Over 2 years ago, we started ProtonMail in the CERN cafeteria. Back in those days, the initial prototype was used by just 1,000 students, scientists and researchers in Geneva. Today ProtonMail is used daily in more than 120 countries world-wide and has over half a million people registered for our beta. Today we are announcing the first phase in our expansion plan towards leaving beta, starting with moving our domain from protonmail.ch to protonmail.com!
As we’ve expanded internationally from our humble beginnings in Switzerland, we’ve realized that most users are familiar with the classic .COM top-level domain (TLD). We’ve also realized that many of our users find us through search engine queries. Unfortunately, the search engine marketplace is extremely limited and drastic priority is given towards sites with .COM over sites with .CH. As a result we have grudgingly decided to transition our main site to .COM in order to bring ProtonMail’s easy to use end-to-end encryption to more people.
Despite the change in our main website address, you will still be able to use your @protonmail.ch email address as before, and we have set up an alternate portal to the webmail (https://app.protonmail.ch) on our .CH TLD for those who wish to continue accessing ProtonMail through .CH. The change from .CH to .COM is largely cosmetic, ProtonMail is still hosted and operating on the same servers within our underground datacenter in the Swiss Alps. Furthermore, both protonmail.ch and protonmail.com addresses will continue to operate the same as before. (EDIT Feb 17, 2016: ProtonMail version 3 no longer provides addresses for both TLDs for free accounts, free account users need to select one or another) As we are a Swiss company, all of our internal corporate emails (ex: firstname.lastname@example.org) will stay CH addresses.
This is one of many final steps that we’re doing in preparation for launching the non-beta version of ProtonMail that will be open to all. Stay tuned for more updates as we gear up for a version 3.0 release later this year.