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Proton Drive might help me ditch Google, and it now has a Mac app

Published Nov 23rd, 2023 7:18PM EST
Proton Drive syncing files on a Mac.
Image: Proton

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Swiss software developer Proton’s first app was the end-to-end encrypted Proton Mail that launched in 2014. It’s a great alternative to Gmail, though having a Google account has its perks; Gmail is just one of Google’s many useful apps. The downside of using the free Google apps is that you pay for them with your data, which Google then monetizes with ads.

You can create a free Proton Mail account, and you won’t have to pay for it with your privacy. Moreover, a Proton account gets you access to other apps the company has released since 2014. Best of all, they all offer the same end-to-end encryption as Mail.

I talked about Proton Pass more extensively recently, which I think is a good rival for 1Password and other password manager apps. But Proton Drive is the app that might make me finally switch over from Google. And Proton Drive just got a Mac app, which joins the Windows app released earlier this year.

Proton now operates Mail, VPN, Calendar, Drive, SimpleLogin, and Pass apps. You get access to them with a free account, though I think the Premium subscription is the way to go. And with Black Friday sales, you get to save more money on 12-month deals.

Proton Drive gets you 1GB of storage with your free account, while premium plans start at $4.99 per month for 200GB of storage. Again, the one-year and two-year bundles are better deals, especially if you buy them on Black Friday. Also, the more expensive plans get you other perks across Proton apps.

The Proton Drive for Mac app.
The Proton Drive for Mac app. Image source: Proton

I said that Proton Drive would be a key app for my switching away from Google because we live in a world where cloud storage is mandatory. You get it with Apple once you create your Apple ID for the iPhone. Google offers cloud storage for Gmail and runs a standalone Google Drive app you can use. Similarly, Microsoft offers you OneDrive storage.

Any cloud storage provider I’d consider has to offer apps for the devices I use. And since I’m a longtime Mac user, I appreciate the arrival of Proton Drive for Mac. Proton announced the app on Thursday. Proton also has apps Drive apps for Windows, iPhone, and Android. The Mac app should make file management even easier than using a web interface.

Like all other Proton apps, and unlike other cloud storage rivals, Proton Drive is end-to-end encrypted. That’s a big reason to choose it as your cloud storage default for sensitive content and documents you wouldn’t want unprotected.

Proton explains in the announcement that encryption happens on the device before the data is uploaded to the cloud. Therefore, nobody can see your data. Encryption also protects the metadata, so file names and dates aren’t available to anyone.

As with other cloud storage apps, Proton Drive lets you sync files between your Mac and the cloud. And it lets you download the files you need when you need to have local copies.

For now, the app will sync only the contents of the Proton Drive folder with the cloud storage. But in the future, Proton plans to let you sync any folder on your Mac with the cloud. The feature is available on Windows and should simplify saving data to the cloud.

Proton Drive also offers another handy feature that could save you in a bind. It stores file edits as separate versions of that file. Therefore, it acts as a backup system, ensuring you won’t lose key changes or file versions.

If you already have a Proton Mail account, you can use Proton Drive already. Maybe you’ve been using it for the past year. But make sure you download the Mac and/or Windows apps to make file transfers even easier.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.