for your desktop email client. This holds a number of advantages; for example, it doesn’t interfere with the client’s behavior and so isn’t likely to cause any disruptions to a user’s workflow. But ProtonMail told VentureBeat that this also makes it far easier to deploy in an enterprise environment.
Once you’ve installed the ProtonMail Bridge application, you’ll be prompted to enter your ProtonMail credentials within the app. Then, you’ll need to configure your email client, which ProtonMail provides these instructions for.
The configuration varies depending on your email client of choice, but it is fairly straightforward. “The app acts as a local IMAP server running on the user’s local machine,” a spokesperson said. “The Bridge communicates with ProtonMail’s encrypted email server via our API, which supports end-to-end encryption, while email clients can communicate directly with the Bridge via standard IMAP”.
While the official support is only available to the aforementioned three applications on Windows and Mac, the ProtonMail Bridge should work through any IMAP email client. Furthermore, the service is also only available to paid ProtonMail users.
You can download ProtonMail Bridget for Mac and Windows using this link.